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2/13 Big Ten Preview: Purdue Hosts Maryland

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

There are three games early today before the Super Bowl kicks off this evening. Let’s take a look at the upcoming action set for the day.

Game of the Day

Maryland Terrapins at #3 Purdue Boilermakers

Time/TV: 1:00 PM ET CBS

Purdue’s six game winning streak ended after they had to play their third game in a five day span. They got an extra day off heading into today’s outing against Maryland. Maryland enters today on a four game losing streak, giving up 110 points at home in their most recent game.

Purdue struggled shooting the ball from three at Michigan and committed 14 turnovers. Look for them to clean up things and get more production from their role players today. Coming off of emotional home wins against Ohio State and Illinois, it wasn’t a huge surprise they came out flat in Ann Arbor. It shouldn’t be expected for that to happen again as they host Maryland in a national game on CBS before Super Bowl coverage begins.

Unless Maryland has an unexpectedly improved offensive performance, it’s hard to see them contending today. The Terps are led by guards Eric Ayala and Fatts Russell, but neither shoot the ball particularly well. The Terps offense has been lackluster at best, shoots only 32.9% from three and is turnover prone. They also lack the size and depth in the frontcourt to slow down Zach Edey and Trevion Williams inside.

Purdue should bounce back and have a better shooting performance today. An improved shooting performance would likely be enough for Purdue to pick up the win, but Maryland will also need to find a way to slow down Purdue’s big men. Purdue rolls to a much needed victory.

Pick: Purdue

The Rest

Northwestern Wildcats at #13 Illinois Fighting Illini

Time/TV: 2:00 PM ET BTN

Illinois is looking to bounce back from another loss to Purdue earlier in the week. With everyone on top of the Big Ten consistently losing games, the Illini are still right on top. With a schedule that still includes Rutgers, Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa, the Illini cannot afford to lose a game to Northwestern. The Wildcats are coming in on a three game winning streak, including a win over Indiana and an even better looking win against Rutgers.

In the loss to Purdue the Illini struggled shooting the ball and it’s clear Andre Curbelo isn’t quite 100% yet. They still have Kofi Cockburn, who should have his way inside today, and plenty of guards that can shoot it lights out. Northwestern is the second worst team in field goal percentage during conference play and will need to clean that up if they want to win on the road against the Illini.

Conference play the past few weeks has been unpredictable and Northwestern has looked pretty good the past couple games. That being said, look for the Illini to bounce back from their loss earlier in the week and take care of business.

Pick: Illinois

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes

Time/TV: 2:00 PM ET FS1

Nebraska finally picked up their first conference win of the season earlier this week when they knocked off Minnesota. They’ll have a more difficult task today as they travel to Iowa. Last time out the Hawkeyes dropped 110 points on Maryland in a 23 point road victory.

If you’ve watched Iowa basketball during Fran McCaffery’s run as head coach you have a pretty good what to expect. While the Hawkeyes aren’t a good defensive team, they have one of the best offenses in the league and have plenty of players that can score scattered all over the roster. Over the last two months forward Keegan Murray has led the team in scoring in every game besides two, which saw his brother Kris lead the team. Murray has averaged 22.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and whenever he’s on Iowa has a chance to win.

Nebraska has a bottom five offense in the conference and the worst defense so there’s little reason to think they’ll be able to keep pace with a high flying Iowa offense. Hawkeyes shouldn’t have much of a problem today.

Pick: Iowa