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Week 11: BTPowerhouse Big Ten Game of the Week: Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans

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BTPowerhouse looks at the best games of the upcoming week in the Big Ten.

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The Big Ten is finally starting to get some separation in the standings and it's been thanks to some huge games over the last few weeks. Some teams are emerging like Iowa and some are struggling like Minnesota. Of course, the conference race is continuing to pick up and it's set to be another great week of conference action.

With that, let's take a look at the top games of the week.

Game Of The Week:

- Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans:

This was a pretty easy choice for Game of the Week and for obvious reasons. To start the Big Ten's preseason title favorite will be going on the road to face the nation's former No. 1 team in a game that could very well eliminate the loser from Big Ten title contention. Add in College Gameday, some potential 1st Round NBA picks, a great atmosphere, and some proven coaches and it's set to be quite a game.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of this game comes from Maryland's side. The Terps have looked like a great team on numerous occasions this year, but still lack a true marquee win. This is clearly an opportunity for Maryland to add a huge win to the resume and the game should tell a lot about how good this team is right now.

On the other side, the Spartans are reeling after losses to Iowa and Wisconsin. This is a chance to get back on track and erase some of those bad memories with a huge win. Plus, if Michigan State still has any chance to make a Big Ten title run, it really needs to find a way to win on Saturday.

The key matchup to watch has to be between Melo Trimble and Denzel Valentine in the backcourt. How often the two will matchup is unknown, but both are clearly the best player on their respective teams. Additionally, the injury to Tum Tum Nairn leaves the Spartans short-handed, which could end up being a factor.

Honorable Mention:

- Northwestern Wildcats at Indiana Hoosiers:

Perhaps this game has lost some of its luster in recent weeks thanks to Northwestern's struggles, but nonetheless, this could be an important matchup for both teams. Indiana is looking to keep its great Big Ten start going and Northwestern desperately needs a quality win if it's going to have any hope of making an NCAA Tournament run.

The matchup to watch in this one will come in the backcourt between Yogi Ferrell and Bryant McIntosh. Both players have done a lot for their teams this season and both are great offensive players. Which one plays the best will go a long way in determining which teams comes out on top.

- Purdue Boilermakers at Iowa Hawkeyes:

In just about any other week, this game probably would have been Game of the Week. However, thanks to the Maryland and Michigan State game, it landed here. The Hawkeyes won the first matchup and are red hot in the Big Ten right now and a win on Sunday could really push Iowa into the driver's seat in the Big Ten title race. On the other side, Purdue is looking to get back on track and this is a huge opportunity to do just that.

Oddly enough, the matchup to watch in this one will likely be in the backcourt. Purdue had a ton of trouble with turnovers and poor guard play late in the first game and will need to do better this time around. For Iowa, it's looking for Mike Gesell and Peter Jok to have big performances like last time.

Season Stats:

- Game of the Week Appearances By Team:
  • Michigan State - 2
  • Iowa - 1
  • Maryland - 1
  • Michigan - 1
  • Purdue - 1
- Game of the Week Honorable Mention Appearances By Team:
  • Maryland - 3
  • Northwestern - 2
  • Ohio State - 2
  • Indiana - 1
  • Iowa - 1
  • Michigan - 1
  • Purdue - 1
  • Wisconsin - 1
- Total Appearances By Team:
  • Maryland - 4
  • Iowa - 2
  • Michigan - 2
  • Michigan State - 2
  • Northwestern - 2
  • Ohio State - 2
  • Purdue - 2
  • Indiana - 1
  • Wisconsin - 1