While college basketball while take a back seat to football on Saturday, the season will roll on for the Big Ten with one team in action. Rutgers will hope to extend its 2-0 performance to date to 3-0 with a win over a beatable opponent at home.
Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-UMass Lowell River Hawks at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
- Time/TV: 2:00PM ET (BTN+)
- KenPom Spread: Rutgers by 14
The Scarlet Knights have performed really well so far this season. The team is not only 2-0, but has outperformed expectations in both of its opening games, rising 11 spots on KenPom thanks to the dominating nature of both wins. The frontcourt has been particularly impressive to date, with Aundre Hyatt and Cliff Omoruyi leading things.
However, Rutgers will face its toughest test to date on Saturday against a feisty UMass Lowell team. And while the River Hawks aren’t expected to be a powerhouse, this isn’t the same type of mid-major opponent some might expect. The team is 150th on KenPom, which is a range where you see many teams make the NCAA Tournament.
In short, Rutgers won’t be able to sleep walk through this game.
On the court, Abdoul Karim Coulibaly will be the player to watch for the River Hawks. He’s been red hot since the season began and should give Rutgers’ frontcourt a real challenge. Karim Couliably is an undersized five, so expect to see a bit of a clash of styles when he faces off against Omoruyi. Fans should also keep an eye on lead guard Ayinde Hikim.
Still, at the end of the day, Rutgers should be good enough to get the win. The Scarlet Knights are better than the River Hawks and have a deeper and more talented roster. As long as the team is decent from three-point range, this should be a win.
- Pick: Rutgers
Picks Record: 21-0-0