Northwestern heads to the Barn tonight to take on Minnesota and their gigantic front line, and let's just say I'm less than optimistic. If you want to read a preview from a Gopher perspective, check out Down With Goldy's preview, featuring a AC style mini-rant I left on there Sunday while in the throes of depression. Really though, you should be reading Down With Goldy anyways; in addition to excellent Minnesota analysis, you get national college basketball coverage, Twins talk, golf talk, and even the occasional ramblings of some crazy alcoholic chick who's obsessed with North Dakota hockey.
Some news from around the Big Ten:
- Last night, Ohio State did vicious things to Purdue; I'm surprised that level of violence could be televised on cable (then again, after the horrific violence AMC was allowed to show in The Walking Dead, I guess anything goes these days; they better hope Tony Soprano wasn't watching that horse get eaten alive). With the Big Ten title all but locked up for Ohio State, it's time to start wondering if they can go undefeated. It's certainly a long shot (KenPom gives them an 11% chance of finishing the regular season perfect), but I wouldn't be shocked if the Buckeyes pull it off.
- Michigan State continues their downward spiral, as last night Tom Izzo suspended Korie Lucious for the remainder of the season. While Lucious isn't exactly an All-American (he's an inconsistent shooter and often struggles with turnovers), the guy was a big part of their Final Four run last season and has been playing major minutes this season. In his stead, Tom Izzo will likely turn to walk-on Mike Kebler. Yikes.
Tonight's Big Ten action after the jump....
Iowa Hawkeyes at Penn St. Nittany Lions (-7), 5:30 central, BTN
Iowa finally got their first Big Ten win on Sunday, a sloppy affair against Indiana (and Iowa really needed that one to appease their fan base; some were getting worried about a potential 0-18 season), while Penn State has had a week to stew after consecutive heartbreaking losses at Ohio State and Purdue. On the road in front of a likely dead Bryce Jordan Center, this screams letdown for Iowa louder than Michael Connelly's last novel (come up with some new characters for the love of God). Meanwhile, Penn State will take out all their frustrations on the over-matched Hawkeyes. Take PSU and hope Talor Battle's supporting cast can continue their strong play.
Northwestern Wildcats at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-4.5), 7:30 central, BTN
4 and a half, that's it? I don't see how Minnesota doesn't win by at least eight. This line is essentially saying that NU and Minnesota are equally as good (home court advantage is worth 4 points), and even with Al Nolen on the shelf, Minnesota still has a lights out shooter in Blake Hoffarber and three big men who are all miles better than anyone NU is running out there. NU's pathetic excuse for a defense is easier for enemies to infiltrate than the Counter-Terrorist Unit on 24, and on the rare occasions when Minnesota misses, one of their bigs will get the rebound. So unless Northwestern hits about 20 three-pointers, the Gophers win in a rout. Take Minnesota, lay the points, and watch Maverick Ahanmisi or some other mediocre freshman guard get a triple double.
Gambling record: 12-10-1