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12/30 Big Ten Basketball Preview: Wednesday Night Double Header

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

There’s another double header tonight with a pair of games on BTN tipping at 6:30 PM ET.

Game of the Night

Penn State Nittany Lions at Indiana Hoosiers

  • TV/Time: 8:30 PM ET (BTN)

Tonight’s best game will be a matchup between two teams without a conference win. On one side a 3-3 Penn State team is looking to turn things around after losing big to Illinois. With four ranked teams up next this is arguably Penn State’s most manageable game over the next few weeks. As for the Hoosiers, they lost single digit games to both Northwestern and Illinois and need a big home win to help Archie Miller’s program get things turned around.

Versus Illinois the Hoosiers got a big performance from Armaan Franklin, who led the team with 23 points and hit 5 of 6 three pointers. Franklin has been big for the Hoosiers as the team has underwhelmed elsewhere besides star Trayce Jackson-Davis. The Hoosiers best offensive weapon, Jackson-Davis is averaging just under a double-double (20.0 points, 8.6 rebounds) and is the one consistent for Indiana. Unfortunately Indiana has struggled heavily shooting all season away from the basket.

Penn State hasn’t shot the ball that much better but they do have an advantage in the backcourt. Led by guard Izaiah Brockington, who is averaging 15.2 points per game and shooting 46.7% from three, Penn State does a better job scoring away from the rim then Indiana. They don’t have much of an offensive presence inside, though, and that is likely to be problematic tonight.

Indiana can’t shoot from outside but Penn State’s advantage isn’t enough to negate the fact that they don’t have an answer for Jackson-Davis. One of these teams has to win tonight and Indiana should be able to ride their star forward. Especially with the game taking place in Bloomington.

Pick: Indiana

The Rest

Nebraska Cornhuskers at #25 Ohio State Buckeyes

  • TV/Time: 6:30 PM ET (BTN)

In the early game tonight Ohio State is set to host Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are still looking for their first Big Ten win of the year after losing to Wisconsin and Michigan. Ohio State is trying to bounce back after a one point loss at Northwestern.

It’s been a rough run for a Cornhuskers team that hasn’t won since the beginning of the month besides a game against a NAIA opponent in Doane. Nebraska is led in scoring by Teddy Allen’s 18.2 points per game while there’s some intrigue in 6’9” guard Dalano Banton. Banton is leading the team in rebounds (7.4), assists (5.2) and blocks (1.0) while adding 14.2 points per game. Nebraska has plenty of options in the backcourt though the team has yet to truly gel, being highly mistake prone. Mix that with being a poor outside shooting team that also struggles at the line, and a serious lack of frontcourt presence, and it’s going to be tough against a well balanced Ohio State team. Even more so with E.J. Liddell back in the mix.

Nebraska is better than they were last year but still not good enough to land an upset. Ohio State wins big.

Pick: Ohio State