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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#547 Northwestern +2 over Minnesota 8:00 PM CT

Northwestern was one of the great stories of the college basketball season last year but this year the Wildcats have struggled and are far away from being in contention for the program’s second NCAA Tournament appearance. The Wildcats have nine losses while going just 3-5 in Big Ten play but this stretch of road games could make or break the chances of turning the season around.

The Wildcats are still a strong 3-point and free throw shooting team and the decline of the defensive numbers can be attributed in part to the schedule with five losses to top 25 caliber teams already this season. Northwestern has only one road win this season but this is a favorable opportunity facing a reeling Gophers team.

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After a 13-3 start to the season Minnesota has dropped five of the last six games with Reffie Lynch and Amir Coffey out of action. Coffey did return for Saturday’s 18-point loss to Ohio State but was ineffective with three turnovers and only 11 points. This home game follows three consecutive away games for the Gophers and precedes a week off as this is likely a fatigued team with a shortened depth chart, mostly only with seven major contributors.

Northwestern won by 23 in Evanston in early January and a dramatic shift in the trajectory of this game shouldn’t be expected. The Wildcats have won four of the last five meetings between these teams and has been the far superior defensive team in this matchup. Minnesota has three home losses this season and the only Big Ten home wins came against the bottom of the conference as the Wildcats are the team more likely to breakout tonight in a battle of two of the Big Ten’s big disappointments.

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