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1/8 Big Ten Preview: Illinois at Wisconsin

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Preview Wednesday night’s action for the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

After an absolutely insane night of Big Ten play featuring three upsets, things are a bit quieter tonight. Nonetheless, there are still two really important games featuring a desperate Indiana and two solid teams in Illinois and Wisconsin facing off.

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

Game of the Day:

-Illinois Fighting Illini at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin (4)

Despite slow starts to the season, both Illinois and Wisconsin will enter Wednesday night’s matchup with plenty of momentum. Illinois is coming off an absurdly dominant win over Purdue on Sunday and the Badgers have won four in a row, with the last win coming on the road against a top 10 Ohio State team.

But obviously, somebody’s luck is going to run out on Wednesday night. Both teams are playing well, but somebody has to win. The biggest matchup to watch is going to be how the Illini try to navigate a really good Wisconsin defense. It’s going to take quite an effort from Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu.

Given Illinois’ struggles on the road this season, Wisconsin seems like the safe pick, but a four-point spread suggests how close this thing could be. A win for either side would be a really nice resume boost moving forward.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Wisconsin

The Rest:

-Northwestern Wildcats at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Indiana (-9)

Unlike Wednesday’s late game, this one puts two struggling teams against each other. Northwestern has lost four in a row, including a disastrous game against Hartford at home in late December. Meanwhile, Indiana has lost two in a row with the latest coming by double-digits. Both teams are hoping to bounce back in this matchup.

Generally speaking, Indiana’s the clear favorite. The Hoosiers are a better team and playing at home. However, if Pete Nance and Pat Spencer can get hot, watch out. Indiana is also extremely reliant on dominating the boards this season. If the Wildcats can hold their own there, this should be an interesting matchup.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Indiana

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 18-20-2