Big Ten Basketball Week in Review
As we approach the halfway point of Big Ten play, the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pack. Iowa and Indiana both won twice to stay perfect in conference while Michigan State finally broke out of a three game losing streak with a big win over Maryland. Minnesota and Rutgers are still looking for their first Big Ten wins respectively as nothing has gone right so far for either team.
The Hawkeyes are one of the hottest teams in the nation and they have not lost since the collapse at Iowa State in early December. The Hawkeyes ended the week at 7-0 in conference after double-digit wins against Rutgers and Purdue. Jarrod Uthoff is quietly putting together a special season that may end up landing him a Big Ten Player of the Year award at season’s end.
Like their counterparts in Iowa City, the Hoosiers also pulled off two convincing wins to move to 7-0. Their wins over Illinois and Northwestern were by an average of 33 points and the loss of James Blackmon does not appear to be inhibiting this team at all. They shot lights out from beyond the arc, hitting a combined 32 three-pointers in their two contests.
Despite a one-point loss to Nebraska earlier in the week, in which Shavon Shields had the game of his life, the Spartans showed up big time to grind out a win over Maryland when they needed one most. Matt Costello contributed a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) including six offensive boards to help the Spartans physically dominate the Terps and prove they are still relevant.
The Terps needed overtime to beat lowly Northwestern early in the week and they were dominated by Michigan State in what was the biggest game of the young Big Ten season. Perhaps it was the Jolly Rancher-esque uniforms of the Spartans distracting them, but the boys from College Park seemed very hesitant and lethargic in that game. They do have a chance to redeem themselves as they host Iowa on Thursday.
I can’t say I expected much from the Scarlet Knights this year, but they were demolished by both Purdue and Iowa at home, surrendering over 90 points in each game. Purdue came in and dropped 107 points including 59 in the first half, more than Rutgers scored the entire game. This team seems unlikely to win any games in the Big Ten if these recent performances are any indication.
Standings (as of Jan. 24)
Indiana 7-0 Big Ten, 17-3 overall
Iowa 7-0, 16-3
Maryland 6-2, 17-3
Michigan 5-2, 15-5
Purdue 5-3, 17-4
Ohio State 4-3, 12-8
Michigan State 4-4, 17-4
Nebraska 4-4, 12-9
Wisconsin 3-4, 11-9
Northwestern 3-5, 15-6
Penn State 2-5, 11-9
Illinois 2-5, 10-10
Rutgers 0-7, 6-14
Minnesota 0-8, 6-14
Tom Shively is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.