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1/22 Big Ten Preview: Rutgers at Iowa

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Preview Wednesday night’s action for the Big Ten.

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

The Big Ten has two games on Wednesday night and both figure to be intriguing contests. Penn State begins the night by going on the road to face Michigan and Iowa and Rutgers are set to tangle in a game between ranked teams in Iowa City.

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

Game of the Day:

-No. 24 Rutgers Scarlet Knights at No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-5)

The Big Ten’s late game on Wednesday night figures to be an absolute thriller. Both teams enter with momentum and ranked in the top 25 nationally. Rutgers is having arguably its best start in more than 40 years and won eight of its last nine games. And Iowa will get this one at home having won three in a row, including two against ranked opponents. It would be quite a feat for Iowa to beat three ranked teams in less than two weeks.

Aside from the general intrigue of two good teams facing off, this matchup will also have significant implications for the Big Ten standings as well. Rutgers is just a game behind Michigan State in the standings and the Hawkeyes are just a game behind the Scarlet Knights. It’s still early, but this feels like a matchup that could end up having significant implications for Big Ten Tournament seeding in March.

The matchup to watch will be inside where Luke Garza will face off against one of the better defenses in the country. Garza has been an absolute force, but can the Scarlet Knights slow him down? It will almost assuredly determine the outcome of the game.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Iowa

The Rest:

-Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan (-5)

Unlike Wednesday’s late game that features two red hot teams, this one will feature two teams looking to build momentum after a few rough weeks. Penn State had a nice bounce back win over the weekend at home against Ohio State, but both of these teams have been relatively inconsistent in January. As such, it will be interesting to see who can score a valuable win on Wednesday night in Ann Arbor.

The matchup to watch in this one is going to be Lamar Stevens going up against what’s been a pretty inconsistent Michigan frontcourt over the last few weeks. Isaiah Livers is expected to miss the game for the Wolverines, so expect Brandon Johns and Franz Wagner to play most of the minutes at the four on Wednesday night. Both are going to need great games if Michigan is to beat the Nittany Lions.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Penn State

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 20-22-2