Iowa looks to rebound from a 15 point loss their last time out but that’s what happens when you run into Michigan State. The Hawkeyes put their 2-2 road record to the test when they visit Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are 10-1 at home, but the January 27th Big Ten CBB free pick is listed as a PK. Minnesota had upset on their minds in a 2-point loss at Michigan on Tuesday but will try to avoid another letdown on Sunday afternoon.
#21 Iowa The Popular Play?
Usually when a home team is listed as a PK, it’s says more about the quality of the visiting squad. That’s the case in the January 27th Big Ten CBB free pick as the Hawkeyes are one of the most under-the-radar solid teams in all of college hoops. Fran McCaffery’s team is 16-4 on the year with quality wins over Iowa State, Oregon, UConn, and Pittsburgh. 15 of the Hawkeyes’ 16 wins have come by 5 points or more. The Hawkeyes are a high scoring team ranking 33rd in the country in points per game (82.0). One thing Minnesota can take solace in is the fact that when Iowa loses, they lose bad with all four defeats coming by double digits.
The teams split their series 1-1 last year with each squad getting a win at home. The Hawkeyes do have an advantage in that regard as they return all five starters from a year ago. Four of those five starters average in double figures as well led by Tyler Cook (16.6). Iowa got into a high scoring affair in last year’s game at Williams Arena, falling by the score of 86-82. Isaiah Moss had 32 in that game and Luka Garza chipped in 18 but it wasn’t enough as the Golden Gophers got the win as -1.5 favorites.
Golden Gophers Look to Stay on the Right Side of the Bubble
Minnesota could use a signature win in the January 27th Big Ten CBB free pick as their NCAA tournament hopes are on thin ice. The Golden Gophers almost had tremendous momentum coming into Sunday’s game with the Hawks until a Charles Matthews three pointer gave Michigan a 59-57 win on Tuesday. Jordan Murphy had 15 and 11 to power Minnesota but it wasn’t enough. The loss dropped Minnesota to 4-4 in conference play and their losses have come by an average of 20 points.
The Golden Gophers are an unpredictable squad which makes Sunday afternoon’s contest tough to call. Minnesota has a 7 point win in Madison vs. the Badgers as +9 underdogs but also dropped a 68-95 contest at Illinois as -1 favorites. They do have the edge of beating Iowa at home last season in a game in which Nate Mason had 33 points. That being said, the Gophers also fell 80-94 in Iowa City last season even though Murphy had 21 points and 17 rebounds. Iowa could also be looking past Minnesota a bit as they host Michigan on Friday.
January 27th Big Ten CBB Free Pick
Sunday afternoon’s game being a PK is interesting. On one hand you have Minnesota with the edge as the home team yet Iowa is ranked and has only lost 4 games all season. Minnesota’s win over Iowa last season ended a 9-game losing streak and the Golden Gophers find themselves in a similar situation this year with their tournament hopes on the line. Iowa might be a bit sluggish in this one and Murphy should be dominant.
Big Ten Free Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers PK