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11/16 Big Ten Preview: Gavitt Tipoff Games Continue

Preview all of Tuesday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten continues its matchups with the Big East in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, highlighted by an in-state rivalry game between Creighton and Nebraska in Lincoln. There are a few other non-conference matchups as well. All told, six teams are in action.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Creighton Bluejays vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM EST (FS1)
  • ESPN Spread: Nebraska -2.5

While neither of these teams are ranked, this is a heated in-state rivalry game between non-conference foes separated by a short bus trip on I-80. The Bluejays come into this matchup somewhat surprisingly the underdog, but struggled in the season opener against both Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Kennesaw State.

Nebraska, meanwhile, enters this matchup as the favored team despite dropping the season opener to Western Illinois and then struggling against Sam Houston in game two. However, Bryce McGowens and Alonzo Verge Jr. have proven to be valuable additions early, with McGowens leading the Big Ten thus far in scoring with 27 points per game thus far. He was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his performances last week.

If the spread is any indication, this one should be a close one down to the wire. A win here would go a long way for Coach Hoiberg in year three at the helm, having dropped both matchups against the hated rival big time the first shots he had.

  • Pick: Nebraska

The Rest:

-Wright State at No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM EST (BTN)
  • ESPN Spread: Purdue -18

Wright State should pose a larger challenge to the Boilermakers than experienced thus far on the young season. The Raiders have won three straight Horizon League tournaments. However, the team enters the matchup at 1-1 on the season after an eight point loss at Marshall Friday last week. Garrett Basile has been averaging 25 points and nine boards for Wright State so far, and Tanner Holden has been averaging 22 points per game as well. It may be interesting until the first or second media timeout, but expect the Boilermakers to put this one away by halftime.

  • Pick: Purdue

-NJIT Highlanders at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM EST (B1G+)
  • Tallysight Spread: Not Available at time publishing

If the Scarlet Knights repeat the shooting performance of Saturday than this game could very well be an upset alert. Miles Coleman leads the Highlanders so far this season, averaging 17.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while Dylan O’Hearn is right behind him with 16.5 points per game. In total, three players are averaging double-figures for NJIT while Rutgers only has two players averaging that high with Ron Harper Jr. at 13.5 points per game and Cliff Omoruyi also at 13.5 points per game. This game should be a low-scoring one with RU’s defensive prowess so far on the season, but that could prove problematic if the Scarlet Knights can’t find enough offense on the other end of the court.

  • Pick: Rutgers

-New Orleans at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 8:00PM EST (B1G+)
  • Tallysight Spread: Not Available at time publishing

The New Orleans Privateers hope to make a run for the Southland Conference crown this season fueled in part by a number of off-season transfer additions to the roster. De’Sean Allen-Eikens (North Dakota), Tyson Jackson (Middle Tennessee), Robbie Robinson (Nevada), Daniel Sackey (Valparaiso), and Simeon Kirkland (UAB) all arrived in the crescent city for this year to help form a formidable squad. However, Northwestern shouldn’t find that squad too formidable against its own group of core players.

  • Pick: Northwestern

-NCCU at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM EST (BTN)
  • Tallysight Spread: Not Available at time publishing

The Eagles return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the second straight season tonight, having opened the regular season last year in Iowa City as well with a 97-67 loss to Iowa. This game shouldn’t be too much different result wise. Alex Caldwell leads the EAgles in scoring with 11.5 points per game, and redshirt senior Nicolas Fennell is back this year as well after leading the team in scoring last season with 7.8 points per game.

  • Pick: Rutgers

-Seton Hall Pirates at No. 4 Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM EST (FS1)
  • Tallysight Spread: Not Available at time publishing

Another one of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, Michigan welcomes the Pirates to Ann Arbor for the first matchup between the two teams since 1989, a year where they played each other across two seasons. First was the National Championship at the end of the 1988-89 season, a game that would result in the Wolverine’s sole title to date. The other was in Dec. 1989, another Seton Hall loss.

As for this season, Myles Cale leads the Pirates in scoring this season with 13.0 points per game, while dishing a team high 3.0 assists per game as well. Four players overall are scoring double-figures, including Tyrese Samuel (13.0 ppg), Bryce Aiken (12.0 ppg), and Alexis Yetna (11.0 ppg). Meanwhile, Michigan will likely look to sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, who leads the team in scoring with 19.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg. Michigan trails Seton Hall thus far in scoring on the season, but it is early on and the Pirates sure have a tough road test to get the upset in this one.

  • Pick: Michigan