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Spartans and Badgers in Action on Thursday

Spartans_WebThe weather has forced the postponement of two of the five games scheduled for Thursday involving ranked teams. The game between the Louisville Cardinals and Temple Owls has been postponed as have the #23 SMU Mustangs and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. That leaves three ranked teams playing on Thursday as the #18 Creighton Blue Jays will try to start a new win streak against the Butler Bulldogs, the #9 Michigan State Spartans host the pesky Northwestern Wildcats and the #21 Wisconsin Badgers host the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Blue Jays are coming off a loss suffered Sunday against the St. John’s Red Storm 70-65. The game against the Bulldogs was probably one that looked to be a big one before the season began, but now the following game against the Villanova Wildcats is the big one. The Blue Jays are again led by Doug McDermott, a Player of the Year candidate that averages 25 points per game. The Bulldogs are finding the going rough in their first year of the Big East after coach Brad Stevens left to coach the Boston Celtics. Butler is 12-12 and 2-10 in the Big East. Creighton is 19-4, 9-2.

Michigan State needs a win to keep pace with the Michigan Wolverines atop the Big Ten standings. The Spartans are 20-4 and 9-2 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats are still looking for their first ever NCAA Tournament bid. A win tonight would sure help with that effort. They are 12-12 and 5-6.  The Spartan have a chance at the Wolverines a week from Sunday in Ann Arbor. They will need to win tonight and also over the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Purdue Boilermakers to make sure they can take the outright lead with a win over Michigan. The Spartans lost a tough game their last time out to the Badgers 60-58.

The Badgers have now won two in a row thanks to a buzzer beater from Traevon Jackson to knock off the Spartans. They were struggling prior to their last two game having lost five of six. A win tonight would be big for the Badgers as they will have road games with the Wolverines and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Not that there are any off nights in the Big Ten, but those are two tough ones. The Gophers could sure use this win as it would even their Big Ten mark. They are 16-8 and 5-6. A 5.00 record in the Big Ten will probably be good enough to get an NCAA bid. Once a team dips a couple games below .500 it gets iffy.

Bovada has the odds on tonight’s games:

Creighton at Butler– Creighton is -8 -115 and Butler os +8 -105. We we go with Creighton -8 -115. Look for them to bounce back strong after the St. John’s loss.

Northwestern at Michigan State– Northwestern is +15 EVEN and Michigan State is -15 EVEN. We like the Wildcats +15 as the Spartans are still a bit beat up with injuries.

Minnesota at Wisconsin-  Minnesota is +8.5 EVEN and Wisconsin is -8.5 EVEN. We are going to take the Gophers +8.5. We do like the Badgers to win the game though.




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