The Big Ten has a loaded slate on Sunday. Six teams are in action and all three matchups have serious postseason implications, including a colossal showdown between Michigan State and Purdue in the early afternoon.
Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-Michigan State Spartans at No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers
- Time/TV: 12:15 PM ET (CBS)
- KenPom Spread: Purdue by 10
Roughly two weeks ago, Purdue traveled to East Lansing on Martin Luther King, Jr. day to matchup against the Spartans. The game went down to the wire, with the Boilermakers narrowly holding on for the win. Since then, Purdue has continued rolling, winning three more games to extend its record to 20-1 overall.
The two teams will now face off again on Sunday. This time, however, the game will be in West Lafayette in front of a raucous crowd. The game figures to be highly competitive and the question is whether Purdue is due for a letdown. The team really hasn’t had an off night in nearly a month, so Spartan fans will be hoping for an upset.
When the teams met the first time, Zach Edey was the difference with 32 points and things should be similar this time around. Michigan State desperately needs to slow down the Boilermaker big man. If not, it’s going to be a long night. Mady Sissoko will have the biggest challenge. Tyson Walker will hope to have another big performance as well.
All told, even if Purdue could be due for a letdown and Michigan State has shown some recent fight, this still feels like a win for the Boilermakers. Going on the road and winning in Mackey is tough enough by itself, let alone against a Purdue squad this good.
- Pick: Purdue
-Michigan Wolverines at Penn State Nittany Lions
- Time/TV: 12:00PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Penn State by 4
Despite some signs of progress earlier this month, both of these teams enter Sunday’s matchup licking their wounds after some tough losses earlier this week. Michigan fell to Purdue at home on Thursday and Penn State is coming off a 20-point drubbing on the road against Rutgers on Tuesday. Both sides are now looking to bounce back and put those struggles in the rear view mirror.
This is the second time this teams have met this season, as Michigan won the first meeting in early January by double-digits. That game was largely decided by the frontcourt, where Penn State was unable to contain Hunter Dickinson. Nittany Lion fans will be hoping Kebba Njie and Seth Lundy can do a better job this time around. Otherwise, it could be a long afternoon. Michigan fans will be hoping Dickinson can take advantage and the team can do a better job defending Jalen Pickett, who had 26 points in the first meeting.
All told, this projects as a game that will go down to the wire and both teams are desperate. However, Michigan has been horrendous on the road this season, so Penn State is the pick.
- Pick: Penn State
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Iowa Hawkeyes
- Time/TV: 2:00PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Iowa by 1
Like the game above, this one also figures to be a revenge opportunity. These two teams met just a few weeks ago in a matchup where Iowa won on the road against the Scarlet Knights. It was a shocking result few expected. Scarlet Knight fans will be hoping Rutgers can flip the script this time around and win in Iowa City.
From a matchup perspective, this is the kind of game you dream about, where Iowa’s elite offense will face off against Rutgers’ even better defense. Both units rank among the top 10 nationally in efficiency and it’s easy to see why. Payton Sandfort was the difference in the first game and will be the player to watch this time around. If Rutgers can slow him down, this should be a win for the Scarlet Knights.
- Pick: Rutgers
Picks Record: 76-26-0