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2/7 Big Ten Preview: Rutgers at OSU

Preview Wednesday night’s action for the Big Ten.

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

The Big Ten has two games on Wednesday night and both feature potential NCAA Tournament teams going on the road. Ohio State and Rutgers will battle in the first game and Northwestern hosts Michigan in the late game.

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

Game of the Day:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State (-6)

The best game on Wednesday for the league should take place in Columbus, as Rutgers goes on the road to face Ohio State. Each team has been inconsistent since conference play has started and it’s really changed expectations on both sides. Ohio State struggled at the onset of Big Ten play, but has seemed to get back on track. Rutgers has swung between tremendous highs and lows, including a tight win against Northwestern on Sunday.

From an importance standpoint, Wednesday’s matchup is certainly more important for Ohio State. The team is 15-8 overall and really needs to pad its resume as the calendar gets closer to March. A win for Rutgers would also be nice, but the Scarlet Knights probably don’t need as many wins moving forward to find their way into the Big Dance.

This game will likely be decided upfront as Kaleb Wesson battles against Shaq Carter and Myles Johnson down low. Expect Rutgers to really limit Ohio State’s perimeter production and easy buckets at the rim. If the Buckeyes can’t figure out a great way to get Wesson involved, this could be a tough one.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Rutgers

The Rest:

-Michigan Wolverines at Northwestern Wildcats

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

After an extremely rough January, Michigan finally seems to be starting to round back into form. Isaiah Livers is back in the starting lineup and the Wolverines have won three of the team’s last four games. Michigan will now have to go on the road to face Northwestern in what figures to be the team’s most winnable remaining road game. Wednesday’s result will surely have a substantial impact on Michigan’s postseason chances. For Northwestern, this is a chance to get back on track and add a nice win in a tough season.

Expect this game to come down to who wins the battle in the backcourt between Boo Buie and Pat Spencer and Michigan’s Zavier Simpson. Statistically speaking, how Simpson performs correlates extremely well with how Michigan performs as a team. If Simpson can go out and take care of business, the Wolverines will probably grab a win on Wednesday.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Michigan

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 24-23-3