Let's get right into it.
- Congrats to Iowa for winning the Orange Bowl last night and dominating Georgia Tech's vaunted triple option, which I must say I didn't see coming. Hopefully they're undefeated again when they play Northwestern next season.
- Notre Dame got another Big East win last night at South Florida, led by Luke Harangody's 36 points. I have been short Notre Dame all season and fully expected them to fall apart during Big East play, but so far I've been wrong. I watched a lot of their game at UConn and even though they lost, they played with a lot of heart. Hopefully they knock off a couple ranked Big East teams and get back in the top 25, as NU's tournament resume needs all the help it can get.
- One of the teams on the Irish's fraudulent non-conference schedule was the Long Beach State
Regulators 49ers. While Long Beach State seems like a bunch of busters on paper with a 4-8 record, the RPI rankings say otherwise, listing them at 56th in the country on the strength of an absurdly difficult schedule. They have already played road games at Notre Dame, Texas, Kentucky and Duke, and neutral court games against West Virginia and Clemson (all losses). Their coach Dan Monson (last season failing at Minnesota) must be insane, either that or he had to escape all the drama in the LBC, one of the two.
- Iowa State has a chance for a marquee win tonight as they play Duke at the United Center. I really don't like the Cyclones chances as Duke has been playing great lately especially on defense, but should they somehow pull the upset it could launch them on an NCAA tournament run and bolster Northwestern's resume at the same time.
- Last night there were 2 Big Ten games as Purdue continues to impress and Iowa continues to be woefully inept. The Purdue-Minnesota game was a bit ugly to watch as the refs called too many fouls, although part of that can be attributed to the aggressive defense being played. I didn't watch the Iowa-Illinois game, and I'm glad I didn't as I've seen too many 59-42 type scores watching some of Bill Carmody's terrible teams of years past and I hope to never see games like that again. And it wasn't even that close as Illinois had a 37-15 lead at the half and called off the dogs late.
- Onto the picks for tonight's games. I went 1-1 last night as I underestimated how good Purdue is and correctly estimated how bad Iowa is.
#20 Wisconsin at #11 Michigan State (-5.5), 5:30 PM central, Big Ten Network
This should be a great game as both teams come in playing very well. Wisconsin has been playing lockdown defense so far in Big Ten play allowing just 44.5 points a game, while Michigan State just hung 91 on Northwestern, so something has to give. Here I'd expect Michigan State's superior talent and home court advantage to prevail, although picking against a Bo Ryan coached team is never the greatest idea.
Pick: Michigan State
Indiana at Ohio State (-13), 7:30 PM central, Big Ten Network
Indiana is a surprising 1-0 in Big Ten play after beating Michigan, while Ohio State is 0-2 in the league and really struggling. Fortunately for Buckeye fans, Evan Turner has recovered quickly from his back injury and may play tonight. Even if Turner does not play, this should be a blowout win for Ohio State. They are desperate for a win and with trips to Minnesota and Purdue looming, they're looking at 0-5 if they lose this one. Indiana will play hard, but without Maurice Creek the Hoosiers just don't have the talent to keep this game close.
Pick: Ohio State.