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2/7 Big Ten Preview: Nebraska at Northwestern

Preview all of Wednesday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Nebraska Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has two games on Wednesday night. The early game puts Wisconsin on the road to face a struggling Michigan squad. The late game is a bubble matchup between Nebraska and Northwestern.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Northwestern by 3

Both teams entered this one with plenty on the line. It’s the epitome of a bubble game, with Nebraska and Northwestern both trying to put the final pieces together to clinch a spot in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Wednesday’s game along won’t end the debate, but it’ll put the winner on the doorstep.

These teams actually met just a few weeks ago in Lincoln on January 20th. The game was competitive, but the Huskers pulled out the win. Boo Buie will need to play significantly better this time around, as he only had nine points and a 71 offensive rating in the loss to Nebraska. Brooks Barnhizer was the only really productive player, finishing with 24 points.

Like in most games, Northwestern’s hopes will likely ride with Buie. If he can outplay Keisei Tominaga and Jamarques Lawrence, the Wildcats probably win. And there’s decent odds for that. Nebraska has been underwhelming on the road this season. In fact, the Huskers haven’t won a road game since December 17th and have blown a number of winnable opportunities, including games against Illinois and Rutgers.

This should be a win for Northwestern. The Wildcats are probably a better team and get home court. Add in the revenge factor and Northwestern should be the favorite.

  • Pick: Northwestern

The Rest:

-No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin by 6

Both these teams enter Wednesday coming off a tough loss over the weekend, though Michigan’s loss was considerably worse. Either way, both will try and bounce back and score a key win. Wisconsin needs this one to keep up in the Big Ten title race while the Wolverines are looking for anything to build some momentum amid a rough year.

From an analysis perspective, there isn’t a ton to break down. Wisconsin is a better team. The roster is more balanced and the lineup is infinitely more consistent. The Badgers are likely going to roast Michigan’s putrid defense for much of the night. The only question is whether Michigan can hit enough tough shots to make things competitive. If Wisconsin finds a way to hold Dug McDaniel and Olivier Nkamhoua in check, this will likely be a double-digit win for the Badgers.

  • Pick: Wisconsin

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Picks Record This Season: 66-24