The Big ten has easily been the best conference in college basketball this season. As the season rolls forward, the conference just keeps getting better and better.
On Tuesday night, a couple of those Big Ten teams square off for what will be their first conference matchup. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are set to tip off against the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Minnesota head into Tuesday’s contest without having suffered a loss yet this season, of course, their opponents have been fairly weak to say the least.
Illinois has a couple losses on their record, one to Baylor, and the other on Saturday night against rival Missouri. Illinois has already claimed a signature victory over Duke.
It’s all set to go down Tuesday night at 7:00 pm EST on Big Ten Network. You won’t want to miss this Big Ten battle to kick off their season.
While Minnesota may not have drawn the quality opponents early in the season the way Illinois did, they are still flawless after 6 games. Just the way head coach Richard Pitino planned it, right?
It’s been junior guard Marcus Carr leading the way for the Golden Gophers. Carr is averaging 24 points and 6 assists per game. Certainly no slouch.
Guard Both Gach is also tearing it up this season. He’s putting up 15 points and 4 assists per game as well. Minnesota’s guard play has definitely been some did the best in the Big Ten this season.
In this game, Minnesota is going to need more than their guards. They need one of their bigs to be able to keep Kofi Cockburn off the boards and out of the paint. The Gophers are hoping for a big game out of Liam Robbins.
Illinois’ Tough Break
Illinois has played exceptionally well this season. Even being ranked in the top 5 for a few weeks to start the season. However, Saturday nights loss in the Braggin Rights game to Mizzou dropped their ranking from 5 all the way to 13.
That being said, Illinois is a much better team than their 4-2 record shows in this young season. Their other loss came at the hands of the Baylor Bears who play some of the best defense in the country.
Illinois is led by future NBA talent Ayo Dosunmu who decided to return it play his junior year at Illinois. Ayo has been virtually unstoppable his entire college career, but even more so this season.
Ayo dropped 37 on Mizzou in what was not Illinois’ best game. He’s averaging 24.8 points, 5.2 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per game. Those are superstar numbers. If Ayo keeps it going like that, Illinois will be extremely difficult to beat.
Making Your Pick
BetOnline has Illinois favored by 7.5 heading into Tuesday evening, and likely for good reason.
Minnesota just didn’t have the help they need in the paint to keep Ayo out of there, and Kofi off the boards.
Illinois dominates the paint and the game. The pick here is Illinois -7.5. Good luck.
Spooky Express Free Pick – Illinois Fighting Illini -7.5