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Saturday Big Ten Preview: Maryland Goes For A Big Ten Title

Plus a top-20 matchup between Iowa and Penn State

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Minnesota David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten looks to crown at least one champion today as the Maryland Terrapins are seeking their first Big Ten title. To do so, they will need to go through Michigan State this evening from College Park.

Elsewhere, Big Ten tournament positioning is at stake as Penn State travels to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on Iowa.

Let’s take a look at how things might shake out

Game of the Day:

-No. 24 Michigan State Spartans at No. 9 Maryland Terrapins

  • Time/TV: 8:00 PM EST, ESPN
  • KenPom Spread: Maryland (-3)

The Terrapins go for their first Big Ten title tonight in a College Gameday showdown against Michigan State. This is the second meeting of the season between the two squads as Maryland overcame a furious Michigan State rally in East Lansing to come out on top, 67-60.

In this matchup, Michigan State will need to find the road shooting stroke to hang with the Terrapins. The Spartans struggled in the first matchup in East Lansing, shooting 4-19 from three-point distance. The emergence of Rocket Watts recently would be a welcome boost for Michigan State as well. The 6-foot-2 freshman is averaging nearly 13 points per game over his last four games. The Spartans desperately need someone to share the scoring load with Cassius Winston and Watts could provide that help.

For Maryland, they need to avoid a letdown after their incredible comeback victory on the road at Minnesota. The Terrapins got back to their tough defensive play in the second half against Minnesota, allowing only 26 second-half points to the Golden Gophers.

I think Maryland comes out ready to seize the moment. Look for a tough, physical game like the first matchup, but I think Maryland comes out on top and celebrates its first Big Ten title.

  • Pick against the spread: Maryland

The Rest:

-No. 16 Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 12:00 PM EST, BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-3)

The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes face-off from Iowa City with Big Ten tournament double-bye implications on the line. Currently, Penn State is locked in a four-way tie for second place while Iowa sits at a game back. Using a Big Ten tournament prediction generator, Iowa desperately needs this game to remain in the double-bye conversation.

I think Iowa comes through in this one. They’ve lost one home game this season and none in conference play. The Nittany Lions have been relatively good on the road in conference play, but the offense has gone away from the Nittany Lions over the last three games. Put simply, Penn State will not be able to hang with the Hawkeyes if they produce offense as they have been producing over the last two weeks. Iowa is not a good defensive team but usually can defend well enough at home to get the job done. Look for the Hawkeyes to cover here.

  • Pick against the spread: Iowa