Around the Big Ten (Basketball): Jan. 28
Big Ten basketball action is heating up this week as there is only one game of separation between the top five teams in the conference. With plenty of games left in the Big Ten season, let's go over what's happening..
The Wisconsin Badgers and the Illinois Fighting Illini are tied at the top of the Big Ten so far this season. Both teams have not played each other yet this season however, their first and only matchup of the season will be coming soon when they battle it out on Wednesday, February 2. This game could go far in determining who gets the top overall seed in the Big Ten tournament.
The Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes are both a half-game back of the previously mentioned top-two teams.
Michigan State is coming off a 1-1 split against the top-two teams in the Big Ten. An impressive win over Wisconsin helped with their conference standings.
Then in their next matchup against Illinois, if they win, it would give them first place in the Big Ten. However, the Spartans dropped the game, which didn't have Kofi Cockburn and Andre Curbelo play in, 56-55.
Michigan State has a hard schedule left as they still have to play the top-four teams in the Big Ten once each.
Ohio State is in their “easier” part of the schedule if such a thing exists in the Big Ten. Many of their next several games are against the middle-to-lower pack of the Big Ten. However, the Buckeyes face a huge matchup in their next game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The Indiana Hoosiers embarrassed Penn State this week in a 74-57 trouncing in Bloomington. However, it wasn’t a perfect week for them, as the Michigan Wolverines were able to take care of business against the Hoosiers 80-62.
Michigan was the pre-season No. 1 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines have had an underwhelming season so far, but they seem to have found some success lately. They are riding a three-game winning streak heading into this week.
But, two games against top teams Michigan State and Purdue were postponed earlier in the season. If they can get two wins against those teams when they play again, Michigan could look to shake up the Big Ten.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are also a team underperforming in the Big Ten right now. With a 14-6 overall record the Hawkeyes look good, but their conference record of 4-5 leaves a lot to be desired.
The Hawkeyes are led by the Murray twin brothers who have had the team on their back this year following Luke Garza’s departure to the NBA. The Hawkeyes, like the Wolverines, still have a shot to get back into the Big Ten standings and it starts with next week's game against Ohio State.
There will be plenty of action in the Big Ten for the rest of the season, and look for plenty of shake ups in the standings to come in a tight conference.
Dale Ostrander is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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