Around the Big Ten Basketball

Story posted February 21, 2018 in CommRadio, Sports by Sports Staff

Matt Freiler, Joe Skinner and Dylan Huberman break down this week's basketball action around the Big Ten: 

 

 

With the Big Ten having its conference tournament a week earlier than usual, teams are jockeying for position in the conference tournament. While most of the lower seeds have been decided already, the teams at the top of the list are in a jumble for positioning.

Michigan State is the current leader of the Big Ten and its win Tuesday night against Illinois gave the Spartans a share of the regular season title. Currently tied with Grambling for the nation’s longest winning streak, Michigan State is the hottest team in the country and only have a road game at Wisconsin to conclude its season.

Ohio State and Purdue are the only other teams in the Big Ten that can catch the Spartans if they lose in the Kohl Center on Sunday. The Buckeyes also won on their senior night against Rutgers and have a tough road game against Indiana, who are currently seventh in the conference.

The Boilermakers, on the other hand, have two games remaining on the schedule and their remaining slate is not too daunting as they travel to Illinois before senior night against Minnesota. Purdue recently ended its three-game losing skid against Penn State and is looking to create another win streak late in the season.

Nebraska entered the week on the bubble and helped its case by beating a surging Indiana team at home on Tuesday. The Cornhuskers are still in trouble of not making the tournament and they need a win against Penn State on Sunday to solidify their status in the top five and the NCAA Tournament.

While the Hoosiers are not a team that was considered to make noise in conference play, they have had a solid season, despite losing on Wednesday against Nebraska. Indiana’s nine conference wins are a good sign for a developing team and an opportunity to knock off Ohio State on senior night would be a good end to the season.
The Terrapins were on the tournament bubble for a long time, but they have fallen off and are probably headed for the NIT. Maryland has a chance to bolster its tournament resume with a home victory against a ranked Michigan team.

The teams mentioned above are the only ones with realistic chances of playing in the NCAA Tournament and NIT, excluding Michigan and Penn State. The Wolverines have the toughest end of conference play as they travel to Happy Valley on Wednesday, then head to College Park to take on the Terrapins.

After a magical season in 2017 that saw its first ever tournament bid, Northwestern has struggled to a 6-10 mark this season. The Wildcats play Wisconsin and Iowa to end the year, giving them the possibility to end the season strong.
The Big Ten has been inconsistent, to say the least as the conference only has four teams as locks for the NCAA Tournament. The shortened regular season means that teams are currently scrambling to put themselves in a better position for the conference tournament and the tournament committee.

 

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email jje5139@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Joe Esquivel-Murphy's photo

Joe Esquivel-Murphy

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Joe Esquivel-Murphy is a senior from Bay Head, NJ, majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. He has done play-by-play and beat writes for almost all the sports from CommRadio.  His two talk shows, Murph’s Lounge and Road to Russia, covered various different topics as the later previewed the qualification process to the World Cup with the former discussing relevant sports events. Joe also had an internship for Shore Sports Network (an affiliate of Town Square Media) before his junior year. To contact Joe, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dylan Huberman's photo

Dylan Huberman

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Dylan Huberman is a Centre County Report student, a contributor for CommRadio, where he formerly served as the co-host of several talk shows, including the NFL talk show “The Point After” with Tyler King, and “Empire State College” with Charles Hart, and also makes regular appearances for PSNtv’s “Penn State Sports Night.” Nicknamed “Hot-take Huberman” by CommRadio alum George Stockburger, Dylan is known for his fiery, outside-the-box style of sports analysis. Outside of Penn State, Dylan has worked as a desk assistant for ABC News out of their Los Angeles Bureau, as well as an intern in the sports department with KABC-TV Los Angeles, and is an editorial writer for Clutchpoints, covering the NBA and NFL. One day, Dylan hopes to make it onto television as a sports analyst or play-by-play announcer, but is very interested in sports radio and editorial writing as well. Follow him on Twitter @dylanhuberman or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Joe Skinner's photo

Joe Skinner

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Joe is from South Riding, VA and has play-by-play experience in football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, volleyball, baseball, and softball.  You can hear Joe on Turning Two, CommRadio’s only MLB talk show, as well.  Joe has hosted and been featured in Game Preview podcasts for football and basketball, Around the Big Ten podcasts for football and basketball, as well as other CommRadio podcasts and production roles.  Joe is interested in broadcasting play-by-play for a national television or radio network in football, basketball, or baseball.  To contact Joe, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).