There are five games today in what essentially is a quadruple header with action set from noon until around 9:30. Let’s take a look at the upcoming games set to tip throughout the day.
Game of the Day:
-#1 Purdue Boilermakers vs North Carolina State Wolfpack
- Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational (Brooklyn, New York)
- Time/TV: 2:00 PM ET BTN
- Line: Purdue -13.5
The Boilermakers will look to bounce back from a road loss in conference play with a non-conference game against North Carolina State in Brooklyn. The Wolfpack are 7-2 this season, with losses against Louisville and Oklahoma State. They haven’t had a particularly tough schedule, though, as one of their best wins was a four point win against Nebraska that saw the two teams play through four overtimes. Guard Dereon Seabron is averaging 19.9 points and 11 rebounds per game and Purdue will need to focus on slowing him down. One thing to make that a bit easier is Seabron’s woes from outside, shooting 7.1% from three on 14 attempts this season. The Wolfpack as a team are shooting 29.7% from three on their way to 78.2 points per game.
The loss to Rutgers was a medley of things, including a bad shooting night from three (7 of 26), missing free throws (68.8%), and little production from starters Caleb Furst and Isaiah Thompson. Matt Painter relied pretty heavily on Trevion Williams, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds from the bench. Zach Edey, who played only 16 minutes, added 13 points and 6 rebounds. The frontcourt duo was strong once again, while Jaden Ivey played well in a smaller volume role (only 9 shots in 34 minutes). It was the remainder of the roster that largely underwhelmed in an off night across the board.
Teams will always have off nights in college basketball, especially on the road (look no further than the prior #1 team in Duke, who immediately lost to Ohio State on the road). Purdue has the best center combo in the Big Ten, if not the entire country, and an absolute playmaker in Jaden Ivey. They’ll have nights where the supporting cast struggles or the threes don’t fall, but there are so many guys and options across the board that it’s hard to think that they’ll repeat Thursday’s performance.
Purdue returns to form and picks up a win in Brooklyn.
- Pick: Purdue
-Merrimack Warriors at Indiana Hoosiers
- Time/TV: 12:00 PM ET BTN
Indiana is looking to bounce back from a catastrophic collapse on the road against Wisconsin earlier in the week. They’ll get a much more manageable matchup today against a 4-7 Merrimack program that is ranked 258th in the KenPom rankings. In their Wisconsin loss they had a dreadful .387/.385/.462 shooting split while forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was held to only 9 points. In order to win in the Big Ten the Hoosiers will need better shooting and to get Jackson-Davis more looks, but they should be fine against an overmatched Warriors squad. Merrimack has lost four in a row and was held to 35 points earlier in the season against Rutgers.
- Pick: Indiana
-NJIT Highlanders at Northwestern Wildcats
- Time/TV: 4:00 PM ET ESPNU
Northwestern opened their conference season with a win on the road against a free falling Maryland. The win was big for a Wildcats team that lost a couple winnable games against Providence and Wake Forest and needs to pick up as many wins as they can before heading into conference play. Pete Nance has excelled this season, averaging 17.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, while guards Boo Buie and Chase Audige have combined to average 30.6 points per game. They’ll face a NJIT team that is coming off of a 17 point loss to Army on Friday. The Islanders are only shooting 40.1% from the field, 32% from three and commit just under 14 turnovers per game. The Wildcats have had some ups and downs early in the season but should be more than capable to pick up the win today.
- Pick: Northwestern
-#20 Florida Gators at Maryland Terrapins
- Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational (Brooklyn, New York)
- Time/TV: 4:30 PM ET BTN
- Line: Florida -5.0
The second game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational in Brooklyn today involves Maryland and Florida. The Terps got off to a rough start this season and have already parted ways with head coach Mark Turgeon. In Danny Manning’s first game things didn’t go much better as Maryland lost a much needed conference home game against Northwestern while shooting 28.8% from the field and committing 14 turnovers. That’s been a central theme this season, as Maryland is averaging 28.9% from three, 41% from the field and committing 12.8 turnovers per game.
Today they square off against a ranked Florida that has wins against Florida State and Ohio State, as well as an inexplicable 15 point loss to Texas Southern. The Gators also struggle from three and turn the ball over a bit too often, but they have some more playmakers and have been averaging 74.1 points per game. Led by Colin Castleton, who is averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, the Gators have had plenty of ups and downs this year like Maryland, but have a more balanced roster and stable situation so they should be able to get past the Terps today.
- Pick: Florida
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at #23 Seton Hall Pirates
- Garden State Hardwood Classic
- Time/TV: 7:30 PM ET FS1
- Line: Seton Hall -10.5
Rutgers got a big win at home against Purdue on a desperation heave by Ron Harper Jr., a big game for a team that had gone 1-4 over the prior five games. Rutgers doesn’t have a particularly great offense, struggling to shoot the ball from the field and at the line, but they make up for it with a strong defense that holds opponents to 66.1 points per game (the same they also score per game). The problem is Rutgers has fared considerably worse away from home and today’s game comes at Seton Hall.
The Pirates are 8-1 and have already knocked off Michigan and Texas. Jared Rhoden has been leading the Pirates, averaging 17.6 points per game. Seton Hall is shooting 45.9% from the field and averaging just over 80 points per game, likely having more than enough offensive firepower to get past the Scarlet Knights at home tonight.
- Pick: Seton Hall