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1/15 Big Ten Preview: Indiana at Rutgers

Preview Wednesday night’s action for the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten is as wild as we’ve seen in quite some time and that drama should continue on Wednesday night, as fans will get to enjoy two great games. Indiana travels to face Rutgers in the early game and Minnesota hosts Penn State in the late game.

So, let’s take a look at what’s on the slate tonight.

Game of the Day:

-Indiana Hoosiers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Rutgers (4)

It seems odd to say based on the history of these two programs, but Indiana will head into Wednesday night’s matchup hoping to pull off the upset against Rutgers. Both teams have been playing well as of late and are under top 25 consideration. And considering how balanced this game looks on paper, the outcome could have a significant impact for both sides as they head toward Selection Sunday.

For Indiana, this game offers the team a chance at scoring its first road win of the season. And while Rutgers is favored, it’s only by a slim margin, so this looks like one of the more winnable remaining road games Indiana has left. For Rutgers, this is a game the Scarlet Knights should win. And if the team is going to make the NCAAs, these are the kind of games Rutgers needs to win.

From a matchup perspective, it’s going to be interesting to see how a relatively one-dimensional offense performs against what has become a nationally elite Rutgers defense. The Scarlet Knights are 13th in defensive efficiency right now and are tremendous at protecting the rim and defensive boards. On the other side, Indiana’s really dependent on its interior game and has been inconsistent from deep. Whether the Hoosiers can get enough perimeter shooting to attack Rutgers’ defense will likely determine this one.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Rutgers

The Rest:

-Penn State Nittany Lions at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Minnesota (-3)

A few weeks ago, this matchup looked a lot different. Penn State was rolling and Minnesota was still searching for its first big win of the season. But fast forward and this game has taken a much different tone. Penn State is now the team that’s struggling and the Gophers are coming off a big win over Michigan at home. The question is now whether the Nittany Lions can play well enough on the road to come out on top.

This game is largely going to come down to how Penn State defends against Daniel Oturu down low. The Gopher big man has been on an absolute tear of late and is certainly going to be a big part of Minnesota’s game plan. There will be a lot of pressure on Mike Watkins and the rest of the frontcourt to hold their own down low.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Minnesota

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 18-22-2