Get Gamm - Week Six...
Some key battles ensue this week as the march to madness starts to build to a fever pitch. With two teams (Wisconsin and Ohio State) as locks, and as many as six others (Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan and Purdue) battling for what looks like maybe two to three more slots, every game counts. Home teams slipped a bit last week and now stand 33-15. A glance at the slate for week six shows that the home teams will likely return to dominance.
This Week’s Schedule:
Feb. 6 – Michigan at Ohio State
Feb. 7 – Illinois at Northwestern
Feb. 7 – Michigan State at Purdue
Feb. 7 – Iowa at Minnesota
Feb. 7 – Wisconsin at Penn State
Feb. 10 – Purdue at Ohio State
Feb. 10 – Illinois at Indiana (Tiebreaker)
Feb. 10 – Iowa at Wisconsin
Feb. 10 – Penn State at Northwestern
Feb. 10 – Minnesota at Michigan
Ohio State staved off a valiant comeback by Michigan State twice in a week and is in the driver's seat in the Big Ten race. Michigan had a week to prepare but is entering their usual February swoon. Ohio State rolls - OSU 78 - Michigan 61.
Illinois has perhaps the easiest remaining schedule and it starts at Northwestern. The caution is that this is when the Wildcats pull off an improbable home upset over a team with March aspirations. Northwestern shocks the Illini - NU 58 - Illinois 56.
Michigan State is in its first three game losing streak since the 2003 season. Things don't get any easier when the Spartans hit the road for Purdue. The Boilers are a far better team at Mackey than away and that gives them a big edge in this game. The pressure turns up some more on the Spartans. Purdue 63 - Michigan State 60.
Iowa is on a roll right now but needs to be careful with this trip to rival Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have looked awful and decent all in the same game quite often this season. Iowa guts out a road win and starts making a good case for their NCAA life. Iowa 67 - Minnesota 58.
Wisconsin has one of its last breathers of the season, even though it entails a road trip to central Pennsylvania. Penn State is too talented to be 1-7 in the conference but doesn't play enough defense. Wisconsin does. Wisconsin 70 - Penn State 60.
Purdue goes to Ohio State for a rematch of last week's 18-point loss. The gold and black could catch the young Buckeyes dreaming if Big Ten titles, but that's unlikely. OSU 74 - Purdue 67.
Illinois travels to Indiana in what has suddenly become a bitter rivalry. To say the relationship between Sampson and Weber is icy is an understatement. Illinois stifled the Hoosiers in the first one, but IU is a tough out at home. Indiana 64 - Illinois 57.
Another road trip for Iowa but not as easy as the trek to Minnesota. The Hawkeyes were burned by Alando Tucker in the first meeting and this time it's in Madison. UW 72 - Iowa 59.
Penn State and Northwestern battle to avoid the 11 seed in the Big Ten tourney. A win in this game is also huge if either team wants to play in the NIT. Northwestern rides the momentum of the Illinois upset to a nice win. NU 63 - PSU 58.
This might be Michigan's best chance to secure a win as they come through a stretch that includes two games with Ohio State and Michigan State as well as a battle with Indiana and a trip to Illinois. Michigan 73 - Minnesota 56.