Need something to do all day Saturday? The Big Ten has you covered with five games, two tipping off at noon. Let's take a look:
Nebraska (9-9, 3-3) at Rutgers (11-8, 0-6) || 12:00pm ET || ESPNU
DJ: ESPN doesn’t list a spread for the game but I think we all know Nebraska is favored. I think this game may come down to the wire with Nebraska down Ed Morrow against a good rebounding team in Rutgers. Is it bad that I think Rutgers could pull this off?
BRT: There isn’t a lot to say about this one except it sure behooves Nebraska to win it. It’s Rutgers. Nebraska has had its struggles of late Missing Ed Morrow and missing free throws, but they should still win this. Rutgers struggles offensively, so if the Huskers play solid D, that should more or less be the game.
Prediction: Nebraska 64, Rutgers 62
Penn State (11-8, 3-3) at #19 Purdue (15-4, 4-2) (-12.5)|| 12:00pm ET || BTN
DJ: This game could be interesting for a half but Purdue’s dominance inside and improved guard play will prove to be too much for the young Penn State lineup to handle. How will Penn State try to defend the combination of Caleb Swanigan and Issac Haas? There aren’t too many teams in the country that can matchup well against them.
Babaoreally: If Purdue can hit their outside shots, they should be able to handle Penn State. Anything can happen in conference play though, so the Nits have a chance.
Prediction: Purdue 79, Penn State 68
Aaron Yorke: Hmmm too dominant big men surrounded by a bunch of guys who can hit outside shots. No wonder Purdue is so successful this year. I don't remember the last time Penn State won at Mackey Arena, so I'm going to predict a good old fashioned railroading. The Lions have kept games against Indiana and Michigan close with their defense, which means they'll need to force a lot of turnovers in this one, because I don't see them winning the shooting or rebounding battle. Mike Watkins will need to step up big time after he was held to four points and zero rebounds by the Hoosiers on Wednesday. That's going to be tough against Purdue's front line, though.
Illinois (12-7, 2-4) at Michigan (12-7, 2-4) (-8) || 2:15pm ET || BTN
Thumpasaurus: You want previews? I’m looking forward to this game so much that I’m flying 800 miles in the opposite direction for it. [This makes more sense if you know Thump’s in the Michigan area]
DJ: Thump is kind of right here. These two teams have similar records but there is no one who thinks that Michigan shouldn’t win this game. Michigan is a very efficient offensive team who shouldn’t have too much trouble carving up an often times porous Illinois defense. Who knows though? If John Groce finally has the realization that Te’Jon Lucas should play more than Jaylen Coleman-Lands or Illinois gets production outside of just Malcolm Hill or Maverick Morgan, it could be a game.
Prediction: Michigan 82, Illinois 69
Michigan State (12-7, 4-2) at Indiana (13-6, 3-3) (-4.5) || 4:00pm ET || ESPN
DJ: Scheduling is a little disjointed here but switching networks does that to ruin the back to back to back to back games. I’m not sure if the line ESPN is quoting is post the news that OG Anunoby for the season but I’d imagine they set the line assuming he wasn’t playing. Indiana will make Michigan State run and play in transition, which is concerning for the young team but if Michigan State can get Thomas Bryant in foul trouble there isn’t much to turn to inside. Michigan State should win this game against a depleted Indiana squad. They need to be careful not to play at track meet pace or they’ll let Indiana mask its weakness inside due to injuries.
Prediction: Michigan State 75, Indiana 70
#17 Wisconsin (15-3, 4-1) at Minnesota (15-4, 3-3) (+3) || 4:30pm ET || BTN
Multiple OTE Writers: Fuck Wisconsin. Wisconsin is the worst.
DJ: If Wisconsin has an off outing again like they did earlier in the week against Michigan, this could turn out to go against them playing a better team. Minnesota has struggled in conference play but don’t count them out as they take on rival Wisconsin at The Barn.
Prediction: Flopsconsin 61, Minnesota 58
Northwestern (15-4, 4-2) at Ohio State (12-7, 2-4) (-1) || 1:00pm ET || BTN
MNWildcat: Who do we play... Ohio State? Oof. There’s athleticism there that Northwestern hasn’t dealt well with.
Thankfully, none of that athleticism is named Jared Sulling—FOUL TWO SHOTS.
Anyways. Fuck Jared Sullinger. What was I saying? Oh yeah. I still don’t like Northwestern against an Ohio State club that’s found its form as of late. Key to NU winning is not getting dragged down into the slop of OSU’s tough defense. If Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey show up, the ‘Cats should be able to steal one on the road. However, I’m still not sold on this being The Year (because it’s never The Year and the ‘Cats are due for a stinker).
Prediction: Ohio State 67, Northwestern 62