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11/20 Big Ten Preview: No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 18 North Carolina, Eastern MI at MSU

Preview Saturday’s Big Ten action.

Wright State v Purdue Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The slate is light today with a number of football games taking most fans’ focus, but two teams from the Big Ten play today. One is even a top-20 matchup worth tuning in for during late afternoon action.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Time/TV: 4:00PM EST (ESPNEWS)
  • ESPN Spread: Purdue -6.0

The Boilermakers take on the Tar Heels at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as part of the Cheez-It Hall of Fame Classic. This one should prove to be an exciting matchup as the No. 6 Boilermakers battle it out in an early season test against the No. 18 Tar Heels.

The Tar Heels, under first year head coach Hubert Davis, have opened the season 3-0 but struggled to put away opponents in a home matchup against Brown and a road game at Charleston. While ranked No. 18 in the AP, the Tar Heels are back at 52nd in KenPom.

Scoring isn’t too much of a problem for UNC, however. Guard Caleb Love leads UNC with 19.0 ppg and 4.3 apg, while junior forward Armando Bacot is averaging 18.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg and Oklahoma transfer forward Brady Manek is scoring 17.0 ppg and grabbing 7.3 rpg.

Purdue, meanwhile, enters at 3-0 as well and has yet to be tested by lesser opponents thus far. Sophomore center Zach Edey leads the team in scoring and on the glass with 18.7 ppg and 10.3 rpg. Sophomore guard Jaden Ivey is hot on his heels with 15.3 ppg and also adds 6.3 rpg. Ivey scored a season-high 27 points against Indiana State. Senior guard Sasha Stefanovic is averaging 13.7 ppg and senior forward Trevion Williams is averaging 11.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg, with a season high 20-points and 13-rebounds against Wright State.

The Tar Heels will need to see if the team’s defense can dig in and figure out how to make enough stops against one of the top offenses in the country. Purdue, meanwhile, needs its star Edey to make stops down in the post to shut down the Tar Heels front court. This one should be a good game, but on a neutral court it is no surprise to see Purdue getting the better odds.

  • Pick: Purdue

The Rest:

-Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 5:00PM EST (B1G+)
  • ESPN Spread: Michigan State -22

Eastern Michigan might make this game a sneaky close one if results so far this season are any indication. Close losses at Indiana (68-62) and at Northern Kentucky (74-73) suggest the Eagles might be a tough out for opponents. However, that list of teams is less of a juggernaut than the Spartans pose.

The Eagles also haven’t won a game in East Lansing since 1986, losing the last 10-straight in the series. EMU also has 11 new players on the roster, including five transfers, under first year head coach Stan Heath. Spartan fans will also see the familiar face of Drew Denisco, a former Spartan video coordinator, on the bench as an assistant coach for the Eagles.

While Eastern Michigan may make this interesting for a while, expect the Spartans to eventually pull away and win this one by double digits by the final buzzer.

  • Pick: Michigan State