It is a night packed with plenty of action as the Big Ten features four games on the schedule tonight headlined by two games of top-20 teams battling it out.
Let’s take a look at the games.
Game of the Day:
-No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers (19-5, 10-4) at Indiana Hoosiers (16-8, 7-7)
- Time/TV: 9:00 PM EST (ESPN2)
- TallySight Spread: Indiana -3
The Badgers head to Bloomington after a tough home loss to Rutgers over the weekend, while the Hoosiers look to right the ship on a three-game losing streak. These two teams faced off back in early December action in Madison with Wisconsin gaining the upper hand in a narrow five point victory. Trayce Jackson-Davis scored just nine points and grabbed six rebounds in that IU loss.
Speaking of Jackson-Davis, he’s been struggling of late. Wisconsin will hope that continues in order to get a tough road win at Assembly Hall. The pre-season All-Big Ten big man has been off on the offensive end, scoring just 12.7 points and grabbing 6.6 rebounds over the past seven games despite his season average being 17.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Jackson-Davis hasn’t scored more than 17 points in any of the past seven, however. If he can lift himself out of that funk, IU should be snapping that losing streak.
On the defensive end for the Hoosiers, Wisconsin likely hopes to find the same success from Johnny Davis the Badgers rode in the second half to erase the team’s huge 22-point deficit. Davis scored 23 points in that outing, most coming in the second half. He’s now a player-of-the-year candidate averaging 20.3 ppg and 8.2 rpg heading to Bloomington, The Hoosiers lacked Trey Galloway for that trip to Wisconsin as he was out with an injury. The team’s best wing defender may be able to do just enough to slow Davis down.
- Pick: Indiana
-No. 19 Michigan State Spartans (16-6, 9-4) at Penn State Nittany Lions (9-12, 4-9)
- Time/TV: 6:30 PM EST (Big Ten Network)
- TallySight Spread: Michigan State -3
Michigan State badly needed a win over the weekend and got one over Indiana in East Lansing Saturday. Now the Spartans head to State College where Penn State awaits with a three-game losing streak the Nittany Lions hope to snap. PSU has been a tough out at home, losing four Big Ten games all by less than seven points. However, these teams also faced off in East Lansing back in December where the Spartans routed Penn State by 16 points as well in a game where MSU was also ranked No. 19 at the time.
Marcus Bingham had a huge game for the Spartans, posting a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Just three Spartans scored double digits in that matchup, though, as a team effort on offense led the way with 21 total assists on the team and 10 players scoring for Michigan State. Penn State will need to see more from Dread and Cornwall who were held scoreless in that matchup if the Nittany Lions hope to score the upset.
One important note about this game, however, is that a win by Michigan State would mean head coach Tom Izzo would tie Bobby Knight at 662 career wins as a Big Ten head coach. Currently, Izzo trails Knight with 661 career wins at the helm of a Big Ten program. Knight (353) still leads Izzo (320) in Big Ten league wins at this time.
- Pick: Michigan State
-Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-10, 3-10) at No. 18 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-6, 8-4)
- Time/TV: 8:30 PM EST (Big Ten Network)
- TallySight Spread: Ohio State -13
The Buckeyes visited Minneapolis two and a half weeks ago and left with a 75-64 victory. The Golden Gophers enter the rematch having snapped the five-game losing streak that matchup started in a six-point win over Penn State Saturday, while the Buckeyes are 2-2 since that matchup. However, Ohio State is 10-0 at home and Minnesota has won just a single road game in Big Ten action.
Minnesota will hope to slow down E.J. Liddell this time around as he scored 23 points in the last outing against the Gophers. Liddell is averaging 20.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, and 2.4 bpg for the Buckeyes this season, while Payton Willis is hitting 43.5 percent from beyond the arc for Minnesota and averaging 16.5 ppg. The Gophers will need an uncharacteristically strong offensive showing to have a chance in this one.
- Pick: Ohio State