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Black Friday Big Ten Preview: Illinois Marches On

Preview all of Friday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Chicago State at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen plenty of Big Ten action over the last two days, but things aren’t finished just yet. The league is back in action on Friday and it figures to be a loaded slate with five teams in action, including a few intriguing matchups.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Navy Midshipmen at Maryland Terrapins

  • Time/TV: 3:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Maryland by 15

The Terps opened the season with one of the Big Ten’s most impressive wins to date, besting a decent Old Dominion team at home on Wednesday. Maryland will now return to action on Friday against an intriguing Navy team. Maryland figures to be a significant favorite in the game, but the Midshipmen are better than your average “buy” opponent. The Terps will have to show up and get the job done.

The matchup to watch will be in the backcourt with John Carter and Cam Davis facing off against Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins. Carter had 17 points and six rebounds on Wednesday and Davis had 15 points and seven assists himself. Navy looked much better from three-point range on Wednesday than it did last season. It will be interesting to see if that holds up against Maryland as well.

Either way, Maryland should be able to grab a win in this one. This also figures to be a big opportunity for Chol Marial and Galin Smith to do work against a pretty underwhelming Navy frontcourt.

  • Pick: Maryland

The Rest:

-Ohio Bobcats at #8 Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 1:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Illinois By 15

It’s been quite a week already for the Illini. We knew Illinois would be good this year, but the team has looked absolutely stellar, scoring massive blowout wins each of the last two days. The question is now whether Illinois can do the same against stiffer competition. And the team will get just that on Friday, when it faces off against Ohio. The Bobcats are 2-0, 128th nationally on KenPom (roughly 200 spots above Illinois’ previous foes), and is coming off a decent 17-15 season. Guard Jason Preston is the player to watch for Ohio. The Illini backcourt will have their hands full trying to slow him down.

  • Pick: Illinois

-Southern Jaguars at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 5:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa by 14

Iowa opened its season on Wednesday with a 30-point win on Wednesday and fans will hope that continues on Friday against a relatively similar opponent. Southern enters the game at 0-1 and 265th on KenPom after losing to North Carolina Central on Thursday, who Iowa beat on Wednesday. This one should be pretty lopsided.

  • Pick: Iowa

-Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Rutgers by 21

This is another one that looks lopsided on paper. Fairleigh Dickinson enters this game at 0-1 and 254th on KenPom after losing to Quinnipiac on Wednesday. However, this one could be closer than expected with Geo Baker sidelined with injury. It will be interesting to see how the Scarlet Knights perform without him in the lineup. Expect Montez Mathis and Paul Mulcahy to get extended playing time with Baker out. Rutgers should still be able to walk away with this one, even without Baker.

  • Pick: Rutgers

-Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin by 34

There isn’t much to say about this one. Wisconsin enters as a substantial favorite and should be able to walk away with this one. The only intrigue here will be about how much bench players see the court and for how long. Keep an eye on Steven Crowl and Jonathan Davis.

  • Pick: Arkansas Pine Bluff

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Record Against The Spread: 0-0