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UPDATED 2/12/2014 6:30 AM CT
IOWA DOESN'T HAVE TO WIN OUT YET. Iowa's losses at home to Michigan State and Ohio State really hurt their chances of a regular season Big Ten title. Still, Iowa plays Michigan today and at Michigan State in early March. They need some help and as the Big Ten season has gone thus far, somebody will lose a game they're not supposed to. Help will come. It's not quite panic time yet.
LET'S LOOK AT THE BIGGEST GAMES OF THE WEEK. We won't include Iowa's game with Michigan because we'll have plenty of coverage on that today. We'll focus on the other games this week that have an impact on the Big Ten race.
NEBRASKA at NORTHWESTERN TODAY NOON CT ESPNU. Two hot teams that have been surprisingly difficult for teams in the upper half of the standings square off. This game is likely for Big Ten seeding in the B1G Tournament but Northwestern isn't completely out of the conference race yet. If the Wildcats win out and get some help they have a chance. Still, those hopes are slim at best. Northwestern is favored by 2.5 points today.
Nebraska 53, Northwestern 49 Final
PURDUE AT OHIO STATE TODAY 5PM BTN. After a terrible six-game stretch that concluded with an overtime loss at home to Penn State, the Buckeyes appear to be back on that horse. Ohio State got a tough road win at Wisconsin last Saturday and followed it up with another big road win at Iowa on Tuesday. The Buckeyes likely have to win out but that's not impossible with the upcoming schedule. They do get Michigan Tuesday but that's followed with: at Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, at Penn State and at Indiana before hosting Michigan State.
Ohio State 67, Purdue 49 Final
#9 MICHIGAN STATE AT WISCONSIN SUNDAY NOON CT CBS. Right now, Michigan State appears to be in the driver's seat for the Big Ten title. Tomorrow's test at Wisconsin appears to be the toughest until MSU heads to Michigan on February 23rd. The Badgers, an early season favorite because of their schedule, aren't completely out of it. They'll need to win out and after this home game with Sparty still have road trips to Michigan and Iowa next week.
Wisconsin 60, Michigan State 58 Final
#10 MICHIGAN AT OHIO STATE TUESDAY 8PM CT ESPN. It appears this game is more important for OSU but if Michigan falls at Iowa (the Hawkeyes are favored by 5) this becomes a must win on the road for the Wolverines. Michigan is in the middle of their toughest stretch of the season: at Iowa, at Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. This stretch is where we find out if Michigan has what it takes to win the Big Ten.
NORTHWESTERN AT #9 MICHIGAN STATE THURSDAY 6PM CT BTN. This is probably the death of any Northwestern championship and probably NCAA Tournament hopes. Michigan State will be a double-digit favorite win or lose at Wisconsin. Maybe the Wildcats can surprise everyone but it's unlikely MSU is looking ahead to Nebraska or Purdue.
MINNESOTA AT WISCONSIN THURSDAY 8PM CT ESPN. Here's the revenge game for Wisconsin. Minnesota got the Badgers the first time these teams met in Minneapolis. Wisconsin can get right back in the race with wins over Michigan State and Minnesota this week. Still, those road trips to Michigan and Iowa are next. Minnesota is playing for their NCAA Tournament hopes. The up and down Gophers will need to be their best to win at the Kohl Center.
- Indiana at Minnesota Today 7:15 PM BTN
- Illinois at Penn State Sunday 3:15 PM BTN
- Penn State at Indiana Wednesday 6PM BTN
- Illinois at Nebraska Wednesday 8PM BTN