Around the Big Ten: Week 6 (Basketball)
The Big Ten has been one of the top conferences in college basketball this year, and the polls showed the talent in the conference this week. The conference had nine teams ranked in the AP Top-25, by far the most by any conference.
The biggest surprise in the conference this season has been the rise of the Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern started 3-0 in conference play with huge wins over Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State. The Wildcats rose all the way to No. 19 in the polls as a result of the hot start.
Northwestern did drop its first game of conference play to No. 10 Iowa on Tuesday night, but the Wildcats had a chance to win the game even without a great game from star guard Boo Buie. Northwestern got off to a red hot start, and seems to be a contender in the loaded Big Ten conference.
Another team that has gotten off to a hot start has been No. 21 Minnesota. The Golden Gophers got blown out in their first conference game at Illinois, but have since won the last three games, including big wins over Iowa and Michigan State.
The Golden Gophers might have the best clutch player in the nation with guard Marcus Carr. Carr is averaging 24 points per game, including a huge 30 point game in the Gophers’ overtime win over Iowa. Minnesota is rolling in conference play, and is another team who can contend for a tournament spot this season.
A team that has surprisingly stumbled out of the gates in conference play has been No. 17 Michigan State. The Spartans are 0-3 in conference play, including two blowout losses to Northwestern and Minnesota. The Spartans looked like one of the top teams in the nation earlier this year, but now have put themself in the bottom of the Big Ten, and will have a tough path to get back on track in this loaded conference.
A huge matchup in the Big Ten takes place on Saturday when No. 10 Iowa takes on No. 14 Rutgers. Both teams have conference title aspirations this year, and both are led by elite stars. Iowa is led by star center Luka Garza, who is averaging 27.7 points and 9.6 rebounds this season. Rutgers is led by star guard Ron Harper Jr., who is averaging 23.4 points and 7.1 rebounds this year.
Along with Garza’s impact underneath, Iowa has the ability to shoot the ball effectively from deep, shooting 37.2% on the year. This is a huge matchup, and just another game between great teams that will be on display every night in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten is an extremely competitive conference, with every team looking to make the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. This makes it extremely tough to get wins, and a lot of upsets could occur in the conference, making every game must-see. The winner in the conference is the fans, who will get to watch college basketball at the highest level every night in the best conference in college basketball.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism