Men’s Basketball Around the Big Ten: Week 11
Brian McLaughlin, Will Desautelle and Eric Chamblis look at thiss weekend's baskebtall matchups around the conference.
With the first month of conference play nearly over, the Big Ten standings are starting to spread out with definite leaders staking their claim at the top. The local Penn State team has continued to struggle recently, losing both of their games this week and falling to second-to-last place in the conference. Let’s take a look at how everyone’s week went around the Big Ten.
Illinois (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten):
The Fighting Illini split their two games this week, taking their win from Iowa to tie up the two teams’ conference records at 3-5. Their loss to Michigan marked the Wolverines’ third conference win as well. Next week’s schedule is looking like another possible split as they head to State College to take on a struggling Penn State team on Saturday and finish off their week at home against a very formidable Wisconsin team the following Tuesday.
Indiana (14-6, 4-3 Big Ten):
Indiana only had one game this week, which they won over Michigan State, 82-75. Not only was the win the Hoosiers’ third in a row, it put them ahead of Michigan State in the Big Ten standings. Next week Indiana heads on the road to face both Michigan and Northwestern, a series that will give the Hoosiers’ winning streak a run for its money.
Iowa (11-10, 3-5 Big Ten):
Iowa had a disappointing week for Hawkeye fans, losing both of their games and increasing their losing streak to three. The next week looks to be a little more hopeful as the Hawkeyes take on similar foe Ohio State and then Rutgers who currently stands in last place in the Big Ten.
Maryland (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten):
Terps fans are getting happier every day as two wins this week increases their team’s winning streak to five and they continue to hold their ground at the top of the Big Ten. Look for their streak to continue as they face middle-of-the-table Minnesota and Ohio State this week.
Michigan (13-7, 3-4 Big Ten):
Michigan’s one game this week ended in a 66-57 win over Illinois to keep the inconsistent Michigan team in the middle of the pack. This upcoming week looks to be dangerous as the Wolverines are matched up against the two teams directly ahead of them in the conference, Indiana and Michigan State.
Michigan State (12-9, 4-4 Big Ten):
Michigan State has been in a slump recently having lost three games in a row, including the two they played this week. One of their losses this week did come from a dominant Purdue team, so there is not much to fault them for there. The Spartans look to turn around their recent play against two teams below them in the standings, Michigan and Nebraska.
Minnesota (15-6, 3-5 Big Ten):
After starting off the season looking like one of the favorites to win the division, Minnesota has fallen apart in Big Ten play, losing four in a row including two this week. Their next game doesn’t look too promising either as conference leaders Maryland will be knocking on their door on Saturday.
Nebraska (9-10, 3-4 Big Ten):
Nebraska has been streaky all year, putting a nice winning streak up to start the year and then losing three and repeating that process. Now they are on another losing streak, falling to lowly Rutgers by one point to make it four in a row. Their fortunes don’t look to be flipping again as they will be matched up against two strong teams in Northwestern and Purdue this week.
Northwestern (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten):
Northwestern has been trying to pry their way into the top of the conference for a while and they keep winning, adding another against Ohio State this past week. Sadly, for the Wildcats, the top teams keep winning too, forcing Northwestern to hold on to fourth for now. Northwestern will look to continue its top play against Nebraska and Indiana this week.
Ohio State (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten):
The Buckeyes looked good at the beginning of the season but, once conference play started, they became inconsistent. This trend continued this week as they split their two games, bringing home a win over Minnesota but falling to Northwestern. It would not be surprising if the streak of mediocrity continues this week as they go up against Iowa and Maryland.
Penn State (11-10, 3-5 Big Ten):
Being such a young team, it’s not surprising that the Nittany Lions are finding it hard to consistently put up good games against such a tough conference. The Blue and White lost both of their games this week and will look to even their record against Illinois and Indiana. It wouldn’t be surprising to see another split week from Penn State.
Purdue (17-4, 6-2 Big Ten):
Purdue is riding a three game winning streak going into this upcoming week as they soundly defeated Penn State and Michigan State to give them the third place in the Big Ten. Look for their streak to continue as they take on Nebraska on Sunday.
Rutgers (12-9, 1-7 Big Ten):
Rutgers have not done much right this year as they hadn’t been able to scrape up a win against any Big Ten opponents until this week. Rutgers beat Nebraska to give them a 1-7 record in the Big Ten as part of their two games this week. Sitting solidly at the bottom of the standings, it doesn’t look like they will be going anywhere this upcoming week as they will take on Wisconsin and Iowa.
Wisconsin (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten):
Wisconsin, though placed in second in the Big Ten, are tied with Maryland to lead the conference. Over the last week they won both of their games, including a stomping of Penn State to increase their winning streak to four. It doesn’t look like their fight for first will have much of a challenge this week as they take on Rutgers and Illinois.
Tommy Butler is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.