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1/8 Big Ten Preview: Northwestern at Michigan State

Preview Saturday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has a doubleheader of Saturday afternoon action for fans today. Northwestern visits Michigan State while Rutgers takes on Maryland.

Let’s take a look at the games.

Game of the Day:

-Northwestern Wildcats (8-6, 1-4) at No. 9/10 Michigan State Spartans (14-2, 5-0)

  • Time/TV: 12:00 PM EST (Big Ten Network)
  • Tallysight Spread: Unavailable at time of writing

The Spartans survived a tough home matchup against Minnesota on Wednesday night to make it nine straight wins and stay undefeated in Big Ten play. Northwestern, meanwhile, comes off a tough double overtime loss at home to Maryland Wednesday night.

The Wildcats look to snap a losing streak in conference play that dates back to Jan. 2 when Michigan State defeated NU 73-67 in Evanston. Northwestern has dropped the past three league games since, all by single digits. Senior forward Pete Nance has led the way in scoring for the Wildcats, ranking seventh in the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding with 17.1 ppg and 7.7 rpg.

Michigan State, meanwhile, continues to make use of its depth in the win streak with Joey Hauser coming up with the big game winner over Minnesota. Freshman Max Christie led the way in scoring, though, with 16 points and is stringing together a series of great games to go along with his conference leading four Freshman of the Week honors now on the season.

The Wildcats have been playing teams tough and head coach Chris Collins is starting to get named as a coach who could be headed toward a hot seat on the season. Combined with Michigan State’s struggles to put games away due to self-inflicted errors, this one may just have upset alert written on it at the final buzzer.

  • Pick: Michigan State

The Rest:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-5, 2-1) at Maryland Terrapins (9-7, 1-4)

  • Time/TV: 2:00 PM EST (Big Ten Network)
  • Tallysight Spread: Unavailable at time of writing

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights returned to the road earlier this week and turned in a dud of an offensive performance at Penn State Tuesday night, scoring just 49 points. Maryland overcame internal program strife and notched a double overtime win over Northwestern Wednesday night. The two newest Big Ten members now focus sights on one another for the first of two matchups over the next 10 days.

Rutgers has played well at home this season, including some stunning upsets. However, the team has played poorly on the road. Maryland opened Big Ten play winless until finally picking up the victory over Northwestern Tuesday night. A visit from Rutgers will likely prove just the ticket for starting a winning streak for the Terps.

  • Pick: Maryland