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Quick Saturday Big Ten Picks

Minnesota at Penn State (+3.5), 1 PM, BTN

It will be interesting to see how Minnesota looks today. They've had a week off since getting blown out by Ohio State, and this is basically a must win if they want to keep their at-large hopes alive. However, the Gophers have really struggled on the road all season, so even though Minnesota should win by double digits, I don't think it will be easy. Penn State is still playing hard despite their terrible record. No one wants to go 0-18 in conference play, and this is one of the few winnable games on paper remaining on their schedule. I'm torn, but I think I'll take Minnesota giving only 3.5.

Pick: Minnesota

Wisconsin at Michigan (Pick 'em), 3 PM, CBS

Am I missing something here? Did Wisconsin's team bus crash on the way to Ann Arbor? Did Michigan bring in Jalen Rose or Jamal Crawford? I am baffled by this line, baffled. Michigan has been decent at home this year, and I know it's a classic letdown game for Wisconsin, but still. Michigan quit in the second half against Northwestern on Tuesday, and I haven't seen anything from Michigan all season to indicate they will play hard for 40 minutes today, while Bo Ryan always has Wisconsin playing hard.

Pick: Wisconsin

Michigan State at Illinois (+1.5), 8 PM, ESPN

This match-up is somewhat reminiscent of when Wisconsin came to Northwestern a few weeks ago, in the Badgers' first game without Jon Leuer. It seemed like a golden opportunity for the 'Cats to beat a ranked team, but Wisconsin showed they were the better team even without their star big man. I expect this game to be about the same. Even without Kalin Lucas, Michigan State is still a better team than Illinois, and they now need a win to maintain their lead over the rest of the conference. Illinois needs this game too, but their execution down the stretch has been lacking for much of the season, so I think Michigan State grinds out a win.

Pick: Michigan State

Season Records

Overall: 30-22-2
Northwestern games: 12-2