A new team is on top of the Big Ten standings and deservingly so. After Michigan’s loss in Madison to Wisconsin, Michigan State has taken over sole position of first place in the standings coming off two impressive wins over Nebraska and Maryland. Last week’s sleeper team, Rutgers, sadly upset my beloved Huskers at home. Not many big time games this week, but the top two teams have more road tests to prove their greatness.
Games of the Week
#1 #6 Michigan State @ #19 Iowa (7:00 E.T. FS1)
Thursday January 24
Players to Watch:
Michigan State: Cassius Winston (18.0 PPG), Nick Ward (15.7 PPG)
Iowa: Tyler Cook (16.5 PPG), Joe Wieskamp (11.9 PPG)
Quietly, the Hawkeyes have won five straight with highlight wins over Ohio State and Nebraska to put them at #19 in the AP Top 25, but the Hawkeyes will truly be challenged with Michigan State and Michigan coming into Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the next week. Will the Hawkeyes be able to slow down Cassius Winston and the Spartans? No one in the Big Ten has been able to stop them, and I don’t see Iowa slowing them down anytime soon.
Michigan State 88 Iowa 78
#2 #5 Michigan @ Indiana (6:30 ET. FS1)
Friday January 25
Players to Watch:
Michigan: Ignas Brazdeikis (14.8 PPG), Jordan Poole (13.4 PPG)
Indiana: Romeo Langford (17.9 PPG), Juwan Morgan (16.4 PPG)
This is a strange pick, and you may be wondering why one of the top teams in the nation traveling to Assembly Hall to face a struggling Indiana team is in my Top Games of the Week. The Indiana team has plenty of talent in Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan and has the potential to match Michigan talent wise. Yes, the Hoosiers have been struggling, but this could be the game to kickstart the season and give the Hoosiers a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. Michigan is no small task, but I am curious to see how the Wolverines respond on the road after their loss to Michigan. I am giving Indiana a chance, but Michigan just has too much talent for the Hoosiers to overcome.
Michigan 78 Indiana 70
Team of the Week: Michigan State
Take a bow Spartans. You passed the test with flying colors and solidified yourself as the top team in the league. An ugly win at Nebraska was no small feat, and dominating Maryland at home was just as impressive. Of course we truly won’t know who the best team is until February 24 when the Spartans and Wolverines face off. The Spartans are great in all aspects of the game and have the potential to be a Final Four team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spartans roll through this Big Ten gauntlet without a loss and secure a one seed come the NCAA Tournament
Player of the Week: Cassius Winston (Michigan State)
The Big Ten and I agreed on this one, as Winston was voted Big Ten Player of the Week and deservingly so. I saw Winston in person and have to say he could very well have the case as the best player in the nation. His court vision and his ability to get to the rim is second to none. Oh yeah, he can pull back and hit a three point shot too. Tom Izzo got a treat, and Winston may be the reason the Spartans have risen to the top..
Sleeper team: Indiana
The Hoosiers have been struggling and have two chances to get back on track this week with a road game at Northwestern then a home matchup with Michigan. Indiana has lost four straight to all quality opponents, and Archie Miller is under hot water in Bloomington and could use a couple of big wins to keep his job alive.
My Power Rankings.
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
- Penn State