Around the Big Ten Basketball: Conference Play Preview
Tom Shively, Kevin McConologue, Derek Heid and Jeremy Ganes discuss what's going on throughout the Big Ten as conference play is right around the corner.
The college basketball season is pretty much in full swing as conference play starts this weekend in the Big Ten Conference.
It has been an impressive start to the season for Big Ten teams, as the conference currently has seven teams ranked in the AP Top 25, four undefeated teams and only one team with a losing record.
The most impressive of the teams so far has been No. 7 Michigan, who currently owns a 6-0 record with a dismantling of Villanova in a National Championship game rematch. The Wolverines will host No. 19 Purdue on Saturday. The Boilermakers are 5-1 with their only loss coming to No. 13 Virginia Tech in the Charleston Classic Championship game.
One of the biggest surprises of the season has been the Iowa Hawkeyes, who are currently 6-0 and sit at No. 14 in the AP Poll with a big nonconference win over Oregon. They will host No. 22 Wisconsin on Friday. The Badgers are led by All-Big Ten player Ethan Happ and are currently 5-1 with their only loss coming to No. 4 Virginia in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are another surprise currently 6-0 and ranked No. 16. Head coach Chris Holtmann has done a great job with a lot of new faces on the Buckeyes roster this season. They will host Minnesota on Sunday, who is currently 5-1 with its only loss coming at the hands of Boston College.
No. 9 Michigan State has had some bumps in the road to start the season. The Spartans are 5-2 with losses to No. 2 Kansas and most recently Louisville in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. They will look to start conference play strong against Rutgers on Friday who is off to a surprising 4-1 start, but all 4 wins have come against mid-major competition.
No. 24 Maryland is also 6-0 to start the season, but all six of those wins have come against mid-major competition as well. The Terps will host Penn State on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are 4-2 and knocked off No. 13 Virginia Tech, but also have a bad loss against Bradley from the Missouri Valley Conference.
Indiana, who is led by star freshman Romeo Langford, is 5-2 to start the season, but is coming off a blowout loss from the hands of Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Hoosiers will host the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday in Bloomington, who are off to a surprising 5-1 start to the season.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers, led by star senior James Palmer Jr., are also 5-1 and continue to fly under the radar as a Big Ten Conference sleeper. They will host Illinois on Sunday. The Fighting Illini are the only Big Ten team with a losing record at 2-5, but have played No. 1 Gonzaga, Iowa State and Georgetown in the early season.
It should be a fun season as conference play gets started this weekend for all the Big Ten teams.
Kevin McConlogue is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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