Around the Big Ten Basketball: Week 6
Host Logan Bourandas and analysts Ben Geller and Jordan Hession look back at some of the biggest games this past week around the Big Ten. They also look ahead at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and some of the games to watch:
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 6 is officially underway, and the Big Ten/ACC challenge made for a bunch of exciting matchups. There are also many big games coming up for the conference next weekend, so let’s dive in and take a look at exactly what’s going on.
No. 3 Maryland (9-0)
Maryland is now all the way up to No. 6 in the AP Poll and has as much talent as any team in the country. No one has really tested the Terrapins this season, but last week they cemented their perfect record as they beat Harvard and Marquette in the Orlando Invitational, then turned around and defeated Notre Dame by 21 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith and Darryl Morsell have been the Terrapins’ biggest contributors so far. Up next on the schedule is a home bout with Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 7.
No. 4 Michigan (7-1)
The Michigan Wolverines have impressed so far this season with their undefeated start, beating North Carolina and Gonzaga consecutively to win the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament and jumped from unranked to No. 4. Head coach Juwan Howard has done an outstanding job in his first season, establishing Michigan as an instant contender for March Madness. The loss to No. 1 Louisville will lower their No. 4 ranking, but the Wolverines have nothing to be disappointed about so far this season. Next, the Wolverines take on Iowa on Friday, Dec. 6.
No. 6 Ohio State (8-0)
The Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the most dominant teams in the country, and that domination has led the Buckeyes directly to the No. 6 ranking in the AP Poll. The Buckeyes’ wins over Cincinnati and No. 23 Villanova proved that belong among the contenders, and the 74-49 road win over No. 7 North Carolina shows that Ohio State is a true force to be reckoned with. Kaleb Wesson has been especially impressive, and if his dominance in the paint continues, the Buckeyes could find themselves ranked No. 1 very soon. First, they have to take care of business on Saturday, Dec. 7 against Penn State.
No. 11 Michigan State (5-3)
The Michigan State Spartans have been a huge disappointment this year, starting as the preseason No.1 and falling all the way to No. 11. Cassius Winston is one of the top players in the country, but he has gotten no help so far. If Winston plays well, the Spartans win, but if he does anything wrong, they lose. The 87-75 home loss against No. 10 Duke is especially difficult to handle considering the poor start to the year. The Spartans will hit the floor against on Sunday, Dec. 8, against Rutgers.
Penn State (7-1)
Penn State has been a pleasant surprise this season. The Nittany Lions are off to a hot 7-1 start and have received several AP top 25 votes. The loss to Ole Miss hurts after being up by as many as 20 points, but Penn State showed its true colors by bouncing back with a 85-64 victory against Syracuse and a 76-54 victory over Wake Forest. The Nittany Lions will look to keep the momentum going, as they next face the daunting task of upsetting No. 6 Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Indiana’s undefeated start over cupcake victories looked shaky until the Hoosiers beat No. 17 Florida State 80-64 on Tuesday. They have proven to be a real contender in an extremely tough Big Ten conference, and they could find themselves a spot in the next AP Poll by the time Monday rolls around. In order to do that, the Hoosiers will have to knock off Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Purdue (5-3): Won 69-40 vs. No. 5 Virginia, next vs. Northwestern (Dec. 8)
Wisconsin (4-4): Lost 69-54 vs. NC State, next vs. Indiana (Dec. 7)
Illinois (6-2): Lost 81-79 vs. Miami, next vs. No. 3 Maryland (Dec. 7)
Iowa (6-2): Won 68-54 vs. Syracuse, next vs. No. 4 Michigan (Dec. 6)
Rutgers (6-2): Lost 71-60 vs. Pittsburgh, next vs. No. 11 Michigan State (Dec. 8)
Minnesota (4-4): Won 78-60 vs. Clemson, next vs. Iowa (Dec. 9)
Northwestern (4-3): Won 82-64 vs. Boston College, next vs. Purdue (Dec. 8)
Nebraska (4-4): Lost 73-56 vs. Georgia Tech, next vs. Creighton (Dec. 7)
Ben Geller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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