NCAA Basketball Picks: For All Big Ten Tournament Round 2 Games

Willie Bee

Thursday, March 10, 2016 4:10 PM GMT

Michigan could be facing a must-win on Day 2 at the B1G Tourney in Indy, and the Wolverines open our coverage with free NCAA basketball picks on all four games.

Day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis begins with a noon (ET) clash between the No 8 seed Michigan Wolverines and No. 9 seed Northwestern Wildcats. The Big Ten Network will televise the tilt that finds Michigan -2 at Pinnacle with a 132 point total at Bookmaker.

Northwestern (20-11 straight up, 15-13 against the spread) will be aiming for a school record 21st win in this one, the Wildcats in that position thanks to winning their final three regular season contests.  Chris Collins' crew beat the NCAA basketball odds in each decision, which came against the bottom feeders in the conference, and finished the campaign on a 2-4 O/U run in the totals column.

A loss could send Michigan (20-11 SU, 15-14 ATS) to the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines are a very shaky 67th in RPI after dropping four of their final five, the only victory coming at home over Northwestern.

In that matchup, Michigan started slowly before getting things in gear as 7 point chalk. John Beilein's bunch converted at a 49% clip from the field, the biggest stat in the 72-63 triumph on the free-throw line where the Wolverines outscored the Wildcats, 20-5. It was Michigan's eighth win in the last nine meetings, giving the Maize & Blue a 110-57 record in the rivalry.

My first free NCAA basketball pick for the day will be an 'under' play.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 135
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

Gard Gets 1st Taste Guiding Badgers In Tournament
The word 'interim' no longer appears in Greg Gard's title at Wisconsin, and the Badgers head coach would love to start his run guiding them through postseason tournaments with a win over Nebraska. This battle caps the second day in Indy, tipping around 9 PM (ET) with Wisconsin an early 7½ point favorite and the total yet to be released.

Nebraska (15-17 SU, 15-12 ATS) had enough to beat a 14 point spread against Rutgers on Wednesday, the Cornhuskers coming out on top by an 89-72 count. The final went past the total, but there are trends that point to an 'under' play for this one once the total comes out in the low-mid 130s.

Gard's days at Wisconsin (20-11 SU, 16-14-1 ATS) got off to a slow start as the Badgers dropped four of their first conference games. They shrugged that off to win 11 of the next 13, however, the only losses at Michigan State and Purdue. The Badgers beat the 'Huskers 79-57 earlier this season to cover a -7½ line, and they'll do it again tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Wisconsin -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

'Eyes Have It In Remaining 2nd-Round Matchups
The remaining pair of games find the No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes and No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes favored in matches that play out between the previous two clashes. Iowa takes on Illinois in the second game of the day which can be seen on the Big Ten Network, and the Hawkeyes are -11 at 5Dimes where a total is still in the works.

As soon as that one is finished, Ohio State meets No. 10 Penn State over on ESPN2 at approximately 6:30 PM (ET). The Buckeyes are giving up 5½ to the Nittany Lions on the college basketball betting board with 128 for the scoreboard mark.

Iowa (21-9 SU, 14-13 ATS) petered out at the end of what started to be a strong campaign for Fran McCaffery and Co. The Hawkeyes lost five of their final seven, two to top-seeded Indiana without covering the odds in either. They'll be facing an Illinois (14-18 SU, 15-14-1 ATS) squad that got here by routing Minnesota in the opening round. Iowa got past Illinois in Champaign a little more than a month ago, the 77-65 decision enough to cover as -9 chalk.

Ohio State (19-12 SU, 16-15 ATS) did its best to close the regular season strong, only to run into Michigan State twice in the final two weeks and drop both games by 19+ points. The Buckeyes recently lost Jae'Sean Tate for the season with a shoulder injury, the sophomore scoring 20 earlier this year when OSU beat the Nittany Lions, 66-46, as 9 point chalk.

Penn State (16-15 SU, 14-15-1 ATS) did close with four wins in its last six, including an upset of Iowa as a 9 point underdog. The Nittany Lions have lost all three conference tournament tries vs. the Buckeyes who are 32-14 all-time against PSU.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 128
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

As for Illinois vs. Iowa, I can't trust Hawkeyes enough to take the juice right now, so am taking the points for my free college basketball pick. 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Illinois +10.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle