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1/15 Big Ten Preview: Wisconsin at Rutgers

Preview all of Friday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has two games on Friday night, including a rare January non-conference game between Maryland and Wingate. The other game features a reeling Wisconsin team going on the road to face a Rutgers team amid a three-game skid.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (FS1)
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin by 2

As mentioned in the intro, Friday’s matchup between Wisconsin and Rutgers features two teams trending in the wrong direction. Rutgers is on a three-game losing streak and Wisconsin is coming off two poor showings, including an absolutely brutal loss to Michigan earlier in the week. Something’s gotta give and we’ll find out what on Friday night.

For Wisconsin, this game needs to be about bouncing back from Tuesday’s poor showing against the Wolverines. The team’s offense was rattled and the backcourt uncharacteristically turned over the ball. Watch for the Badgers to put an emphasis on avoiding turnovers and feeding it inside. This should be a good opportunity for Micah Potter to make an impact.

On the other side, Rutgers has really struggled offensively in recent weeks and needs to get things figured out there. Unfortunately, they’ll be trying that against a great Wisconsin defense. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on Geo Baker and Ron Harper to get the offense going. Both had underwhelming performances in the team’s most recent outing against Ohio State last weekend.

The matchup of the game will correspondingly be in the backcourt. Can Baker and Harper create enough offense against D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison? Moreover, can Rutgers do what Michigan did earlier in the week and force some Wisconsin turnovers? It should be an interesting battle to follow.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Wisconsin

The Rest:

-Wingate Bulldogs at Maryland Terrapins

  • Time/TV: 12:00PM ET (BTN+)
  • KenPom Spread: Maryland (No Score Projection)

It’s rare to see any Big Ten team play a non-conference game in January, but these are unusual times. Maryland will host a thoroughly overmatched Wingate team on Friday afternoon and figures to be a clear favorite. This is a great opportunity for the Terps to build off last Sunday’s upset win over Illinois.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Maryland

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Record Against The Spread: 15-12-2