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1/19 Big Ten Preview: Super Tuesday

Three games are on the schedule for tonight

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers COVID-19 issues have postponed their game at Maryland today, but two top-25 matchups are sure not to disappoint.

Game of the Day:

- Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 6:30 p.m. EST (BTN)

The Buckeyes will be looking for revenge in this Columbus rematch after an upset loss at Mackey last month while Purdue will be hoping for the season sweep. Ohio State has the overwhelming edge in all-time games in Columbus, leading 58-30 while also holding the overall series lead 91-89.

The Buckeyes, coming off a big win over Illinois, will hope to ride Duane Washington and his team high 15.4 points per game in this one. However, E.J. Liddell will be important down low as well and Ohio State will need him to play his season averages at least in this game, which amount to 14.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Purdue, meanwhile, is on its third straight road game (thanks to a Nebraska postponement) and is riding back-to-back wins in its last two. A big upset win at Michigan State and then Indiana have the Boilermakers feeling confident. Trevion Williams will of course be the workhorse for Purdue with his 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 0.6 blocks per game.

The spread on this one is just 4.5 points, but expect Ohio State to likely cover on this one and avoid the sweep.

  • Pick: Ohio State

The Rest:

- Maryland Terrapins vs. No. 7 Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 7:00 p.m. EST (FS1)

The Wolverines are coming off their first road loss of the season after a blowout loss at Minnesota. The Terps meanwhile scheduled a buy game after Nebraska had to postpone Saturday’s matchup and blew out Wingate after a big road win at Illinois.

The Wolverines are unlikely to turn in a clunker of a shooting night in this one like they did at Minnesota Saturday. Michigan’s abysmal 39.3 percent shooting from the field combined with 20 turnovers doomed the team at the Barn, but being back on their home court against a struggling Terps squad should be just the remedy to get the bad taste of that loss out of their mouth. Expect Hunter Dickinson to bounce back from his season worst nine points on just five field goal attempt performance.

Maryland, meanwhile, is coming off a season high point total and shooting percentage, but given the opponent you should take that with a grain of salt. Aaron Wiggins will likely be the key for the Terps. While Eric Ayala leads the team in scoring with 14 points per game, Wiggins stepping up big in this one would give the Terps a chance.

Expect Michigan to roll in this one, though, with a big bounce back win following the Minnesota loss.

  • Pick: Michigan

- Penn State Nittany Lions vs. No. 22 Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. EST (BTN)

The Nittany Lions were finally back in action following an extended layoff due to COVID-19 issues and fell on the road at Purdue Sunday. Meanwhile, the Illini are coming off back-to-back losses to Maryland and Ohio State and need to right the ship with a season sweep of the Nittany Lions.

Penn State is still on the hunt for its first win in conference play. The Nittany Lions do rank 81st in the country in scoring with 77.6 points per game, but are 304th in scoring defense giving up an average of 76.8 points per game. Myreon Jones leads the team with 15.4 points per game, and three others average double-digits in scoring per game.

Illinois got the road win back in December with a big 17-point win in Happy Valley. Since then the Illini have gone 3-2 in conference play, and are on a two game losing streak. Penn State has also won the last three games in Champaign in this series. Expect Kofi Cockburn to be the leading workhouse for the Illini in this one, but will he get the double- and triple-teams others have been throwing at him and can others on the team step up besides Dosunmu to fill the production gap if so? Illinois needs the answer to stay in the hunt for a shot at the Big Ten title.

Penn State might make it close at times with their heavy use of zone, but at some point the Illini should take control and cruise on to the season sweep.

  • Pick: Illinois