The Big Ten only has one game on the slate on Wednesday after the horrific events in East Lansing earlier this week and the cancellation of Michigan State’s scheduled matchup against Minnesota. It’s expected that game will be rescheduled at some point. The lone remaining game puts Indiana on the road against Northwestern.
Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-No. 14 Indiana Hoosiers at Northwestern Wildcats
- Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Northwestern by 1
These teams had quite a performance last weekend. Indiana went on the road and knocked off Michigan in a tightly contested game on Saturday night and Northwestern followed it up with a massive upset over Purdue at home on Sunday. The win over the Wolverines kept the Hoosiers in Big Ten title contention and Northwestern’s upset could be enough to ensure the program makes it second ever NCAA Tournament.
Similar implications are on the line in Wednesday’s matchup, as Indiana hopes to keep its recent run going and Northwestern hopes to remove any doubt about its NCAA Tournament hopes. The Hoosiers have won three straight and eight of the team’s last nine games. Adding a road win over a team like Northwestern would only build on that.
There’s also a bit of bad blood between the teams as former Northwestern wing Miller Kopp returns to Evanston again. He put together a solid career with the Wildcats, but decided to finish things out with the Hoosiers. Notably, Indiana is winless against Northwestern since Kopp joined the roster. Hoosier fans will hope that changes on Wednesday night.
The matchup to watch will be upfront. Before Sunday’s win over Purdue, Northwestern had shown some issues against talented frontcourts this season. Obviously, Trayce Jackson-Davis has been incredible over the last few weeks, so the question is whether Northwestern can hold their own against him. It will be a huge challenge. Race Thompson’s status also remains a question after he missed the team’s game against Michigan on Saturday.
Indiana’s offense has also relied extensively on Jalen Hood-Schifino for production over the last few weeks. He finished with 21 points and 38 percent of Indiana’s scoring in the win over the Wolverines on Saturday. As such, slowing him down has to be a major focus for Northwestern on Wednesday night. If Boo Buie and Ty Berry can do so, a win is absolutely on the table.
All told, this feels like a coin flip game that will come down to the closing minutes. However, the home court makes Northwestern a reasonable choice.
- Pick: Northwestern
Picks Record: 85-33-0