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Week 9: BTPowerhouse Big Ten Game of the Week: Michigan State Spartans at Iowa Hawkeyes

Check out the top games for the Big Ten this week.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

With every team from the Big Ten having played in at least two conference games, things are starting to round into shape and fans are starting to get a feel for the various teams.  With fans getting a gauge of the teams, it also means that fans will get a gauge of some of the bigger games on the schedule.  Everyone has now played some quality opponents and fans have been able to see how they performed.  With that, let's take a look at the games of this week.

Game Of The Week:

Michigan State at Iowa: This is the second week in a row that the Spartans have been featured in the Big Ten Game of the Week and deservedly so.  Last week, the Spartans faced Maryland at home and this week, Michigan State will face off against Iowa on the road.  Heading into this game, these teams are a combined 21-9 and both have already recorded good victories in Big Ten play with Iowa beating Ohio State on the road and Michigan State dominating Indiana at home.  This is also a big game for both teams going forward as it would be a marquee to add to an NCAA Tournament resume.  Plus, considering that KenPom has this game as near even on paper - Iowa has 54% odds to win - it could easily go either way.  These are often the type of games that determine whether a team on or close to the bubble gets into the big dance.  One interesting note about this game is that Iowa has lost its last 7 matchups with the Spartans going back to 2011.  Each of these losses came differently, but considering that several of these were vital in eliminating Iowa from NCAA Tournament contention, Iowa has to want to score a "revenge" victory in a game where they should be favored.  The matchup of the game will likely come down to the two frontcourts with Branden Dawson and Gavin Schilling for MSU and Gabriel Olaseni and Aaron White for Iowa.

Honorable Mention:

Maryland at Purdue: To many, this game may not look all that intriguing, but for those who have followed the early play of the Big Ten, this should be a very interesting game.  As of now, both Maryland and Purdue are undefeated in conference play and though that will likely change with Purdue on the road against Wisconsin, this looks like it could be a trap game for Maryland.  The Terps have been red hot to start the season and already have two big conference wins under their belt against Michigan State and Minnesota.  Purdue also scored some decent wins against Michigan and Minnesota.  If the Boilermakers can score a home victory here over Maryland, it could go a long way toward building them as a contender in the Big Ten.

Ohio State at Indiana: In terms of national perception, this could very well be the Big Ten's biggest matchup of the week, but with Indiana's recent loss to Michigan State and Ohio State's underwhelming play against top teams this season, this one has lost a bit of its sizzle.  Still, this looks like it should be a great game, especially considering the insanity that will occur at Assembly Hall.  This will easily be Indiana's biggest home game since their early season matchup against SMU and, as such, the Hoosier fanbase will likely bring it for this game.  An interesting thing to watch will be the backcourt battle between James Blackmon, Jr. and Yogi Ferrell for Indiana and D'Angelo Russell and Shannon Scott for Ohio State.

Season Stats

Game of the Week Appearances By Team:
  • Michigan State - 3
  • Maryland - 2
  • Wisconsin - 2
  • Illinois - 1
  • Indiana - 1
  • Minnesota - 1
  • Ohio State - 1
Game of the Week Honorable Mention Appearances By Team:
  • Ohio State - 5
  • Indiana - 3
  • Iowa - 3
  • Maryland - 3
  • Illinois - 1
  • Michigan - 1
  • Minnesota - 1
  • Michigan State - 1
  • Nebraska - 1
  • Purdue - 1
  • Rutgers - 1
  • Wisconsin - 1
Total Appearances By Team:
  • Ohio State - 6
  • Indiana - 4
  • Iowa - 4
  • Maryland - 4
  • Michigan State - 4
  • Wisconsin - 3
  • Illinois - 2
  • Minnesota - 2
  • Michigan - 1
  • Nebraska - 1
  • Purdue - 1
  • Rutgers - 1