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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Previews: Surging Minnesota! Streaking Rutgers! ...uh, what?

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Minnesota and Rutgers fight for pole position in the latest round of 8-seed sweepstakes! Big Ten basketball weekend previews:

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Schedule

Friday, January 17

Wisconsin Badgers at #15 Michigan State

6pm | FS1 | MSU -8 | O/U 131

MC: I can't decide if it's surprising to me that it's been over 15 years since Wisconsin's last win at the Breslin Center. Does this team have enough to break the streak? Hey, why not, everything they do is weird and confusing.

There's some reason for optimism: Wisconsin has been racking up quality wins home and away, playing good team defense, and finding a groove for Micah Potter to thrive in.

I think Wisconsin will come up just short but acquit themselves nicely in a close one. If the upset comes through and we have a new first-place team, look for the matchup between D'Mitrik Trice and Cassius Winston to tell the tale. Trice did a great job locking up Anthony Cowan Jr. in the second half of the Maryland game and needs to bring even more to this one.

Poll

ah yes, a great rivalry of the big ten in the imaginations only of a select twelve people

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    msu
    (47 votes)
  • 26%
    wisconsin
    (17 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

#19 Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes

8pm | FS1 | Iowa -4.5 | O/U 147.5

MNW: Luka Garza. Jon Teske. This actually feels like a game where the Wolverines’ big man thrives inside and Garza has a little trouble, given that he’s picking on someone his own size. The Hawks are rolling right now, though, and it’s tough to pick against them.

Plus, I’m sure the performance we saw at Welsh-Ryan Arena is sustainable. Bacari Evelyn’s gonna hit contested threes and Coralville YMCA All-Star Ryan Kriener will step out and hit a couple of his own, right? C.J. Frederick is totally healthy and there’s nothing to worry about? Yeah. Iowa by 15.

Poll

skunkbearhawkteeth

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    skunkbear
    (13 votes)
  • 58%
    hawkteeth
    (40 votes)
  • 22%
    new band name called it
    (15 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now

Saturday, January 18

#21 Ohio State Buckeyes at Penn State Nittany Lions

11am | ESPNU

Aaron Yorke: Ohio State looked like a legitimate title contender when it blew out North Carolina and Penn State in early December. Since then, the Nittany Lions and Tar Heels have done their best to play themselves out of the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State itself lost four straight games before finally beating Nebraska this week. I’m interested to see if the Buckeyes can regain their early-season form, especially with Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. returning from suspension for this one. I’m also morbidly curious to see how far my Nittany Lions can fall after their own auspicious start. Mike Watkins has done almost nothing since the first half against Rutgers, and that’s going to need to change if Penn State is to get off the mat.

Poll

[x]su where x=

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    o
    (28 votes)
  • 65%
    p
    (53 votes)
81 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers at #17 Maryland Terrapins

1pm | ESPN2

BrianB2: Am I even allowed to contribute here anymore? Anyway, Maryland gets a home game, so maybe they’ll win, maybe they’ll even break 60 points in the process. More importantly this is a “stripe-out” game. Nothing can get a team back on track like a little crowd coordination.

Boilerman: Purdue on the road. While they surprised me with their pesky performance against Michigan and blew the doors off Sparty at home, I expect nothing. All I can hope for is Trevion Williams keeps dominating on the block.

Poll

turtle train

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    train
    (30 votes)
  • 70%
    turtle
    (70 votes)
100 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern Wildcats at #24 Illinois Fighting Illini

4pm | BTN

MNW: Just throw it inside to Kofi Cockburn and Giorgi Bezhanishvili, Illinois, Northwestern can’t keep up—Ryan Young and Jared Jones will need to ball out to keep it close—and we’ll all move on with our lives.

Lot of territory owned by Illinois in the college basketball imperialism map, though. Would be a shame if something happened to it.

Thumpasaurus: Hopefully Giorgi remembers what sport he’s playing and can comfortably serve as backup center. Illinois had best not struggle here, because I have a strange feeling Underwood is going to keep Alan Griffin pinned to the bench all day for no good reason.

Here’s what I know for sure: Ayo Dosunmu is going to get at least 15, and he’ll make half of those look incredibly easy. We know the Illini can defense. Let’s see some coherent offense in this one.

Poll

HATsketball

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    cat
    (6 votes)
  • 93%
    not cat
    (87 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now

Indiana Hoosiers at Nebraska Cornhuskers

6pm | BTN

MNW: Let’s just all watch to see if Thorir Thorbjarnarson can do Thor things. That’s pretty much the point of this one. That, and ending Indiana’s NCAA Tournament hopes prematurely.

Poll

is this pawnee corn or lincoln corn

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    pawnee corn
    (41 votes)
  • 57%
    lincoln corn
    (55 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now

Sunday, January 19

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

12pm | BTN | Rutgers -5.5 | O/U 129.5

Thumpasaurus: The road to the Final Four continues to run through rugster as Minnesota tries to join the ranks of the teams that have won on the road. The Goofs as a team are rebounding at a rate not dissimilar to Indiana, but individually Daniel Oturu is a force to be reckoned with down low. Miles Johnston is gonna need a lot of help from Geno Baker and Derek Harper Jr to deal with Oturu. They’d be well-served to try to do what Illinois did when Kofi Cockburn was on the floor and dump it in to the heart of the rusgert defense.

Poll

pick

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Minnesota
    (35 votes)
  • 79%
    Rutgers
    (132 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now

Here’s an open thread for a weekend of basketball; kindly don’t burn the place down.

Full Schedule