Around the Big Ten: Week 15 (Basketball)
The Big Ten season has been incredible, and is winding down with only a few games left before all the teams go to Indianapolis to compete in the Big Ten Tournament. In the final week, the Big Ten has six teams ranked in the polls, including four teams ranked in the top-10.
The Big Ten had one of their most anticipated games of the year on Tuesda,y when No. 4 Illinois traveled to Ann Arbor to take on No. 2 Michigan. In a shocking game, the Fighting Illini blew out the Wolverines 76-53.
Illinois won this game without the services of star player Ayo Dosunmu, who was still out of the lineup due to a facial injury suffered against Michigan State. Illinois with the win can still clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title, and they also increased their chances to clinch a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Even with the loss, Michigan still has an incredible resume. The Wolverines had three great wins last week over Ohio State, Iowa and Indiana. The blowout loss to Illinois is not great, but the Wolverines are still an incredible team whose goals are still obtainable in the final weeks of the season.
The Big Ten has been the best conference, and it has a lot of teams on the bubble right now. Indiana has been on the bubble all year, and it might have played themselves on the wrong side of it in the last few games.
Indiana has lost four straight games, including two losses to Michigan State and a blowout loss to Rutgers. Indiana has one of the top players in the nation with Trayce Jackson-Davis and have some quality wins, but the Hoosiers do sit under .500 at the moment.
The Hooisers have a huge road game at No. 23 Purdue, and could need a good run in the Big Ten Tournament to clinch their spot in the NCAA Tournament this year.
Another team that has fallen hard over the last month has been the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota started the season on fire, but has struggled as of late, especially on the road. The Gophers have not won a game away from Williams Arena in over a year, and now have some really bad losses.
The Gophers have lost six straight games, including their last three to teams at the bottom of the Big Ten standings in Northwestern, Nebraska and Penn State. The Penn State loss was especially bad for the Gophers, as they got blown out by 19 points in a game they were never really in. Minnesota has one of the top players in the conference in Marcus Carr, but the injuries have added up for them and have the team in a bad position heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
The Big Ten season has been filled with surprises, and has all of the teams competing for a conference crown in Indianapolis next week. Every game this season has been filled with a lot of excitement, and can lead to some of the best games of the year in the final week and Big Ten Tournament to follow.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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