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1/17 Big Ten Preview: Maryland at Northwestern

Preview all of Wednesday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Maryland Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has two games on Wednesday. Nebraska goes on the road to face Rutgers in the early matchup. Northwestern hosts Maryland later on.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Maryland Terrapins at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Northwestern by 4

It’s been a wild ride for Maryland and Northwestern so far this season. Inconsistency has defined both units. Depending on the night, these two have looked like top 25 teams, disaster projects, and everything in between. There’s no telling what you’re going to get.

And that ride will continue on Wednesday, when the two teams meet in Evanston in an important game for both sides. The Terps are coming off a massive win over Illinois and hoping to build some momentum. Northwestern is trying to stay on the right side of the NCAA bubble. It’s a game both sides desperately need.

The key matchup will be in the backcourt, where Boo Buie and Jahmir Young will face off. Both dominate usage for their respective sides. Northwestern needs Buie to win the matchup, just like Maryland needs a big night from Young. The Terps probably have more pieces around Young than Northwestern has around Buie. However, Brooks Barnhizer can get up here and there.

All told, Maryland’s playing better basketball right now and the Terps should be able to get the win if Young plays well. However, it should be a close game.

  • Pick: Maryland

The Rest:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Nebraska by 1

After a tough loss on the road against Iowa on Friday, Nebraska prepares for another tricky road game on Wednesday against a Rutgers squad hoping to end its own skid. The Huskers are clearly a better team than the Scarlet Knights this season. The question is whether that translates to the court on Wednesday night. Nebraska has already had two letdowns on the road (Minnesota and Iowa) this season and really can’t afford a third.

The key to the game is going to be how Rutgers defends Keisei Tominaga and Juwan Gary on the perimeter. Those two have been dynamic scorers this season. If Rutgers can slow them down, the team has a shot at the upset. However, it will be easier said than done. Much will ride on Derek Simpson. He continues to be the key for the Scarlet Knights.

  • Pick: Nebraska

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Picks Record This Season: 63-21