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2/17 Big Ten Preview: BTN Double Header

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a double header tonight on BTN, with a big showdown between Minnesota and Indiana highlighting the night.

Game of the Night

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET BTN

The game of the night could have pretty big postseason implications as both Minnesota and Indiana will need to take care of business down the stretch to reach the NCAA Tournament. As of right now both teams are looking to land somewhere between the 10 and 12 seed line, but both still need to pick up wins. Especially an Indiana team sitting at 11-9.

Indiana has a pair of wins over Iowa that are currently carrying the team’s resume. They luckily managed to avoid a dreadful loss at Northwestern a week ago, but ended up getting blown out at Ohio State last weekend. With Michigan State, Rutgers, Michigan and Purdue all on deck, there are clearly no easy games remaining. That’s why Indiana needs to take care of business, especially when they get games at home.

Minnesota is sitting a bit better than Indiana at 13-8 and with wins over Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Purdue. And while the loss at Maryland was a bad loss, Minnesota does have Northwestern and Penn State still on the schedule. It’ll be hard to win at Illinois, but the last three games are certainly winnable, as is tonight’s outing.

Both teams tonight could use more consistency from their backcourt. On Minnesota’s side they have a star in Marcus Carr, but past that the guards have struggled and Minnesota has been absolutely dreadful from three. Likewise the Hoosiers have struggled from outside, though Armaan Franklin has came on strong this season and has been a key reason for Indiana’s success. Occasionally the Hoosiers find some shooting from outside and whenever they do they seem to have plenty of success. The Hoosiers also have a stud inside in Trayce Jackson-Davis, who is averaging just under a double-double with 19.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

Minnesota and Indiana are both frustrating as they have shown flashes of being able to beat anyone in the conference, but have enough flaws that they can lose on any given night. The inconsistency from game to game makes it hard to get a read on which team will come to play. The Gophers are the more balanced team, but Indiana should have a slight edge with the game taking place at Assembly Hall.

Pick: Indiana

The Rest

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Maryland Terrapins

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET BTN

Nebraska finally picked up a Big Ten win when they edged Penn State on Valentine’s Day by a point. They only had a day off before they had to play Maryland yesterday, losing that game 50-64. Now they get to play at Maryland for the second day in a row.

The Terrapins have been a weird team to watch. They’ve beaten Minnesota twice, Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue. They’re also only 12-10 (6-9) and were sitting at 10-10 (4-9) just over a week ago. They have some wins on their resume, but plenty of losses and little margin for error. That being said, they have Nebraska, Rutgers, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State to close the season so they’ll have a chance to make a postseason push to close.

Last night the game was tied 44-44 before Maryland went on a 20-6 run to close for the 14 point victory. Nebraska had another rough offensive performance hitting 33.3% of their field goals, 28.6% from three and only 50% of their free throws. Maryland didn’t play much better, committing 17 turnovers and shooting 31% from three, but they did make 90% of their free throws and shot a bit better overall at 43.4%. Aaron Wiggins had a big day with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Jairus Hamilton added 15 points and 5 rebounds from the bench.

The Cornhuskers are 306th in field goal percentage, 283rd in three point percentage and 331st in free throw percentage. Offensively Nebraska has been bad and defensively they haven’t been much better. Even with Maryland having an up and down season look for the Terps to make it two in a row against Nebraska.

Pick: Maryland