Big Ten Matchups of the Week
Historically, the best conference in NCAA Men’s Basketball has been the Big Ten. The schools belonging to the highly competitive conference will be tipping off Tuesday-Thursday and resuming their schedule on Saturday and Sunday.
Big Ten Standings:
#3 Michigan (14-1)
#5 Illinois (14-5)
#4 Ohio State (17-4)
#11 Iowa (15-6)
#21 Wisconsin (15-7)
Michigan State (10-8)
Penn State (7-10)
You know it’s a pretty remarkable conference when only 3 teams are below .500 winning percentage. In addition to that, 3 out of the top 5 teams around the league are in the Big Ten conference.
Big Ten Matchups of the Week:
Thursday, February 18th
#11 Iowa (15-6) at #21 Wisconsin (15-7)
Iowa tips off against Wisconsin at 7 p.m. ET on the Badgers’ home court. Iowa plays games that are relatively close in score compared to Wisconsin who usually blows out their opponents or gets blown out themselves.
Iowa Last 5 Games:
2/2/21 vs. MSU – 84-78 Win
2/4/21 vs. OSU – 89-85 Loss
2/7/21 vs. Indiana – 67-65 Loss
2/10/21 vs. Rutgers – 79-66 Win
2/13/21 vs. MSU – 88-58 Win
What stands out there? A loss to Indiana, who has a .550 winning percentage and has struggled a decent amount this season.
Wisconsin Last 5 Games:
1/30/21 vs. PSU – 81-71 Loss
2/2/21 vs. PSU – 72-56 Win
2/6/21 vs. Illinois – 75-60 Loss
2/10/21 vs. Nebraska – 61-48 Win
2/14/21 vs. Michigan – 67-59 Loss
It is crucial in noting Wisconsin struggles to maintain their consistency. Losing to Penn State by 10 and then crushing them a few days later is significant. They were able to keep their pace with #3 Michigan and keep it close for pretty much the whole game.
I expect this to be a close matchup and come down to the wire. While I think Iowa is a great team, I think Wisconsin can take control of the game late in the second half. It will be interesting to see how this game unfolds as both teams have extremely solid defenses.
Sunday, February 21st
#3 Michigan (14-1) at #4 Ohio State (17-4)
Michigan lines up against Ohio State at 1 p.m. ET in the Buckeyes home territory. This is certainly a highly anticipated matchup and will be the game to watch Sunday afternoon. When 2 top 5 teams clash, it will be the most televised game nationwide this weekend.
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Michigan Last 5 Games:
1/12/21 vs. Wisconsin – 77-54 Win
1/16/21 vs. Minnesota – 75-57 Loss
1/19/21 vs. Maryland – 87-63 Win
1/22/21 vs. Purdue – 70-53 Win
2/14/21 vs. Wisconsin – 67-59 Win
As you can see, Michigan takes care of business pretty much every night. They got demolished by Minnesota, but sometimes a loss in the regular season of that magnitude can build character for the remainder of the season. They allow roughly 65 points per game, which is amongst the best in Division I basketball.
Ohio State Last 5 Games:
1/27/21 vs. PSU – 83-79 Win
1/31/21 vs. MSU – 79-62 Win
2/4/21 vs. Iowa – 89-85 Win
2/8/21 vs. Maryland – 73-65 Win
2/13/21 vs. Indiana – 78-59 Win
Similar to Michigan, Ohio State has been on a roll these past few weeks winning 9 out of their last 10 games. They have wins over #5 ranked Illinois, #11 Iowa, and #21 Wisconsin.
This is another game I expect to come down to the final buzzer. While I would stay away from placing any type of wagers on the winner of this game, I would consider a discussion about the under as both defenses are consistently strong. Michigan should come out on top, but as many people know, nothing is ever certain in sports.