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1/5 Big Ten Preview: Purdue Heads to Columbus

NCAA Basketball: Florida A&M at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

There are three games scattered across the night with a doubleheader on FS1 and Maryland traveling to Rutgers on BTN. Let’s take a look at the upcoming action.

Game of the Night

#1 Purdue Boilermakers at #24 Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET FS1
  • Line: Ohio State -1.5

In the biggest game of the night, top ranked Purdue heads to Columbus in another tough test. The Boilermakers lost last time out to Rutgers by a point, struggling from the field and more importantly failing to take care of business at the free throw line (19-28). Zach Edey was about as limited as he’s been all year, though he still added 19 points and 11 boards.

One of the issues with Purdue is while Edey has been fantastic, the offense has been incredibly hit or miss shooting from three. Far too many times this year Purdue has been incapable of hitting wide open shots from range, with Purdue showing plenty of room for improvement even at 13-1. It’s almost like Purdue has played to the level of their competition instead of playing up to their potential.

Tonight proves a good opportunity for Ohio State to see just how good they can be. They do have wins over Texas Tech and Cincinnati, but failed to pick up a couple quality wins against Duke and North Carolina and the jury is still out if they’re contending for a Big Ten title or contending to get into the top four of the conference (and earn a double bye for the Big Ten Tournament). Forward Brice Sensabaugh has been hot as of late, leading the team in scoring in the last four games. Sensabaugh is averaging 15.9 points while shooting 52.8% from the field and 46.6% from three. The forward trio of Sensabaugh, Justice Sueing and Zed Key will provide a formidable challenge for a Purdue team with an equally as deep frontcourt.

The key for today likely comes down to the backcourt. If Purdue can find their stroke from three like they’re capable of doing, Purdue should win. If Ohio State can keep Purdue icy from beyond the arc they’ll land the upset. With Purdue coming in off of a loss to Rutgers, look for the Boilermakers to bounce back into the win column on another big night from Edey and a much better shooting performance from their guards.

Line: Purdue

The Rest

Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 6:30 PM ET BTN
  • Line: Rutgers -6.0

The first game features two teams at polar opposites. One side is a Rutgers team that just upset the #1 team on the road. On the other side is a Maryland team that lost by 35 to a Michigan team that had just lost to Central Michigan. Maryland is now 2-4 the last six games since their 8-0 start.

Maryland’s offense is coming off of a dreadful performance against Michigan and they’re not a particularly good three point shooting team. During their 2-4 run they’re averaging just over 62 points per game, a considerable drop as they scored at least 71 points in each of their first eight games. Those offensive woes loom large heading into a Rutgers team with the KenPom #3 defense.

The Scarlet Knights have some consistency issues on offense, but they’re a fantastic team on defense and a tough out at home. Going up against a freefalling Maryland program the Scarlet Knights should win their fifth game in a row.

Pick: Rutgers

#15 Indiana Hoosiers at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET FS1
  • Line: Iowa -1.0

Speaking of teams freefalling, Iowa has gone 3-6 their last six games and lost all three of their conference games. Any early season momentum went to the wayside with an nine point loss to Eastern Illinois. They got Kris Murray and Connor McCaffery back but immediately were ran out of the gym by Nebraska. After a dreadful first half against Penn State they couldn’t finish their comeback bid, losing their third in a row.

This Iowa team has been a bit weird because while the Hawkeyes not playing defense has been the standard under Fran McCaffery, their offense has sputtered at times this season. The team will also be without Patrick McCaffery for the foreseeable future as he’s taking a leave from the team. Kris Murray and Filip Rebraca have been great this year, but the rest of the roster has been underwhelming this season.

Their opponent is an Indiana team that has looked solid but underwhelming compared to their preseason expectations. A team expected to make the next jump, they’re once again falling back into their old habit of exclusively relying on Trayce Jackson-Davis. Luckily for Indiana, though, they get to go up against an Iowa team that doesn’t play defense. That should open up things for the rest of a Hoosiers offense that needs the rest of the team to start performing.

Tonight provides the perfect opportunity for Indiana to get the rest of the offense up and running outside of Jackson-Davis. While winning on the road is tough, Indiana should be capable of adding to Iowa’s misery.

Line: Indiana