The Big Ten has two games on the docket on Wednesday, highlighted by a matchup between Iowa and Wisconsin in Madison. Fans will also get to see Minnesota go on the road to face Maryland early on.
Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-Iowa Hawkeyes at Wisconsin Badgers
- Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Wisconsin by 1
Just over two months ago, Wisconsin traveled to Iowa City for an early December matchup between the two squads. Both teams entered the game with momentum, as Wisconsin had just knocked off Marquette and Iowa was coming off a win over Iowa State. It seemed like a matchup that would say a lot about how the Big Ten race would unfold in a few months. Ultimately, the game came down to the wire with Wisconsin grabbing an overtime win.
However, that hasn’t been how things unfolded. While Iowa enters late February in good position to make the NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin has repeatedly stumbled and watched its postseason hopes struggle significantly. The Badgers now enter the last two weeks of the regular season in dire straights, needing a tremendous finish just to get back in the bubble discussion.
That all sets up this meeting on Wednesday night, where Wisconsin will try and defy the odds and score another win over the Hawkeyes. The game will almost assuredly come down to how Wisconsin’s lackluster offense performs against an underwhelming Iowa defense. Neither unit is particularly great, ranking 155th and 154th respectively on KenPom. It’s going to come down to which side makes fewer mistakes.
The battle upfront should also be interesting. Wisconsin has been inconsistent there over the last few months, so an above average performance on Wednesday night would go a long way. The goal will be slowing down Filip Rebraca, who’s posted six straight games of 10 points or more.
All told, expect a tight and physical game. However, Iowa has improved substantially since the first meeting between the two and should bee able to win this one.
- Pick: Iowa
-Minnesota Golden Gophers at Maryland Terrapins
- Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Maryland by 18
The Gophers enter Wednesday’s game against Maryland on a 10-game losing streak. Unfortunately for Gopher fans, those struggles probably aren’t going to end on Wednesday night, as they will face a really tough Maryland team on the road. Meanwhile, the Terps are trying to bounce back from a blown game on the road against Nebraska on Sunday.
If Minnesota is going to keep this close, it’s going to come down to defending Jahmir Young, who’s putting together a stellar campaign. Young struggled against Nebraska’s staunch defense on Sunday, so perhaps Minnesota can review that film and use a similar strategy in this one. Minnesota also needs to figure out how to play against Maryland’s defense, as the Gophers finished with a putrid 0.75 points per possession when these teams met the first time a few weeks ago. Otherwise, this could be a lopsided affair.
- Pick: Maryland
Picks Record: 87-33-0