Around the Big Ten Basketball

Story posted January 18, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Jeremy Ganes

As we enter yet another week of Big Ten hoops, each team in the conference faces mounting
pressure. Some teams, like our new first-place squad Purdue, need to maintain
their momentum heading into February. Other teams, like Michigan State and Penn
State, are looking to overcome inconsistency in recent weeks.

While lacking that one “must-see” game, there are a few this week that will be crucial to win,
especially for teams looking ahead to March Madness. No. 22 Ohio State is at
Northwestern on Wednesday night aiming to remain undefeated in conference play.
Northwestern is an inferior team that OSU should beat handily. Northwestern is
scrappy, however, and failure to put this game away early could hurt the
Buckeyes seeding in the tournament. Winning this game can help Ohio State keep
pace with the red-hot Purdue Boilermakers, who sit at 7-0 in Big Ten matchups
and face a Wisconsin team in a down year. Ohio State will also play a Minnesota
team on Saturday that has largely underachieved this season while being
embroiled in controversy.

No. 23 Michigan will look to stay in the fight for supremacy in the Big Ten as they face the
Maryland Terrapins, who lack any big conference wins to speak of.
Nebraska will host the Wolverines on Saturday in what promises to be a
tough road test for Michigan.

The conference standings remain close from top to bottom, but Ohio State and Purdue remain
undefeated in the conference. A loss by either team this week could prove to be
what separates them in the standings come the conclusion of the regular season.

If the Michigan State Spartans wish to return to the top of the Big Ten, beating a tough Indiana team will be the first step to doing so. The Spartans, after some early season
dominance, have suffered losses to Michigan and Ohio State as of late.

At the bottom of the conference, Illinois remains winless, while Iowa picked up its first win in Big
Ten play against the floundering Illini.

Penn State, coming
off of exhilarating wins over Nebraska and crushing losses to Indiana, looks to
hit its stride against a beatable Minnesota team and Northwestern, who the
Nittany Lions got the best of in their previous meeting. Penn State currently
stands at 3-4 in the conference, and will look to rattle off some wins and put
itself in a good position for the home stretch of the season.

Top individual
performers in the Big Ten include Penn State’s Tony Carr, averaging 19.6 ppg
and 4.8 apg, and Michigan’s Moritz Wagner averaging 14.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg.

While no games this week feature conference heavyweights going head-to-head,  many of these
games will help determine how the field looks as the conference tournament
looms.


Jeremy Ganes is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jlg6097@psu.edu.