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2/9 Big Ten Preview & Open Thread: Badgers and Wolverines Battle

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has four games on Saturday and three of them will come with some major NCAA Tournament and/or Big Ten title implications. Wisconsin goes on the road to face Michigan, Nebraska and Purdue tangle, Minnesota and Michigan State face off, and Rutgers and Illinois will meet.

Let’s take a look at today’s Big Ten action.

Game of the Day:

-No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 7 Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 12:00PM (FOX)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan (-6)

The marquee game of the day will be in Ann Arbor as Michigan and Wisconsin rematch after the Badger knocked off the Wolverines last month. The first game was Michigan’s first loss of the season and started a red hot streak for the Badgers.

Expect a slow paced game that comes down to a few possessions. Michigan will also have to do a better job against Ethan Happ if the team hopes to come out on top at the end of the matchup. Also, look for Ignas Brazdeikis to have a better game than he did in the first matchup between the two teams.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Michigan

The Rest:

-Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 2:00PM (ESPN)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-14)

Both of these two teams will enter Saturday’s game looking to get back on track. Minnesota has dropped three of the team’s last five games and Michigan State is reeling after three straight losses. The Spartans will be solid favorites heading into this game, but both teams will be hungry to get an important win.

The matchup to watch here will be in the backcourt. The Gophers and Dupree McBrayer will have quite a challenge in trying to slow down Cassius Winston. Meanwhile, Michigan State will look to slow down Jordan Murphy on the boards.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Minnesota

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 4:00PM (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Illinois (-6)

This game probably won’t get much attention nationally, but it could be a little better than many anticipate. Rutgers has been really improved over the last few weeks and Illinois has won three of its last four games.

The most interesting matchup in this game will be down low as Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Eugene Omoruyi battle. Omoruyi has been really good for the Scarlet Knights over the last month or so and the Illini will have to slow him down.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Rutgers

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 15 Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 8:30PM (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Purdue (-9)

Entering Saturday’s game, these two couldn’t be in much more different circumstances. Nebraska is amid a six-game skid and the Boilermakers are red hot. Purdue has risen from an NCAA bubble team into a legitimate Big Ten title contender. It’s been quite a ride.

This matchup will likely come down to how Nebraska tries and guards Carsen Edwards. If the Huskers can’t slow him down, or at least make him inefficient, it could be a long day for Nebraska on the road.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Purdue

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 54-46-3