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2/5 Big Ten Preview: Iowa at Purdue

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Preview Wednesday night’s action for the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has two games on Wednesday night and both feature hot teams going on the road into hostile environments. Iowa will travel to face Purdue in the early game and Minnesota hosts arch-rival Wisconsin in the late game.

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

Game of the Day:

-No. 17 Iowa Hawkeyes at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Purdue (-1)

There’s a lot on the line in this one on Wednesday night. Iowa has won six of its last seven games and has skyrocketed up both the Big Ten standings and the national rankings. The Hawkeyes are now considered a legitimate Big Ten title contender and have a realistic shot at a great seed in March. And on the other side, Purdue sits at just 12-10 overall and is desperate to score a quality win to help its at-large chances.

Obviously, we know something’s gotta give.

While most of the focus will be on Iowa’s Luka Garza, I think this game is going to boil down to Purdue’s perimeter shooting. The Boilermakers have been inconsistent from outside the arc all season. However, the team has had its moments. Purdue will need some big performances from Sasha Stefanovic and Aaron Wheeler if the team is going to come out on top. Expect a fierce battle.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Iowa

The Rest:

-Wisconsin Badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Minnesota (-3)

This game isn’t quite as intriguing as the one between Iowa and Purdue, but it’s still figures to be a significant matchup. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin are desperately trying to build resumes good enough to earn NCAA bids and Wednesday is a great opportunity for both to add quality wins. And it should be interesting to see how the teams come out of the gate as Minnesota is coming off two straight losses and the Badgers are coming off a huge upset of Michigan State.

The game itself will likely come down to how the team’s play upfront. Daniel Oturu has been fantastic for Minnesota so far this season and will be hoping to make a mark on Wednesday night against Wisconsin. On the other side, Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers will hope to do just enough to allow Wisconsin’s backcourt to take advantage of the Gophers.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Minnesota

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 23-22-3