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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Previews, Open Thread:

Maryland heads to Michigan State, Minnesota hosts Iowa, but we're all here for Illinois against Rutgers.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern Wildcats at Penn State Nittany Lions (11am, BTN)

MNW: Northwestern will lose by 30 to Penn State, and it will involve Jared Jones (who showed so much promise against Michigan) getting literally eaten alive by 45-year old cannibal Mike Watkins. Maybe Ryan Young’s energetic YMCA game can make this a game for a sec.

Probably not. Lions by 26.

Aaron Yorke: Penn State: now with more shooting! That’s how the team looked against Purdue, and if the trend continues, the Lions will wallop Northwestern on Saturday. If not, PSU might have to rely more on its defense because we haven’t been able to count on guys like Myles Dread and Izaiah Brockington to shoot consistently well. The biggest question is whether or not Myreon Jones will suit up after missing the last two games due to illness.

Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio State Buckeyes (11am, FOX)

Boilerman31: If anyone says they can figure this Purdue team out, they’re lying or selling something. This isn’t a must win for the Boilers if they want to get into the tournament but it’s squeaky bum time (to borrow a gambling phrase from across the pond). I’m just looking for some consistency from this team. Good or bad. Just pick a side already.

Wisconsin Badgers at Nebraska Cornhuskers (1:15pm, BTN)

BRT: Nebraska’s last game with Wisconsin turned pretty ugly by virtue of playing Wisconsin lol, but actually by virtue of Wisconsin draining every last three-point shot they hoisted. Here’s hoping the Badgers aren’t quite that lucky when they visit PBA. The long-suffering Huskers can either fold after their close loss at Maryland, or perhaps parlay that performance into some new confidence. It sure would be nice to find another win before the end of the season, and Wisconsin is always a satisfying team to have that happen against. Note that I’m not predicting a win, just wishing for one. It’s all I have this season.

Jesse Collins: Nebraska is certainty capable of playing with Wisconsin for stretches but they’ll have to play better perimeter defense this time around. The game in Madison was deceptively close at times but Wisconsin is just better right now. Maybe some PBA magic happens but I’m leaning towards a closer loss and some more learning experiences for this team.

Beez: The game at Nebraska is a must win for Wisconsin. Going on the road is tough, and there are certainly a bunch of teams Wisconsin can and will lose to in the remainder of the conference season, but this game should not be on that list. Nebraska is fine and the people there are wonderful and the players try their best, etc... but Wisconsin has very little margin for error if they want to make the NCAAT, and losing this game would cost them like 3 margins.

Illinois Fighting Illini at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3:30pm, BTN)

Thump: Now THIS looks more like Illinutgers! Three game losing streaks for each team coming in!

I gotta be honest, I do not like our chances. I’m assuming Ayo doesn’t play. In fact for his sake I hope he doesn’t play. This should at least hopefully force Underwood to play Alan Griffin some more. Giorgi is the only player immune to AutoBench, which...makes sense, because Giorgi has really been awful in big ten play this year, and Underwood seems to decide how he wants to use his pieces during the offseason and then never adjust that plan during the season no matter what happens. Uh-oh. Is he going to start Ayo even if he’s unavailable, and we’ll just play 4 on 5 most of the game?

I’m not even sure what this offense does without Ayo. There’s some guys that can score, but nobody known for distributing. Perhaps Frazier takes on the point role? I think we’re losing, but if we win it’s because

* Kofi has a monster game at both ends

* Trent can get the ball to Feliz to score

* We aren’t chucking from deep

Maryland Terrapins at unranked Michigan State Spartans (5pm, ESPN)

Andrew K: We’ll find out Saturday night if MSU intends to reassert their claim for the top of the conference or not. Pulling victory from the jaws of a defeat which had itself also been pulled from the jaws of that same victory was a fun new way to send me to the antacid aisle, but a breakout game from Rocket Watts might, MIGHT be the sign of a more well-balanced offense that can withstand a bad game/foul trouble from Cassius Winston.

MSU will also need to do a much, much better job controlling the defensive glass than they did against Illinois. Maryland’s base offense is nothing too concerning, but if MSU lets Jalen Smith run wild on the offensive glass, it will be a long night.

DJ Carver: Maryland is 3-6 against MSU since joining the B1G and only 1-3 at MSU. This game is huge for both teams as Maryland looks to continue its 7 game win streak and its hold on top of the Big Ten while MSU looks to get itself back into the race for the top. The battles are obvious with Anthony Cowan/Cassius Winston and Jalen Smith/Xavier Tillman but what will make this game is which teams supporting cast steps up. If Maryland contains Rocket Watts and either Eric Ayala or Aaron Wiggins step up to score, or perhaps Darryl Morsell too, they will win this.

BrianB2: Hey, at least MSU’s floundering means I don’t have to hear about Turgeon’s lack of success against ranked opponents on the road. I need to know how many times an unranked team has hosted College Gameday. Perhaps this means there is hope for the Maryland football team to host it one day. Lee Corso can slap a pair of khaki pants on his head when he predicts 6-1 Michigan to take out 3-4 Maryland...what a program that would be. These kinds of games aren’t so bad though. A win in East Lansing would be incredible, but a loss shouldn’t make even the most ornery of Maryland fans all that upset.

Either way, we get to bounce back Tuesday against Northwestern, as we have just been destroying inferior teams at home recently.


Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers (12pm, FS1)

WSR: The last time Minnesota and Iowa tangled, Oturu and Garza put on a show, but the Gophers didn’t have any extra help like they did from Joe Wieskamp. Only Alihan Demir scored in double figures down in Iowa City, and that’s just not going to do it. The Gophers have been playing much better at home than on the road, and the backcourt has been doing a great job of filling it up lately. Since this is a must-win game for the Gophers, I’m going to assume that they’ll win it because why the hell not? Barn magic is always fun to see.

Stew: Yet another road conference game. It’s probably not going to go well, because no enterprising visionary has yet to burn down the barn (#RazeTheBarn).

Iowa will certainly be without CJ Fredrick, their 3rd leading scorer, 4th in minutes, and who leads the conference in 3pt %. And as this team is already incredibly hurting for depth, we’re going to be seeing meaningful walk-on minutes. However, Iowa still has Luka Garza, so there’s always a chance he puts up 40 and 15.

Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan Wolverines (12pm, CBS)

Candy: Understanding when Indiana will actually look like a good basketball team apparently falls on whether or not Devonte Green is having a good shooting night. If he is (see Iowa), the Hoosiers look like something pretty decent. If he’s not, well, you’d better hope that literally everyone else on the team is, or DOOM is incoming.

MNW: Also it’s fucking bullshit that there’s no 5:30pm Sunday night game, and that these two games are at the same time; fuck you, Big Ten.