Around the Big Ten Basketball: Week 18
Host Ethan Cook, alongside analysts Ben Geller, Logan Bourandas and Kyle Canillo, discuss the Big Ten for the week of March 2.
The final stretch is on and the teams at the top of the conference are still jockeying for those top four spots in hopes of a double bye. As of now Maryland, Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin hold those spots although teams such as Penn State, Iowa and Ohio State are close behind. With the end of the regular season near there are some crucial matchups that could drastically change the top of the standings.
With an upset home loss against Rutgers, Maryland is slowly blowing its chances at the regular season title. The Terps have now lost two straight and sit tied at first with a red hot Michigan State that has won four in a row. This all makes the Terps next home match against Michigan a crucial one. Michigan is three games out of a top-four spot but Maryland needs to find a way to rebound with Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin all on huge winning streaks down the stretch.
Michigan State will also return home to face off against Ohio State. The Spartans on Tuesday managed to go on the road and make a monster second half comeback against Penn State. A win against Ohio State secures the Spartans a bye in the Big Ten tournament. As for Ohio State, the team can still make a late push just two games out of a bye although the Buckeyes have a tough road to get there also taking on Illinois before Michigan State.
Elsewhere at the top, the Wisconsin Badgers seemingly came out of nowhere to climb up the standings to fourth place with the easiest remaining schedule of teams at the top. The Badgers will take on Northwestern and Indiana to close out their season and potentially complete an unreal comeback with help from falls by Penn State and Iowa. Wisconsin currently sits on a six-game winning streak with wins against Ohio State and Michigan, among others.
The race to the finish is going to be insane with all but five teams in the conference four games apart from each other. This all sets up for one of the most competitive conference finishes in recent memory and it should be a wild rest of the season.
Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.