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Big Ten Tonight Is Just Getting Warmed Up

It was a wild weekend in Big Ten basketball, as Purdue was exposed, Wisconsin was inconsistent, and Michigan proved that they are who we thought they were. But all these stories are secondary right now: tonight the premiere non-conference showcase of college basketball begins with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. There's only one game this evening though:

Virginia Cavaliers at #15 Minnesota Golden Gophers (-13), 6 PM central, ESPN2

Sadly, the opening game of the challenge is also the biggest mismatch. Virginia is in rebuilding mode under Tony Bennett and will have a tough time keeping this one close, even though starters Al Nolen and Rodney Williams are both out with injuries for Minnesota. Devoe Joseph will probably return to the lineup for Minnesota, but even without him, the Gophers are too big and athletic inside for Virginia's front line to handle. I'm staying away from the 13 point spread though, too many injury questions.

Gambling record on the season: 4-4 (I'm counting my Wisconsin-ND under pick on Twitter from last night, which was such an obvious pick that the game could have gone into OT and the under still likely would have won. It's rare for Vegas to screw up a line that badly, but on the off-chance it happens again, follow me on Twitter (@Loretta8_SoP).