Around the Big Ten Basketball: Week 5
The Big Ten, which many speculated would be the best conference in college basketball this year, has done well living up to those expectations. Week 5 is officially underway, and there are a lot of teams participating in tournaments and invitationals this Thanksgiving weekend. There are also many big games coming up for the conference, so let’s dive in and take a look at exactly what’s going on.
No. 3 Michigan State (5-2)
Michigan State, which began the season ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, has had a season full of ups and downs and now sits at No. 3. Coming off a solid win over UCLA after a disappointing loss to Virginia Tech, the Spartans now prepare for the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils. Michigan State will be looking to make a statement and climb back up the rankings.
No. 5 Maryland (6-0)
Maryland moved up one spot in the latest AP Poll, now residing in the top five for the first time this season. The Terrapins haven’t really been tested by an opponent yet, although Temple gave them a bit of a scare. However, they pulled it out against the Owls and emerged victorious 76-69 in the opening round of the Orlando Invitational. Anthony Cowan Jr. scored a career high 30 points. The Terrapins will play two more games in Florida, but their opponents are currently unknown.
No. 10 Ohio State (6-0)
Ohio State is undefeated and sits at No. 10 in the latest AP Poll. Highlighted by a 25-point victory over Villanova, the Buckeyes have steamrolled through their early season competition to this point. They’ll face Morgan State on Friday in Columbus and have two noteworthy impending matchups with North Carolina and their first conference game versus Penn State following that.
Michigan is 6-0 and received 12 votes to be ranked in the latest AP poll. This is perhaps the biggest week of the season for the Wolverines, and they started it off promising with a 73-64 win over Cole Anthony and the sixth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in the semifinal round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Their next opponent is yet to be determined. But next Tuesday, they’ll have a huge matchup against No. 2 Louisville. In due time, a lot will be told about Juwan Howard’s squad in his first season as head coach.
After dropping two straight, Purdue bounced back in a big way, defeating Chicago State by 44 and Jacksonville State by 32. Next up this week for the Boilermakers are two huge showdowns against ranked opponents. They take on No. 20 VCU on Friday, then No. 7 Virginia on Wednesday for another major test.
Penn State (5-1)
Penn State fell to 5-1 after suffering a 74-72 loss to Ole Miss on Wednesday in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals, meaning the Nittany Lions’ unblemished start has come to an end. Just as they were beginning to be taken seriously, the Nittany Lions blew a 19-point lead in the final 12:29 and dropped the contest to the Rebels. Looking ahead, the Nittany Lions will be looking to bounce back against Syracuse on Friday. Some big contests against Big Ten foes in No. 5 Maryland and No. 10 Ohio State are also looming.
Indiana continued its perfect start to the season with an 88-75 win over Louisiana Tech. The Hoosiers face a 7-3 South Dakota State team next. They’ll be looking to sustain their perfect start, which has largely been without star point guard Rob Phinisee, who’s been dealing with a nagging injury.
Wisconsin (4-3): Lost 59-50 vs. New Mexico, next vs. NC State (Dec. 4)
Illinois (6-1): Won 117-65 vs. Lindenwood, next vs. Miami FL (Dec. 2)
Iowa (4-1): Won 85-59 vs. Cal Poly, next vs. No. 12 Texas Tech (Nov. 28)
Rutgers (5-1): Won 85-58 vs. NJIT, next vs. UMass (Nov. 29)
Minnesota (3-3): Won 79-56 vs. North Dakota, next vs. DePaul (Nov. 29)
Northwestern (3-3): Lost 72-59 vs. Pittsburgh, next vs. Boston College (Dec. 3)
Nebraska (4-3): Won 74-67 vs. South Florida, next vs. Georgia Tech (Dec. 4)
Zach Donaldson is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.