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2/28 Big Ten Preview: Iowa at OSU

Preview all of Sunday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has a really important slate of games on Sunday with Michigan State going on the road to face Maryland and Ohio State hosting Iowa. Both games will have a huge impact on the league’s standings moving forward.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes at No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 4:00PM ET (CBS)
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State by 2

It’s rare to get two top 10 matchups in a week, but so goes things in this year’s Big Ten. And what’s even more bizarre about this matchup is that both teams enter Sunday’s matchup having lost their most recent outings. Iowa fell on the road to Michigan on Thursday and Ohio State lost most recently to Michigan State. That’s just not something you see often with two top 10 teams squaring off.

Both teams also really need this game. Ohio State is trying to secure a one seed in the NCAA Tournament and winning on Sunday fits squarely into that effort. Iowa also needs to show it belongs among the nation’s elite, having lost all of its games against the Big Ten’s “elite” tier so far this season.

As far as the game itself, things project to be really close. Both teams have high powered offensive production, but struggle for efficiency on the other side of the court. The teams played their first matchup on February 4th with Ohio State pulling out the win in Iowa City. Kyle Young led the way for the Buckeyes in that game, finishing with 16 points and six rebounds. However, his status is uncertain for Sunday due to a recent injury. The absence of Jack Nunge will also be a big hit for the Hawkeyes.

Anytime Luka Garza is also on the court, the frontcourt is the spot to watch. However, that’s even more apparent for Sunday with Young potentially out for Ohio State and Nunge out for Iowa. Nobody knows quite what to expect, but whoever wins there likely wins the game.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Ohio State

The Rest:

-Michigan State Spartans at Maryland Terrapins

  • Time/TV: 2:00PM ET (CBS)
  • KenPom Spread: Maryland by 5

Two weeks ago, this looked like a pretty manageable home game for a Maryland squad hoping to secure an NCAA bid. However, after Michigan State’s road win at Indiana and upset victories over Illinois and Ohio State earlier this week, this is suddenly looking like a really difficult game for the Terps and a great opportunity for Michigan State. And with both teams still projected on the bubble, this figures to be a vitally important game.

Neither team has a great frontcourt, so things will likely be decided elsewhere. The matchup between Aaron Henry and Aaron Wiggins looks particularly intriguing. Both have been playing really well lately and will be hoping to continue it on Sunday. All told, this feels like a game where Michigan State’s hot play overwhelms Maryland.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Michigan State

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Record Against The Spread: 24-23-2