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1/30 Big Ten Preview: Wisconsin at Penn St, Minnesota at Purdue

Two games make up today’s schedule

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s ongoing COVID-19 shutdown has their game against Indiana today postponed, but there are still two great matchups for fans.

Game of the Day:

- No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. EST (BTN)

The Golden Gophers hit the road again following a their first home loss of the season as the Terps came in and did what Bill Murray couldn’t do to the furry rodents in a 63-49 win. Purdue, meanwhile, is coming off a 17-point loss at Michigan over a week ago.

Minnesota comes into this one averaging just 11 turnovers per game, while Purdue ranks 297th among Division I teams in forcing turnovers. Purdue could probably best benefit as a result by shutting down Liam Robbins under the basket on offense and force Minnesota to hit three’s. Minnesota ranks first in the Big Ten at attempts with 28 per game in conference play, but sits 14th in the conference at just 28.6 percent.

Purdue, meanwhile, excels on the glass. Trevion Williams leads the team with 9.6 boards per game, and with the heavy three point shooting offense the Gophers run expect it to get physical and Purdue to draw fouls while the Gophers struggle to keep pace.

If Minnesota can score at least 75 points, they will have a good chance at getting the win. However, Purdue is the home team and should be able to hold the Gophers to under 41 percent from the field, which Purdue is 8-0 in games when they’ve done so.

  • Pick: Purdue

The Rest:

- No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers at Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Time/TV: 3:00 p.m. EST (BTN)

The Badgers enter this matchup coming off a close road win at Maryland while Penn State is coming off a close road loss at Ohio State.

This game will likely be a question of who is the hotter team from three today. Wisconsin averages 37.9 percent from deep while Penn State is hitting 36.8 but has been getting better of late after a long layoff for COVID.

Wisconsin is the usual Badgers style we have come to expect of the program playing lockdown defense, avoiding mistakes, and hitting shots from deep. Penn State does great on defense, though. The Nittany Lions rank fourth in conference play for opponents made threes and fourth in percentage as well, so they do well preventing teams from making it from deep.

This game likely will be more of a toss-up than some might have expected even just a few weeks ago when PSU was in a pause of team activities. I think Wisconsin has the necessary components to get the win, but don’t count out an upset by a hard-fighting Nittany Lions squad.

No matter who wins, expect added fuel to the loser as these two teams are back at it in Madison next Tuesday.

  • Pick: Wisconsin