There’s no marquee game today but there are several games that could ultimately impact a team’s seeding and whether they get in the tournament or not. Here’s some selections on this Saturday.
Purdue at #1 Indiana 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here’s the run down, Indiana went to West Lafayette last month, expecting a typical, hard fought battle in a rivalry game that is always filled with emotion. What they got? A 97-60 road victory over Matt Painter’s Boilermaker squad. Had A.J. Hammons not gone off for 30 points this one might have been much worse. Indiana won’t win by 37 again, which shouldn’t be viewed as a negative by any means. But expect a big Hoosier win.
IU 85 Purdue 65
#2 Duke at Maryland 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
Wanna see a team still trying to figure it out? No, not Maryland, Duke. The Dukies barely squeaked past Boston College last Sunday and had a tough victory against North Carolina on Wednesday night in Cameron. UNC shot 13-23 from the free throw line in a game it lost by five. Hmm. Alex Len of Maryland is an NBA player who hasn’t scored in double figures in three of the past five games for the Terrapins. If he gets going, it could be close.
Duke 67 Maryland 60
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Remember when Oklahoma State was a tournament team? Yeah, it was a fun thing to watch in the Big 12. Then the conference lost a few members, and it became Kansas and everyone else, just like it is this year. Or was, until last weekend when Oklahoma upset the Jayhawks at home. Marcus Smart is a gem for OK State and I expect the same today at Gallagher-Iba. Oklahoma State is in a three way tie for first place in the Big 12 too.
Oklahoma State 79 Oklahoma 64
#22 Memphis at Marshall 8:00 p.m. ET, CBSS
Memphis has a 15 game winning streak on the line in Huntington this evening. The Tigers who haven’t lost on the road all year will be ready to handle the Thundering Herds home crowd. The Tigers are the one game each member of Conference USA has circled, as it is their last year in the conference before jumping to the Big East next season. Expect more of the same for the red hot Tigers.
Memphis 82 Marshall 59
Ohio State at Wisconsin 1 p.m. ET, CBS Sunday
What a game this one will be. Ohio State dropped one to Indiana last Sunday on CBS and returns to the network for a highly anticipated rivalry game at Wisconsin. Deshaun Thomas was 6 for 17 from the floor in Thursday’s rather close victory over Northwestern at home and he has to regain his composure as the best scorer in the Big Ten. Wisconsin on the other hand needs to keep pace with league leaders Indiana and Michigan State to earn a top 4 seed and a bye in Chicago. This will be a typical, grind it out game and I look for a battle.
Ohio State 61 Wisconsin 56
Minnesota at Iowa 2 p.m. ET, BTN
This one will be interesting. Iowa does not want to be in the 8-9 game in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and have to play the top seed on Friday in the quarterfinals. Fran McCaffery’s squad is making strides and toppling Minnesota at home will do wonders for his team ranked fourth in the league in scoring defense. But they first have to stop Andre and Austin Hollins, actually no relation but both from Memphis, Minnesota’s mules in the backcourt. This game is huge as Iowa could tie Minnesota in the standings with a win. Expect a battle. I’m gong with the upset.
Iowa 71 Minnesota 68