Around the Big Ten (Basketball): Feb. 26
This week in Big Ten hoops truly started unlike any other.
Michigan head coach Juwan Howard was suspended for the remainder of the regular season after getting handsy with Wisconsin’s staff after their loss on Sunday.
The Badgers then went on to beat Minnesota on Wednesday. Now, Wisconsin is tied with Purdue for the lead in the Big Ten.
Michigan, led by assistant head coach and longtime Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli, beat Rutgers on Wednesday as the Wolverines fight for their postseason lives.
Purdue started off the week by beating Rutgers improving their conference record to 13-4. The Boilermakers will head to East Lansing next to take on Michigan State in an important Big Ten matchup that will put their conference lead on the line.
Rutgers is now 10-7 in-conference after beating multiple ranked opponents. The Scarlet Knights now seem to have an uphill battle to be a lock in March and have a prayer of winning the Big Ten tournament.
Ohio State had a nice week after its loss against Iowa last Saturday. The Buckeyes beat Indiana then impressively defeated Illinois by three points on the road, which puts them both with five conference losses. Illinois will get its chance to redeem themselves on Sunday, Feb. 27 in Ann Arbor against a beatable Michigan team.
Michigan State is currently on a three game skid with a bad loss coming against Penn State last week. Two more losses came to Illinois last weekend and a blowout loss to Iowa on Tuesday night.
Indiana is really where the drop off of talent lies within this conference. The Hoosiers have been playing better basketball as of late and had a tough overtime loss to Ohio State on Monday, and followed that with a win against Maryland on Thursday. After Indiana, the rest of the Big Ten sure seems to be having a tough time.
The group of Penn State, Northwestern, Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska will fight to even receive an NIT invite.
Penn State lost to Maryland recently and plays Northwestern this Friday, Feb. 25 as the Nittany Lions attempt to get their seventh conference win.
Northwestern beat Nebraska to end the Wildcat’s three game losing streak.
Nebraska’s season isn’t going to get much better. The Cornhuskers lost to Northwestern and have a tough matchup against Iowa to finish out their week.
Maryland beat Penn State to start out its week then lost to Indiana. It’s been a tough conference schedule for the Terrapins who just can’t seem to figure it out.
Minnesota as well has really been up and down and just too inconsistent. The Golden Gophers hung tough with Wisconsin on Wednesday, and will get a shot at Indiana to finish out their week on Sunday.
Sam Kirk is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.