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Big Ten Weekend Preview: Showdown In Indiana, OSU In Freefall

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A huge showdown in Indiana is on slate later today while the Number 2 defense in the nation is going to do bad things to Wisconsin’s offense.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten weekend kicked off last night with Maryland taking on Ohio State and Northwestern taking on rutger. In unsurprising fashion, Northwestern picked up a conference win on the road against rutger while Maryland not only picked up a big conference win on the road, they controlled the entire game and won double digits. Full recaps:

Northwestern 65, rutger 57

MNW: A two-center lineup? Multiple banked threes? Barret Benson swishing a three? Sure, I’m drunk enough that that worked.

Critically, the ‘Cats found their stroke from deep, hitting 40%, and perfectly matched the Knights on the boards (7 oreb and 27 dreb apiece). And special kudos to Ryan Taylor, who’s been getting attacked unnecessarily by idiot Northwestern fans--dude went 4/9 from deep for 14 points, exactly the contribution we need from him, especially on a night where Vic Law scuffled with the Knights’ D. Schedule gets no easier from here, so this was needed.

Maryland 75, Ohio State 61

DJ: Ohio State is in absolute free fall after starting 12-1 and rising into the Top 20 two weeks ago. Maryland traveled to Columbus for a road game that would give them a two game lead if they won and on the flip side put Ohio State right back in the middle of the pack from 4th - 10th in the conference, all of which whom are predicted to make the dance still.

What happened? Maryland handily won a game that was close but never felt like Ohio State was ever a threat to take control and they pulled away late. Bruno Fernando, 13/15/4 (assists), did exactly what he needed to do, providing an inside presence to shutdown Kaleb Wessen and only allowing Wessen to put up 11/6 on the night. All Maryland fans will be closely watching the status of Eric Ayala this weekend, who took a nasty fall in the second half and limped off the court. He appeared ok towards the end of the game but will sorely be needed against Michigan State on Monday.

Saturday

#2 Michigan at Wisconsin (+3.5) || 12:00pm ET || ESPN

Oh my god, whatever you do take the under on this game (O/U 128 points). Other than Wisconsin’s 11/18 3 point shooting performance in the second half of the Maryland game they have largely been less than stellar on offense in conference play. Minnesota and Maryland combined to shut them out 62-29 in the first half of both games combined. Awful. I expect more of the same against the #2 rated defense in the nation. Michigan rolls.

Poll

The O/U is 128 points. What do you have?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    LOL Wisconsin offense, under
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    They hate all betters and hit 128 exactly
    (1 vote)
  • 9%
    Over, explain yourself
    (1 vote)
11 votes total Vote Now

#25 Indiana at Purdue (-8) || 2:00pm ET || Fox

This game is going to be great. All eyes will be on the Carsen Edwards vs. Romeo Langford matchup on the outside, which is going to provide #allthepoints. This game won’t be decided there though. We know they’ll get theres. This game will be decided if one of the young Purdue forwards, likely a combination of Aaron Wheeler and Trevion Williams, can provide a good enough presence inside to slowdown Juwan Morgan.

Poll

Who scores more?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Romeo Langford
    (6 votes)
  • 77%
    Carsen Edwards
    (21 votes)
27 votes total Vote Now

Penn State at Minnesota (-4.5) || 8:30pm ET || BTN

This might be the best chance so far that Penn State has to pick up that first Big Ten win. Minnesota was sitting nicely inside that 4th - 10th pack in the Big Ten before they got absolutely buzzsawed by Illinois the other night. Will they go for blood against Penn State or can Penn State catch them while they are down?

Poll

Who ya got?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Minnesota
    (35 votes)
  • 22%
    Penn State
    (10 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Sunday

Illinois at #23 Iowa (TBD, likely favored at home by a lot) || 1:00pm ET || BTN

Iowa is coming off of four straight wins, including two Quadrant 1 wins, to take on Illinois. Illinois plays really pesky defense and out of no where just absolutely obliterated Minnesota, but I don’t think that is going to be the case here. Iowa has the shooting ability to shoot over the Illinois defense to stretch things out and open up inside play. If Tyler Cook returns this game then that will be an even bigger boost for Iowa.

Poll

Does Illinois keep the game within single digits?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Iowa blows them out
    (34 votes)
  • 31%
    Illinois keeps it close
    (18 votes)
  • 10%
    Illinois pulls its second upset in a row
    (6 votes)
58 votes total Vote Now

Monday

#19 Maryland at #6 Michigan State (TBD) || 6:30pm ET || FS1

Maryland is on a seven game winning streak heading into a likely Top 15 vs Top 5 matchup against Michigan State on Monday. Can they keep it up? Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith’s development in the post has really powered this Terrapin team, allowing them to play inside out to open up driving lanes for Anthony Cowan and giving freshmen revelation Eric Ayala wide open 3s that he is knocking down at a 48.4% clip, which is 1st in the Big Ten and 41st in the nation.

Michigan State is also going to play inside out with Nick Ward, which will be a huge matchup to watch with Fernando. The key to this game to watch is Maryland turnovers and whether or not Michigan State is effective at doubling Fernando inside. No one has been able to do shut him down yet other than the Wisconsin game where he got himself in foul trouble along with Ethan Happ.

KenPom has this as a 10 point MSU win. I don’t think it’ll be that big of a gap but I’m not sure this young Maryland team is able to pull off a Top 10 win just yet but they have the tools to do it if they are clicking on all cylinders.

Poll

Who ya got?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Michigan State
    (85 votes)
  • 40%
    Maryland in the upset
    (58 votes)
143 votes total Vote Now

Nebraska at Rutgers (TBD, Nebraska favored by 9ish?) || 8:00pm ET || BTN

Jesse: After a stretch of @Maryland, @Iowa, Penn State, @Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska has a little more manageable stretch. Heading to Rutgers kicks off what appears to be a chance for this Nebraska team to make a run. While Rutgers is most likely better than they’ve been in recent years - noting that, yes, a win over Ohio State looks decent - I don’t see any reason why Nebraska shouldn’t be able to handle them. Rutgers offense is abysmal. Worst in the conference in ppg, KenPom AdjO ranked at 237, and, well, Nebraska has good defense on top of it. The one thing Rutgers does decently is play defense and play hard. That said, good offenses have scored on them and Nebraska has a good offense. Barring a mental letdown, Nebraska wins and wins big.

Poll

How bad does rutger lose?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    0-9
    (27 votes)
  • 35%
    10-14
    (38 votes)
  • 22%
    15+
    (24 votes)
  • 16%
    They pull the upset, explain yourself
    (17 votes)
106 votes total Vote Now