Rutgers guards Geo Baker (0) and Jacob Young (42) celebrate in the closing seconds of overtime in an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, March 7, 2020. Rutgers defeated Purdue 71-68 in overtime.
Rutgers guards Geo Baker (0) and Jacob Young (42) celebrate in the closing seconds of overtime in an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, March 7, 2020. Rutgers defeated Purdue 71-68 in overtime.|Michael Conroy | Associated Press
NCAAB

Big 10 Tournament: Eckel picks Rutgers vs Michigan and thinks it might be the time to ignore the past

Mark Eckel

Big 10 Tournament

Rutgers vs. Michigan (-3), Noon

Forget the past 13 times these two schools have met and where Michigan has won every time.

This one just might be different.

Rutgers (20-11) needs this win as much as the Scarlet Knights have even needed a win. Michigan (18-12) is the final ghost to be exorcized.

The 20-win season, the all but locked-down NCAA bid, and wins over ranked teams are all nice. Now it’s time for the Knights to not just win a game in the Big 10 Tournament, but to finally beat Michigan.

Rutgers ended the regular season with two good wins over top 10 Maryland and on the road at Purdue. The Wolverines struggled down the stretch losing three of their last four, with the only win against last-place, 25-loss Nebraska.

There are some trends that favor the Scarlet Knights as well. Michigan is 5-11-1 against the spread vs. teams with a winning record and 4-10 against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

Rutgers is just the opposite with a 15-5-2 record ATS against winning teams. The Knights are also 12-5-2 in their las 19 games as an underdog.

The Pick: Take Rutgers and the points and get ready to celebrate in Piscataway.

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