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1/12 Big Ten Preview: Nebraska at Iowa

Preview all of Friday’s Big Ten action.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Big Ten has two intriguing games on Friday. Minnesota will go on the road to face Indiana in the early game and Iowa will host Nebraska later on.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:30 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa by 1

Everyone loves a good rivalry game and Big Ten fans will get to enjoy a good one on Friday night in Iowa City as Nebraska travels to face Iowa. Both teams are coming off quality wins, as Iowa knocked off Rutgers on Saturday and the Huskers scored an upset over top ranked Purdue on Tuesday. Add in what should be a fun Iowa crowd and it should be a good one.

For Nebraska, this one will hinge on how the team’s defense travels. The Huskers are a more complete team than Iowa, but the Hawkeyes (as usual) have a prolific offense. Nebraska’s challenge will be slowing that group down. Iowa roasted Rutgers’ unit last weekend, so it’s not going to be an easy task. Jamarques Lawrence needs a big game to slow down Tony Perkins.

On the other side, Iowa needs to hope for a big night from Payton Sandfort. He’s arguably the most important player for the Hawkeyes this season and the team’s hopes in this one likely ride with him. If he can outperform Keisei Tominaga and Juwan Gary, a win should be in reach. In particular, Sandfort needs a big night from outside the arc. Iowa can’t afford an underwhelming shooting night, if the team’s going to come out with a win.

All told, this should be a fun one. However, home court seems to be an edge here for Iowa. Nebraska seems like a better team, but not for Friday night’s game.

  • Pick: Iowa

The Rest:

-Minnesota Golden Gophers at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 6:30 PM ET (FS1)
  • KenPom Spread: Indiana by 2

This one probably won’t get as much attention, but it’s also an interesting matchup between two teams struggling to elevate themselves. While both have decent overall records, neither has put enough together to solidify its NCAA Tournament resume. That makes Friday’s meeting an important one. Come out on top and either team could find itself in much better position.

The game will almost certainly come down to how Indiana defends Dawson Garcia down low. The Gopher big man has dominated Minnesota’s usage this season. If Kel’el Ware and Malik Reneau can hold up defensively, Indiana probably wins this one. However, that’s a tall task and won’t be easily accomplished. Garcia is a great player and the Gophers have been playing really well as of late, having won seven straight.

Perhaps the most significant swing part of this game is Assembly Hall. Minnesota has only won one road game so far this season and it came against a reeling Michigan team earlier this month. Indiana will present a far tougher challenge.

  • Pick: Indiana


Picks Record This Season: 60-20