We're starting to get a glimpse of March and the madness that ensues. Every game is critical in the Big Ten race and as teams jockey to get into the Big Dance, for seeding, etc.
Some big ones on the slate in the Big Ten this week to continue to whet the appetite.
Michigan State @ Michigan
Gamm says - MSU is 5-0 on the road. Michigan had a good week last week after a not so hot run the week before. The key is simple: Michigan takes a load more triples than anyone else, but also makes them less than any other team. The Spartans rebound and run better than anyone in the nation. If the Wolverines are making the triples, this could be an upset. The Spartans will miss Raymar Morgan more this game than in the past few. I think State gets the W and goes into the week off on a high. MSU 67 - Michigan 65.
Buckeye Nation says - Michigan State
Indiana @ Minnesota
Gamm says - Minnesota gets back on track. IU will miss Devan "The Elbow Thrower" Dumes.
Buckeye Nation says - Minnesota
Penn State @ Purdue
Gamm says - Purdue is hurting without Robbie Hummel. On one hand, you know he wants to come back. On the other, I think for his career and future with the Boilers, he needs to sit the rest of the season. Purdue is looking for payback and Penn State is reeling. Purdue 65 - Penn State 51.
Buckeye Nation says - Purdue
Iowa @ Wisconsin
Gamm says - Wisconsin is rolling again with March in mind.
Buckeye Nation says - Wisconsin
Illinois @ Northwestern
Gamm says - A little rivalry action to take us into the weekend. Illinois is playing with confidence and Northwestern lost a critical game at Iowa. This is huge for the Wildcats so I'm going with the upset. NU in a low scoring affair.
Buckeye Nation says - This is a "pick 'em" game. What? In usual years, everyone chalked up Northwestern as "automatic wins" when previewing their upcoming schedules. Not this year. The Wildcats have enjoyed success this year both at home (Florida State, Minnesota, Wisconsin) and on the road (huge signature win at MSU). When Bill Carmody's Princeton offense is clicking, Northwestern is very tough, especially this season. Illinois has been largely a tale of two teams (except at Purdue who had injuries): awesome at home, beatable on the road. Throw in the fact that this is a rivalry game, the only regular season meeting between these two teams, and the stakes grow even higher. Illinois looks like a NCAA tournament team, but the Cats aren't there yet. It is tough to win on the road in the Big 10. This one will go down to the wire with the Wildcats winning an emotional game in a see-saw struggle. Northwestern 71 - Illinois 69
Minnesota @ Penn State
Gamm says - this might well be an elimination game for the tournament. Both teams were swept last week and find themselves in must win position. Minny has more wins, but not enough are high quality. Same probably goes for the Nits. I like PSU to snap the three game skid and get a huge win. Penn State 63 - Minnesota 60.
Buckeye Nation says - Both of these teams have enjoyed surprising success in the Big 10 this years, but both teams enter the game on losing streaks. Tubby Smith has the Gophers playing good ball, especially at home, but Ed DeChellis can make a similar claim. The Nittany Lions were certainly feeling their oats after a stunning win at MSU, but reality set in with a road loss at Michigan and a home loss to suddenly resurgent Wisconsin. From a talent standpoint, this is a pick 'em game, but I believe the Lions with the home court advantage will prevail over Minnesota. Penn State 67 - Minnesota 63
Purdue @ Iowa
Gamm says - a potential trap for Purdue between the critical home rematch with Penn State and a game against the Spartans. But the Boilers get it done.
Buckeye Nation says - Purdue
Ohio State @ Wisconsin
Gamm says - ESPN GameDay will be in Madison and the Kohl will be rocking. In the blink of an eye, Wisconsin turns the four game losing streak into a four game win streak...
Buckeye Nation says - Just when it appeared that rigor mortis had set in on Bo Ryan's Badgers, Wisconsin notched two huge wins at home against Illinois, and on the road at suddenly good Penn State. Granted, most of the Wisconsin losses were close ones, but losing has a tendency to become habit-forming. Now, the rejuvenated Badgers will entertain Thad Matta's Buckeyes, who are enjoying their own resurgence with a 4 game winning streak including big home wins against Purdue and Minnesota. This will be the only regular season meeting against these two teams. And it will be in the Kohl Center where the Badgers usually have their way with the Buckeyes. Coming into the game, the Badgers will face Iowa at home, while the Buckeyes will be coming off of a bye-week. Last year, at Value City Arena, the Badgers prevailed, and they will definitely be favored to win this one as well. I can only hope it will not be a Valentine's Day Massacre. However, I'm a Buckeye homer, and this is a game where I think the Buckeyes, with a size advantage underneath, will have a chance to steal one on the road and pull out a win at the buzzer. Ohio State 65 - Wisconsin 63
Illinois @ Indiana
Gamm says - Illinois
Buckeye Nation says - Illinois
Michigan @ Northwestern
Gamm says - Michigan bounces back.
Buckeye Nation says - Northwestern.