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Week 17: BTPowerhouse Big Ten Game of the Week: Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio State Buckeyes

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

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers may have clinched at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title on Sunday, but there is still some drama remaining in the final week of Big Ten play including several games that could have a significant impact on the Big Ten's bubble teams and the Big Ten's representation on Selection Sunday.  It should be a thrilling week of gameplay, so let's take a look at the best games this week.

Game Of The Week:

Wisconsin at Ohio State: With the Badgers clinching the Big Ten title last Sunday and likely clinching the #1 overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament earlier in the week, this game has lost some of its luster, but it still remains a major matchup that could have big postseason implications.  Wisconsin's loss to Maryland hurt their chances at a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but if Wisconsin is going to get back in the running, a road win over Ohio State would go a long way.  For the Buckeyes, this is the chance to get a huge win against a top team, set itself up for a double-bye in Chicago, and secure a solid bid in March.  This isn't a "do or die" type of game for either team, but the expectations are certainly going to be there.  Plus, there are some interesting matchups in this game.  Ohio State's frontcourt will have the challenge of slowing down Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes, and Frank Kaminsky and Wisconsin's backcourt will have to slow down freshman stud D'Angelo Russell.  There is a ton of star power in this game with 3 players projected to go in this year's first round of the NBA Draft and a few others in consideration for the 2nd Round.  It might not have an impact on the Big Ten title, but there is a lot to like about this matchup.

Honorable Mention:

Illinois at Purdue: This game nearly took the Game of the Week honors simply because there is going to be so much on the line in this matchup, especially if Illinois or Purdue loses earlier in the week.  Both teams are widely considered to be on or near the NCAA Tournament bubble, which makes this a huge game.  This probably is not a "win and you're in" type of game, but it certainly is on the verge of that type of game.  If either team can grab a win, they will have a nice resume boost that could very well push them over the edge on Selection Sunday.  The best matchup in this game could be Nnanna Egwu against AJ Hammons.  It's not often two defensive minded big men make for the most entertaining matchup, but whoever can be effective inside offensively should have a great shot to win in this game.

Purdue at Michigan State: The Boilermakers and Spartans both look to be on the good side of things for this year's NCAA Tournament field, but neither can feel safe at this point, especially after Michigan State's loss at home to Minnesota and Purdue's loss to Ohio State on Sunday.  When this teams matchup this week, there is a lot to gain for both teams.  The Spartans look to have the stronger resume at this point and a win over Purdue could avoid Michigan State really having to do a ton in Chicago.  If Purdue could get a nice road win for their resume, it could be huge for setting them up for their finale against Illinois.  A key part of this game will be how Purdue decides to matchup on Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine.

Season Stats

Game of the Week Appearances By Team:
  • Wisconsin - 6
  • Maryland - 5
  • Iowa - 4
  • Michigan State - 4
  • Indiana - 3
  • Ohio State - 2
  • Illinois - 1
  • Minnesota - 1
  • Purdue - 1
Game of the Week Honorable Mention Appearances By Team:
  • Ohio State - 12
  • Indiana - 6
  • Iowa - 6
  • Purdue - 6
  • Illinois - 5
  • Maryland - 5
  • Michigan - 5
  • Michigan State - 5
  • Minnesota - 1
  • Nebraska - 1
  • Rutgers - 1
  • Wisconsin - 1
Total Appearances By Team:
  • Ohio State - 14
  • Iowa - 10
  • Maryland - 10
  • Indiana - 9
  • Michigan State - 9
  • Purdue - 7
  • Wisconsin - 7
  • Illinois - 6
  • Michigan - 5
  • Minnesota - 2
  • Nebraska - 1
  • Rutgers - 1