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1/21 Big Ten Preview: Iowa at Ohio State

Preview all of Saturday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten was supposed to have three games on Saturday, but after Wisconsin at Northwestern was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, there are only two games on the docket. Iowa will travel to face Ohio State in the early game and Penn State will host Nebraska later on.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 2:00PM ET (FOX)
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State by 5

If this game had been played three weeks ago, few would have given Iowa a chance. The Hawkeyes were reeling after a few key losses while Ohio State was rolling and ranked in the national polls. However, the tables have turned since then. Iowa is now the team rolling, having won four straight, and Ohio State is the team struggling, losing five straight.

So, will these trends continue on Saturday or will things flip again?

On paper, the game looks relatively balanced. KenPom favors the Buckeyes, but much of those numbers are still influenced by early season results, when Ohio State was rolling and Iowa was still struggling. Both teams also play similarly, relying on perimeter production and high profile offenses, while the defenses hold on for dear life. Keep an eye on the tempo, though as Iowa tries to play significantly faster than Ohio State.

The matchup to watch is going to be on the wing while Brice Sensabaugh and Kris Murray. They’re both All-Big Ten contributors and have been playing sensationally over the last month or so. These two don’t get tons of national attention, but it could quietly be one of the better Big Ten individual matchups of the season here.

All told, this is a game that could swing either way. The question will be which team controls the pace and style of play. If Ohio State allows Iowa to push things, it could be a rough outing. The same will be true the other way around. However, this feels like a game where the Buckeyes finally get back on track.

  • Pick: Ohio State

The Rest:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Time/TV: 2:15PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Penn State by 8

By all accounts, this projects to be a solid win for the Nittany Lions. The team has been playing pretty well and is really strong at home. Add in a beatable Nebraska squad and it seems like a game where Penn State should be able to take care of business.

Perhaps the lone question is whether Nebraska is able to take Jalen Pickett out of his game. Few have done it this season, but the Huskers have a really strong defense and could catch the Nittany Lions looking ahead to a game against Rutgers early next week.

  • Pick: Penn State


Picks Record: 71-25-0