Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-Indiana Hoosiers at Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Nebraska by 7
Through the first two months of the season, Indiana and Nebraska find themselves in similar positions. Both teams have decent wins, a few rough losses, and a plethora of games in between. The question is now whether either can rise above and elevate from the middle to the upper tier of the Big Ten.
That makes for an intriguing meeting on Wednesday, when Indiana goes on the road to face Nebraska. KenPom may like the Huskers, but things look relatively balanced on paper. It’s a game that could easily swing on a few possessions and should come down to the closing minutes.
Perhaps the most intriguing matchup will be on the defensive end for Nebraska. The Huskers boast one of the nation’s better three-point defensive units, while Indiana has struggled to convert from long range. It’s likely going to make this a battle in the paint where the Hoosiers search for operating room. Malik Reneau needs to play well or it’s hard to see Indiana escaping with a win.
On the other end of the floor, it’s hard to see Indiana slowing down Nebraska too much. The Huskers have a balanced approach and don’t over rely on any single player. Keisei Tominaga leads the team in use, but only barely. He’s also the team’s leading three-point shooter by attempts, so it’s important for the Hoosiers to keep him uncomfortable.
All told, neither team looks drastically better than the other here. It should be a competitive game that gets decided in the final minutes. However, Nebraska looks more balanced and will have home court advantage. As such, the Huskers are the pick.
- Pick: Nebraska
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio State Buckeyes
- Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Ohio State by 10
Roughly 13 months ago, Rutgers went on the road to face a ranked Ohio State team hoping to build its NCAA Tournament resume. Both teams were projecting solidly in the field at that point and fans felt like they might even go beyond that and challenge for a Sweet 16. The game would be decided in the final moments with a buzzer beater from Tanner Holden. Little did fans know, both would endure horrid finishes to the season and miss the Big Dance altogether.
Rutgers will now return to Columbus on Wednesday night in drastically different position than it was last time around. This time, the Scarlet Knights are 8-4 and in desperate need for some quality wins. Ohio State remains a top 25ish squad and is hoping to improve its resume as well. It’s a chance for Rutgers to get back in the NCAA conversation and for Ohio State to establish itself as a Big Ten darkhorse.
In many ways, this is a clash of styles and the game will almost certainly be decided by Rutgers’ offense. The team’s defense is good enough to at least keep things competitive for at least a bit. The question is whether Rutgers can get out of its own way against an underwhelming Buckeye defensive unit. Derek Simpson is the key. If he can’t get into a rhythm, this could be a rough one.
- Pick: Ohio State
Picks Record This Season: 56-19