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3/7 Big Ten Preview: Wisconsin at Iowa

Preview all of Sunday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has a loaded slate on Sunday as the league prepares to close out the regular season. Wisconsin and Iowa meet in the early game, Nebraska and Northwestern play after that, Michigan and Michigan State meet thereafter, and Penn State and Maryland close things out.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-No. 25 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 12:30PM ET (FOX)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa by 7

The Big Ten’s Game of the Day figures to be in Iowa City, with Wisconsin traveling to close outs its regular season against Iowa. There’s little debating the Hawkeyes enter this game with more momentum, having won six of the team’s last seven games, including a 15-point road win against Wisconsin on February 18th. Meanwhile, Wisconsin enters having lost four of its last five games.

This game has a lot riding on it. That might sound surprising for a Sunday meeting between two teams well outside the Big Ten race, but it’s accurate. Iowa can secure the three seed in the Big Ten Tournament with a win and Wisconsin desperately needs to show it can beat an elite opponent for its seeding and confidence on Selection Sunday.

Expect the game to be decided by what happens upfront. Wisconsin has largely underwhelmed in the frontcourt this season and now has the task of slowing down Luka Garza. If the Badgers can slow down the Hawkeye superstar, they have a shot. Jordan Bohannon has also been playing great, so keep an eye on him.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Iowa

The Rest:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 1:30PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Northwestern by 5

Both of these teams are locked into their Big Ten Tournament seeding, so there won’t be much on the line on Sunday. However, it should represent a good opportunity for both sides to bounce back from early losses this week. Keep an eye on Boo Buie, who’s been really hot for the Wildcats over the last two weeks.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Northwestern

-No. 5 Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 4:30PM ET (CBS)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan by 10

For the second time this week, Michigan and Michigan State will meet on the hardwood. Thursday’s game was a rescheduled COVID-19 postponement, but this one was originally on the books when the season began. It’s a bit bizarre to see these rivals squaring off twice in four days, but it’s reality this year. And the game itself figures to be an interesting one. While Michigan destroyed Michigan State on Thursday, it’s hard to believe Tom Izzo and company won’t come back strong in this matchup.

Thursday’s matchup was almost completely decided from outside the three-point line. While Michigan went 7-for-16 on the night, Michigan State failed to convert once, going 0-for-9 on the evening. The importance of three-point shooting is often exaggerated by fans and the media, but any sensible person knows what a difference an extra 21 points makes. The Spartans need to improve there to have a chance.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Michigan State

-Penn State Nittany Lions at Maryland Terrapins

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (CBS)
  • KenPom Spread: Maryland by 5

The Terps enter Sunday trying to put the final touches on its NCAA resume before heading to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament. And it will have to do so against a team that beat it earlier this season. Meanwhile, Penn State is trying to build some momentum after beating Minnesota earlier in the week. Keep an eye on the battle between Jamari Wheeler and Eric Ayala in the backcourt. The two had solid games in the first outing between the two schools on February 5th.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Maryland

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Record Against The Spread: 24-25-2