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3/1 Big Ten Preview: Purdue at Wisconsin

Preview Tuesday’s Big Ten action.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

March has officially arrived and a slate of three Big Ten games tonight offers plenty of madness that can ensue headlined by two heavyweights at the top fighting each other on the court for at least a share of the 2022 Big Ten regular season title.

Let’s take a look at the games.

Game of the Day:

-No. 8 Purdue Boilermakers (24-5, 13-5) at No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (23-5, 14-4)

  • Time/TV: 9:00 PM EST (ESPN)
  • TallySight Spread: Purdue -2.5

Purdue heads to Madison to once again face Wisconsin who defeated the Boilermakers way back on Jan. 3. A Wisconsin win tonight clinches at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title, while a Purdue win tonight and Saturday would ensure at least a share as well.

The Boilermakers were doing great before Saturday when the Spartans handed Purdue just its second loss in the past 11 games. The Boilermakers hit just one three-point shot on nine attempts while the defense gave up 45 percent shooting from three by MSU. Purdue will likely need to clamp down on that, but then again against the Badgers last time Wisconsin managed just 25 percent shooting from behind the arc.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, is playing some of its best basketball down the stretch. The Badgers are coming off an impressive win at Rutgers, something most ranked teams have not been able to say after playing there this season, including a once No. 1 ranked Purdue. In addition to that, Wisconsin has held three of its last four opponents to just 30 percent from three-point range.

Purdue should likely come out swinging early in this one. The Boilermakers may even try to make an emphasis that this team can shoot from the outside. However, the Badger defense will dig in and the offense will methodically eat away at Purdue’s lead. This one is tough to call, and while tempting to go with the home team, it seems difficult to count out Purdue twice this season against the same team.

  • Pick: Purdue

The Rest:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-21, 2-16) at No. 23 Ohio State Buckeyes (18-8, 11-6)

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM EST (Big Ten Network)
  • TallySight Spread: Ohio State -15.5

Nebraska picked up an impressive drubbing of Penn State on Sunday while Ohio State suffered a tough road loss at Maryland. However, this Buckeye squad is still a top-25 team and Nebraska is still hopelessly guaranteed another last place finish in the Big Ten this season.

Whereas the last time these two teams met when Trey McGowens was out for the Huskers with a broken foot, this Ohio State squad isn’t coming off a long layoff due to COVID-19 and will have more than one practice since that layoff ended. It likely could get ugly in this one as evidenced by the spread.

  • Pick: Ohio State

-Michigan State Spartans (19-9, 10-7) at Michigan Wolverines (15-12, 9-8)

  • Time/TV: 8:30 PM EST (FS1)
  • TallySight Spread: Michigan -4.5

Michigan has lost three of the last five and Michigan State just snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday against Purdue. The second go around of the Great Lakes State showdown seems guaranteed to happen this time unlike the Jan. 8 meeting thanks to another lull in the Covid pandemic, but MSU will be facing a UM squad with an interim head coach thanks to Juwan Howard’s continuing suspension.

Despite that suspension, Michigan is no easy out for the Spartans, even if MSU won the first matchup in East Lansing by 16 points. The Wolverines, still under Howard, picked up an absolute demolishing of then No. 3 Purdue in Ann Arbor, a five-point win at Iowa, and a nine-point victory against a surging Rutgers squad since the last time out against the Spartans. Still, this Michigan State squad has plenty of momentum and swagger after the win over Purdue. Michigan may prevail in a close one, but don’t be surprised if MSU runs away with it in the second half, either.

  • Pick: Michigan State