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Week 9: BTPowerhouse Big Ten Game of the Week: Michigan Wolverines at Purdue Boilermakers

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

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The conference season is officially underway and as such, the action has really started to heat up over the last week and a half. Teams are either trying to find a way to the top of the standings or get into postseason contention. The first week of conference play featured a few key upsets and this week will likely be no different.

Let's take a look at the top games of the week.

Game Of The Week:

- Michigan Wolverines at Purdue Boilermakers:

This has to be the choice for the Game of the Week. To start, it's the only game that features two teams receiving top 25 votes in the national polls. Along with that, it also comes at an important time for both teams. Michigan appears to be trending up and has won 10 of its last 11 games while Purdue is reeling from its first loss at home against Iowa.

Can Michigan keep the momentum going or will Purdue stop the bleeding?

Perhaps the most interesting battle in this game will be upfront. potential thanks to the impressive play from Mark Donnal over the last few games. If Michigan can make this more of a "push" instead of a negative, it would go a long way toward helping the Wolverines grab a win.

Additionally, there are a few other storylines that make this one intriguing. On Michigan's side, star guard Caris LeVert missed the team's last game against Penn State. Whether LeVert plays will be a major storyline heading into the matchup on Thursday night. For Purdue, the team struggled significantly with turnovers and it will be interesting to see whether Purdue can turn the page.

Honorable Mention:

- Maryland Terrapins at Wisconsin Badgers:

Though this is a matchup that may look a tad unbalanced, this could set up to be a thriller in Madison. The Terps have been coming on strong over the last few weeks, but this certainly has upset alert written all over it. Though there's no doubt that Maryland is the better team on paper, that may not mean much on the road in Big Ten play. Additionally, this game will also mark the return of Terp freshman Diamond Stone to Wisconsin.

The key matchup in this one will likely be how Wisconsin attempts to defend Stone inside. If Stone is able to get going and he forces extra help inside, things could get ugly for the Badgers given Maryland's shooting strength. Undoubtedly, Wisconsin will need big games from Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig to have a chance in this one.

- Ohio State Buckeyes at Northwestern Wildcats:

It may seem odd to pick a game between two teams that sit in the middle of the Big Ten, but this is a matchup that actually looks like it could be quite important in the conference breakdown. The Buckeyes have won eight of the team's last night games and though Northwestern is coming off a loss, the Wildcats are 13-2 overall. Both teams are looking for a win to separate themselves in Big Ten play and this should present an opportunity.

The place to watch in this game will be in the backcourt. Bryant McIntosh has been tearing it up for the Wildcats over the last few games and JaQuan Lyle is coming off a few good games himself for Ohio State. Along with this, seeing how Wildcat true freshman Dererk Pardon performs could also be vital. He's averaging 18 points per game over the Big Ten slate so far.

Season Stats

Game of the Week Appearances By Team:
  • Michigan - 1
  • Purdue - 1
Game of the Week Honorable Mention Appearances By Team:
  • Maryland - 1
  • Northwestern - 1
  • Ohio State - 1
  • Wisconsin - 1
Total Appearances By Team:
  • Maryland - 1
  • Michigan - 1
  • Northwestern - 1
  • Ohio State - 1
  • Purdue - 1
  • Wisconsin - 1
(Note: Unfortunately, we got around late to starting the Game of the Week this season, so the appearance stats will be a bit flawed. Nonetheless, it should be a fun aspect to follow the next few months.