March Madness will be upon us soon enough. The Big Ten is surprising us by being one of the strongest conferences this season in college basketball. It had just 3 teams in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, then there were six ranked last week. Now two are in the top six. According to an article I found, it's predicts Michigan or Michigan State could bring the Big Ten it's first championship since 2000. So here are 5 games to watch in preparation for March Madness.
Wisconsin at Maryland - Jan. 14
This one might not jump off the page but these are two teams that have likely positioned themselves to be in the NCAA tournament if it started today. But, a couple bad losses and both teams could be out, which makes this one all the more important.
Michigan State at Nebraska - Jan. 17
For those who don’t pay attention to the Big Ten as much, you might not know that Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, has become a premier venue in college basketball. It’ll be rocking for this one.
Michigan at Indiana - Jan. 25
The Wolverines knocked off the Hoosiers at home on Jan. 6 behind Jordan Poole’s and Charles Matthews’ 18 points each. Michigan has great play all over the court and has really enjoyed one of the best surprises of the season in freshman big man Ignas Brazdeikis. The Wolverines allow just 55 points per game (third in the nation) and rank fourth in defensive efficiency per KenPom.
Michigan State at Purdue - Jan. 27
Could Purdue really miss the NCAA tournament one season removed from winning the Big Ten outright? Well, if the Boilermakers beat Michigan State, there’s little chance that happens.
Ohio State at Michigan - Jan. 29
The football rivalry Ohio State and Michigan have doesn’t nearly transcend sports, but this is always a fun game when the two teams are ranked. It’s just a shame they only play once this year.
Depending on their outcomes, I wonder how these games will affect the next month or so, leading into March Madness? Is there a game that is bigger and more telling for the future? Thoughts?