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Saturday Big Ten Picks

Season Records

Big Ten games: 12-10-1
Northwestern games: 8-2

Michigan State at Minnesota (-2), 11 AM, CBS

This figures to be an excellent game as the Gophers are always tough at home and the Spartans are always tough against everyone except North Carolina. The big news here is that Minnesota guard and glue guy Al Nolen is now academically ineligible for the rest of the season, as apparently Jan Ganglehoff was unavailable to do his coursework. Nolen was a key defender for Tubby Smith and his absence will be sorely missed. Michigan State is coming off a poor performance at home as they barely escaped against Iowa. I think that game will serve as a wake-up call the Spartans needed, and they will win in impressive fashion and continue to run away with the Big Ten title race.

Pick: Michigan State

Ohio State at West Virginia (-6), 1 PM, CBS

The bookies continue to underrate Ohio State and until they figure it out I will keep picking them. West Virginia can play, but they have no one to guard Evan Turner. Turner is finally getting attention for national player of the year, and this is a great opportunity for him to show what he can do to a national audience. The Buckeyes may lose but they are on a roll right now and almost certainly won't get blown out.

Pick: Ohio State

Michigan at Purdue (-11), 3 PM, ESPN

11 points is a lot to give, but after Michigan gave away that game to Wisconsin on Wednesday I think they come out flat today. Also, Purdue is finally back on track and returns home to the friendly confines of Mackey Arena. This should be a double digit win for Purdue as long as Michigan doesn't hit a lot of threes.

Pick: Purdue

Stick around later today for a preview of tonight's matchup against Illinois.