The end of the first week of Big Ten play is today, and we have what should be a competitive game on today's docket.
(Only) Game of the Day:
Illinois Fighting Illini at Ohio State Buckeyes (5:00PM ET - BTN)
Both teams in today's match-up are going to need as many wins as possible in Big Ten play after struggling in the non-conference. The Illini looked strong in the first half on Wednesday, but Michigan simply outplayed John Groce's team in the second half. The team is still without Mike Thorne and Leron Black, both of whom might have been able to help stem the tide of Mark Donnal's dominate game for the Wolverines. Look for the offense to feature a lot of Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill, who are averaging 19 and 18.1 points per game respectively. Freshman Jalen Coleman-Lands has also had a recent run of strong games including 13 against Michigan. Illinois is going to need a strong effort to come away with a win in Columbus today.
The Buckeyes are playing their second-straight home game to start Big Ten play and will be looking for their sixth win in a row after starting the season at 4-5. Thad Matta's team has a ton of talent, but seemed to have issues jelling early on. Junior Marc Loving and talented sophomores Keita Bates-Diop and Jae'Sean Tate lead this extremely young team that should only get better as the season moves on. That could spell trouble for the rest of the Big Ten, as OSU already owns a win over Kentucky. Ohio State comes into this game with the edge when it comes to recent performances, but don't be surprised if the Illini pull a minor upset on the home team today.