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Big Ten Men’s Basketball Midweek Previews: Michigan State-Illinois headlines ranked road tests

There’s also Maryland-Rutgers tonight but heyyyyy look over here, Purdue at Iowa could be fun!

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

Games are happening! We have previews below, but may I ALSO invite you to listen to a very special episode of the Blocking Chargecast?

No? OK. Big Ten basketball’s back on tonight. Here’s what to expect:

Men’s Basketball Previews

All times CT.

Tuesday, January 25

#10 Michigan State Spartans at #24 Illinois Fighting Illini

6pm | ESPN | Illinois -5.5 | O/U 144

Green Akers: No update, less than 24 hours before gametime, of Kofi Cockburn’s status, which obviously makes a big difference in the prognosis. If he doesn’t play, the Spartan frontline should be able to roll a dominating effort against Wisconsin into success in Champaign while leaving the wings home on the Illini shooters. Even after Friday’s surprising outcome, MSU still hasn’t had a game where everyone plays well yet this season; this would be a great time for that.

HWAHSQB: All of Illinois top 8 players have missed at least one game this year and Illinois is second in the nation on starter’s games missed. Our two best players have played two games together and each was hampered by a concussion during one of those two. I still think Illinois might be a really good team, but will we ever get a chance to show it? I don’t know. I’m just hoping we can make it through this game without MSU showcasing their street fighting skills that Tom Izzo loves to talk about so much. If we lose, but no one gets hurt, I’ll be quite content with that outcome.

Also, we have had our two best players play a whole game or nearly a whole game with a concussion. That’s not ideal. Maybe Illinois and the B1G need to do a better job of recognizing the signs of a concussion?



This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Green Akers
    (10 votes)
  • 65%
    (19 votes)
29 votes total Vote Now

Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

7pm | BTN | Rutgers -3.5 | O/U 132.5

RU in VA: Does anyone really want to win this one? After a (wake me up when you’ve heard this one) hot guard torched Rutgers in Minnesota, they get a stumbling Maryland team at home? This smells, looks, and feels like a slow paced game that results in an L.

Prove me wrong, someone.


why is this a big ten game

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    (10 votes)
  • 73%
    (28 votes)
38 votes total Vote Now

Wednesday, January 26

Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan Wolverines

5:30pm | BTN | Line, Total TBD

MNW: Should I take it as a bad sign that Michigan’s not using COVID to duck Northwestern?

(In more seriousness: what more is there to say about the steaming cup of mediocrity that is Northwestern at this point? Michigan State basically threw a game against Northwestern to send a message because it could afford to—we’ll see if Ryan Young has grown up enough to handle Hunter Dickinson.

Or, whatever—Eli Brooks will probably go 7/9 from deep for 25 points.)



This poll is closed

  • 100%
    (24 votes)
24 votes total Vote Now

Penn State Nittany Lions at Indiana Hoosiers

7:30pm | BTN | Line, Total TBD

Buffkomodo: Surely Indiana can’t play like shit in not only back to back real games, but back to back games against Penn State, right?

misdreavus79: Iowa had the worst shooting night of their season last week, then Penn State had the honor of getting the pissed off version of the Hawkeyes on Saturday. Now, Penn State gets the honor of getting another pissed off team in Indiana, who just tripped on their own, uh, feet, by losing to Michigan right after they beat Purdue for the first time in 2345678909876543213456789 years.

The silver lining for the Lions is that Indiana isn’t going to run up and down the floor the way Iowa does, which bodes well for them. They also have already beaten Indiana, and while at home, that experience matters. I don’t know that Penn State can hold Indiana to a sub-30 three-point shooting night again, but as long as the Lions keep up with the scoring and prevent the game from getting too up and down, they should have a chance.



This poll is closed

  • 44%
    (20 votes)
  • 55%
    (25 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Thursday, January 27

#11 wisconsin badgers at Nebraska Cornhuskers

3pm | BTN | Line, Total TBD

BRT: It would probably behoove Nebraska to find a few more Covid cases before Thursday, tbh. Assuming they don't, I'll predict what seems to be their MO: a strong start, a cold spell, hanging around, then losing by 5-15.

Kind of...: Look, UW is better and should win. And I don’t want to do some “woe is me, UW could totally lose this game thing,” Tyler Wahl going to play? Trey McGowens is, and when Nebraska has both McGowens’s, they’ve pushed Creighton and Indiana. And the game is Lincoln. Tip is at 4:00 CST [MNW: Is it?], so don’t expect a raucous crowd, but there are a lot of indicators pointing toward “tricky.”

Beez: Why in the world is this game on at 3 p.m. on a Thursday? Seems super weird, but I guess it ensures that nobody can or will watch what will likely be a totally unwatchable slugfest where Wisconsin (hopefully) wins, but probably only by like 6 and it’ll be close to tied as the game winds down.


beep boop

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (25 votes)
  • 35%
    (14 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

#16 Ohio State Buckeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers

7pm | ESPN | Line, Total TBD

WSR: I have no idea who will be healthy or cleared for the game. Also, I have no expectations of winning, but it’d be nice if we could give the Buckeyes a game. Let’s see what happen, eh?

MaximumSam: Buckeyes also trying to get healthy. Justice Sueing is practicing, but unlikely to play. No Seth Towns still. Meechie Johnson is wearing a mask and may be available. A MASH unit of a game. The Buckeyes have been completely unable to play defense lately, and the offense has also struggled from outside, so not knowing what to expect is par for the course.



This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (29 votes)
  • 53%
    (33 votes)
62 votes total Vote Now

#6 Purdue Boilermakers at Iowa Hawkeyes

8pm | FS1 | Line, Total TBD

BoilerUp89: Big week for the Boilers as they try to stay in the conference race. Couple of key questions:
1) Will Ivey play?
2) Will Purdue better handle Iowa’s press?
3) How will Purdue defend Murray this time?



This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (47 votes)
  • 32%
    (23 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now

Here’s a place to talk about the games. Go nuts, behave, whatever.