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Wednesday Random Thoughts and Picks

- Purdue snapped their losing streak by winning at Illinois last night, behind 24 and 12 from JaJuan Johnson and the out of nowhere 14 points off the bench by some guy named John Hart who had 8 total points this season coming into the game. Demitri McCamey had a big game for the Illini with 28 points and 9 assists, but it wasn't enough.

- Bad news for Iowa State yesterday as 3-point sharpshooter Lucca Staiger has pulled a T.J. Parker and quit the team to play professionally in Europe. This leaves the Cyclones with just 7 scholarship players, and with the tough Big 12 schedule in front of them it doesn't appear they will get anywhere close to the NCAA tournament, taking some of the luster off NU's win over them back in November.

- Wisconsin landed a solid point guard recruit from Chicago for the class of 2011. I was disappointed to read the article and not see Northwestern listed as one of the teams who recruited him. Carmody and his staff need to bring in a point guard to replace Michael Thompson, and letting the local talent get away will make that task tougher.

- A little late to the party mentioning this, but Northwestern did return to the others receiving votes category in the AP poll on Monday, getting 6 total points. Thanks to some detective work, it appears all 6 points came from Seth Davis ranking the 'Cats 20th. It's going to be very difficult for NU to get back into the top 25 this year unless they win at least 2 of the next 3 games.

- On a lighter note, BHGP did a nice job ripping apart a terrible article on Iowa basketball.

Wednesday Picks

Big Ten games: 10-9-1
Northwestern games: 8-2

1-1 last night as Ohio State easily covered but Purdue hit their free throws in the final minute to keep Illinois from covering +4.5.

Iowa at Michigan State (-21.5), 5:30, BTN

I usually stay away from point spreads this large as it's tough to determine how long team's starters will stay in with a big lead. Obviously this game will not be close, but Michigan State has been calling off the dogs late with big leads this year as seen by them letting Illinois get within 10 in garbage time after being up 23. So I guess I'll take Iowa, I dunno I hate picking games like this.

Pick: Iowa

Michigan at Wisconsin (-8), 7:30, BTN

I like this matchup for Wisconsin since Michigan is too small a team to exploit the absence of Jon Leuer. While Michigan's role players finally stepped up and hit some threes Sunday against UConn, they haven't been able to do it much of the season and I don't see them keeping it up in a hostile environment against an excellent defensive team.

Pick: Wisconsin