The Big Ten Tournament starts today from the Windy City and in one of the first round matchups the Penn State Nittany Lions will take on the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines. The game is slated for a 2:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. Currently the odds for the game have Michigan favored by 14 points.
Michigan is the fifth seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Had they beaten Indiana on Sunday afternoon, they would have been the third seed and gotten a first round bye. But because of the 1-point grueling loss at home, the Wolverines have to play on the opening day of the tournament. Ouch.
Add to that they play a Penn State team that nearly beat them twice this season, and did beat them in Happy Valley. The Wolverines will certainly be out for some retribution after the loss, looking to get to the second round of the tournament. Waiting for the (potentially) Wolverines will be the Wisconsin Badgers, who had to hit a half-court shot to force overtime against Michigan before ultimately beating the Wolverines.
It seems like Michigan will be using the conference tournament to look to exact some revenge.
Trey Burke, the conference player of the year, will be looking to have a big game today. It's on a neutral floor and Michigan will be looking to get out and run with the basketball. In the previous games Penn State battled some foul trouble but as we saw with Indiana, Michigan struggles hitting key free throws down the stretch. That could ultimately be a major problem for them come tournament time.
But in today's game, hard to believe Jermaine Marshall or D.J. Newbill will be able to stop Burke. Michigan can go one of two ways — they can sulk about not winning a conference regular season or they can get it together, run the table and win the post-season tournament.
That all depends on Burke today. Michigan doesn't turn it over a lot and they don't foul to give opponents free throw attempts. Expect more of that today as Michigan gets a runout win over Penn State to advance in the Big Ten Tournament.
Free Pick: Michigan 70, Penn State 51
College Basketball Free Picks: Penn State vs Michigan (Best Bet)
What college basketball bettors need to know about Penn State Nitany Lions vs Michigan Wolverines on Thursday (3/14/13) - a best bet from Pregame.com's Steve Fezzik, with Vegas Runner.