Around the Big Ten: Men’s Basketball
Host Trent Fye alongside analysts Jeremy Ganes and Matt Black talk all things Big Ten basketball:
With the Big Ten Basketball teams fighting for the number one spot in the conference, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State are all tied up at 9-2 in the conference.
Both Michigan and Michigan State let the top spot slip out of their hands with a loss last week. Purdue on the other hand has pulled together a string of victories and have climbed to the top with the state of Michigan foes. The Big Ten has a very top heavy conference this year with six teams in the top 25.
Let’s look at the recap of last week’s action in the Big Ten:
Illinois (8-15, 4-8)
Illinois split their games last week, losing their first game to Minnesota, 75-86, but then coming back to beat Nebraska, 71-64. They are at the bottom of the conference and their schedule only gets tougher. They upset No.9 Michigan State earlier in the week and play Rutgers next.
Indiana (13-10, 4-8)
Indiana was upset in their first game of the week to Rutgers, 58-66, but came back in the strongest possible way upsetting No.6 Michigan State. A relatively up and down season for Indiana, but this upset win may turn the page for a strong finish. They lost a close game to Indiana earlier in the week, next they play Ohio State.
Iowa (18-5, 7-5 Big Ten)
Iowa has caught fire late in the season put themselves in the top 25. After dropping a close one to Minnesota, 87-92, they came back with a stunning upset to No.5 Michigan, 74-59. They beat Indiana earlier in the week, they play Northwestern next.
Maryland (18-6, 9-4)
Maryland has been a steady team this year. They are sitting fifth in the conference and are in a good spot to make it to the tournament. The Terrapins won their first game of the week to Northwestern, 70-52, but dropped their second game to No.19 Wisconsin, 67-69. They won their only game this week against Nebraska.
Michigan (21-2, 10-2)
Michigan came off their first game of the week beating their bitter foe Ohio State, 65-49. They dropped their second game to Iowa and this loss sets them back into a tie with Purdue. The Wolverines won their first game of the week against Rutgers. Next is a rematch with Wisconsin, which handed them their first loss of the season.
Michigan State (18-5, 9-3)
Michigan State is coming off an upset to Indiana, 75-79, and this was after another loss to Purdue, 63-73, earlier in the week. It only got worse for Michigan State as they lost to Illinois earlier in the week. They take on Minnesota on Sunday.
Minnesota (16-7, 6-6)
Minnesota is coming off a week where they split the outcome. Winning their first game against Illinois, 86-75, they lost their second game to No.17 Purdue, 63-73. They lost to No.19 Wisconsin earlier in the week. Next they play No.9 Michigan State, ending what will be arguably the toughest stretch of games this week. These games will surely determine Minnesota’s tournament fate.
Nebraska (13-10, 3-9)
Nebraska is on a five game skid and after the Penn State victory over Northwestern, this gives Nebraska the longest losing streak in the conference. Last week they dropped both their games to No.19 Wisconsin and Illinois. They lost to No.24 Maryland earlier in the week and next they are set to play Purdue.
Northwestern (12-10, 3-8)
Northwestern is coming off an upset loss to Penn State and another loss earlier in the week to No.24 Maryland. They are on a three game skid and it may grow to four. This week they don’t play anyone until Sunday, as they prepare to take on No.20 Iowa.
Ohio State (15-7, 5-6)
Ohio State split their games last week with a bitter loss to Michigan. They then responded with a victory over Rutgers. Earlier in the week, Ohio State beat Penn State in a tight contest and they got their payback from being swept by Penn State last year. Next they play Indiana.
Penn State (8-15, 1-11)
Penn State has had a rough go at it this season, with ten straight conference losses. Their losing streak finally ended with an upset victory over Northwestern, 59-52, and they got their first conference win. They lost their only game this week to Ohio State in a close matchup.
Purdue (16-6, 9-2)
Purdue has pulled together the strongest string of victories and willed their way to the top of the conference after a tough start to the season. Last week, Purdue survived a rally by Penn State in overtime and handled Minnesota. Purdue holds the longest win streak in the conference with seven. This week they take on Nebraska then No.24 Maryland.
Rutgers (11-11, 4-8)
Rutgers is coming off their first loss after winning three straight conference games. They won against Indiana, 66-58, but they lost their second game to Ohio State, 62-76. They lost to No.7 Michigan earlier in the week. Rutgers will play Illinois next.
Wisconsin (17-6, 9-3)
Wisconsin has caught fire late in the season, stemming from their conference upset win against Michigan. They are on a five game conference winning streak with the best defense recently, not giving up more than 61 points a game for the last five games. Last week they swept, beating Nebraska and No.24 Maryland. They won earlier in the week against Minnesota. No.7 Michigan is their next game.
Trent Fye is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.