Tip off starts today for conference play in the Big Ten and there will be a lot of great games to watch. The Big Ten is going to have tough conference play for all teams, including trips to several ranked teams.
Here the top three games for the first week of conference play, and of course, my predictions.
Monday, December 31st
5 Indiana @ Iowa
Cody Zeller comes into a blackout at Carver Hawkeye Arena (the sold out arena will be wearing black). Indiana has lost its last four trips to Iowa City. My Hawkeyes are 11-2 and vying for a big win. Indiana’s Jeremy Hollowell has also been reinstated for this game. This will be a close first half, but the Hawkeyes young offense, led by sophomore, Roy Marble, and lack of rebounding will have the Hoosiers come out on top. Hoosiers by nine.
19 Michigan St @ 11 Minnesota
This is my game of the week. Izzo’s team will need to put up or shut up. Keith Appling is going to have a career game at Williams Arena. Tubby’s Gophers are the highest they’ve ever been ranked and are looking to make a statement. Both teams are looking to contend for a Big Ten title. Minnesota’s Rodney Williams, the teams leading scorer, will lead the Gophers to victory by seven.
Saturday, January 5th
10 Ohio State @ 12 Illinois
Both teams have recently lost to other ranked teams. The Illini need to control the game and not lose their lead, unlike the 11 point lead they lost against Mizzou. Ohio State’s DeShaun Thomas needs to keep the shooting consistent. The Buckeyes shot a measly 31% in their loss to Kansas. So who will come out on top? Illini by four.
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