The Big Ten only has three matchups on Sunday, but all are pretty consequential. Purdue faces off against Duke in one of the biggest games of the day, Michigan State faces Portland, and Nebraska looks to bounce back against Florida State.
Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-No. 24 Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 8 Duke Blue Devils
- Time/TV: 3:30PM ET (ABC)
- KenPom Spread: Purdue by 1
Despite some mixed preseason expectations and a few initial blips, Purdue has really hit its stride this week, knocking off a solid West Virginia squad by double-digits on Thanksgiving and following it up with another convincing win over Gonzaga on Friday night. The wins boosted Purdue up significantly in most of the statistical models and should be really valuable by time we get to Selection Sunday.
But the Boilers now face a huge opportunity to build on that with a game against Duke on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils enter the game at 6-1 overall, with the team’s only loss coming in the Champions Classic to Kansas earlier this month. Duke is ranked 15th on KenPom and eighth nationally in the polls. The team is led by head coach Jon Scheyer, a dynamic offense, and freshman big man Kyle Filipowski.
On the court, expect the game to come down to the battle between the big men. Both Zach Edey and Filipowski have the size to bang down low and neither is a reliable perimeter option. That means you’re going to see an interesting battle on the boards. Edey has been inconsistent defensively, so this is a chance for him to step up against an elite big man. Jeremy Roach is another interesting player to keep an eye on in the backcourt.
All told, this looks like a really entertaining game. Both sides have plenty of offense, quality big men, and plenty of depth and experience. Expect a game that could flip on just a few threes in the second half. It should be fun.
- Pick: Purdue
-No. 12 Michigan State Spartans vs. Portland Pilots
- Time/TV: 5:30PM ET (ESPN)
- KenPom Spread: Michigan State by 7
The Spartans have been really good so far this season, entering Sunday’s matchup with a 4-2 overall record. The team scored a nice win over Oregon on Friday night and are hoping to add to that against a decent Pilots squad with another win on Sunday. This is a game Michigan State should win. The key will be slowing down Tyler Robertson in the backcourt. Keep an eye on how AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker defend him. If the Spartans hold up there, Michigan State should be able to grab a win.
- Pick: Michigan State
- Time/TV: 7:30PM ET (ESPN News)
- KenPom Spread: Nebraska by 1
It hasn’t been a pretty start for the Huskers so far. Nebraska opened the season at 2-0, but has fallen flat against each of its quality opponents so far this season. The team now enters Sunday’s game against Florida State with a 3-3 overall record. It’s heated up the pressure on Fred Hoiberg and made plenty skeptical of Nebraska’s hopes this season.
The good news for Husker fans is that Florida State enters Sunday with its own problems. The Seminoles are just 1-6 overall and have suffered a variety of embarrassing defeats, including losses to Stetson, Troy, and Siena. The team is largely horrible across the board and has fallen to 146th on KenPom. As long as Nebraska defends decently, this should be a great opportunity to score a win over a Power Five conference opponent.
- Pick: Nebraska
Picks Record: 43-9-0