Around the Big Ten: Men’s Basketball
Nicholas Prince, David Hadar, DJ Bauer and Jeremy Ganes discucss the current landscape of Big Ten basketball:
With conference play in full swing, the Big Ten has now started to take shape. It’s clear who the contenders for the conference title are and those who will be bringing up the rear. The Big Ten as a whole is off to a great start with five teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and only two teams below .500. So, let’s go around the Big Ten and review what’s going on so far.
The Michigan Wolverines still stand on top of the conference and look unstoppable. They’re undefeated in both overall and conference play, but Michigan has a tough game coming up this Friday. They go on the road to face the previously ranked Wisconsin Badgers, who are not an easy win. That should be a game to keep an eye out for.
Michigan State sits right below its in-state rival as the Spartans are also undefeated in conference play and have proved how to dominate they too can be. Unfortunately, the battle of the Great Lake State won’t happen until February 24.
A team that has really gone under the radar in the Big Ten are the Maryland Terrapins, who find themselves third in the Big Ten. They have played at a really high level and have had two really impressive wins back-to-back recently. They beat the No. 25 Indiana Hoosiers 78-75, and then followed that up with a 64-60 win over Wisconsin in Madison. They’re playing really good basketball and are a team that nobody should overlook.
Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, No. 23 Iowa, Nebraska and No. 25 Indiana all round out the middle of the Big Ten and have had their impressive wins and tough losses. Most notably, Nebraska just beat Indiana in Bloomington, which was a huge win for the Cornhuskers. These teams have been mostly beating each other up, so it will be interesting to see which emerges from this group as one of the better teams in the conference.
A team that has been a little disappointing so far in the early season has been the Ohio State Buckeyes. Although their overall record (12-4) is pretty strong, their conference record has taken a big hit. The Buckeyes have lost three conference games in a row, including a three-point loss to typical conference bottom feeder Rutgers. Ohio State is teetering right now and after a promising start to the season, they seem to be trending downward.
Lastly, the bottom of the Big Ten has taken form and there appear to be four teams that are just a bit worse then everyone. Those teams are Northwestern, Rutgers, Illinois and Penn State. Northwestern isn’t that bad as they have had a tough schedule to start conference play, already playing three ranked Big Ten teams.
Illinois is the worst in the Big Ten as they are not only winless in conference play, but only have four wins all season. Those four wins are Evansville, Missouri Valley State, UNLV, and East Tennessee State. Yeah, not very impressive at all for the Fighting Illini.
So, there is an overview of what the Big Ten conference looks like right now. There is still a lot of basketball left to be played and a lot of change to come. However, the conference has begun to take shape and at this point, it’s clear who the contenders are, and who the caboose of the conference is.
Mitch Broder is freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email him firstname.lastname@example.org.