This has been a crazy week in college basketball, with losses by most of the Top 25. That includes losses by every Big Ten team ranked in the AP poll. Perhaps the most shocking of which was yesterday's drubbing of Maryland at the Xfinity Center by Wisconsin. During which, Diamond Stone found a rather controversial way to earn more press than he did with his 39-point game against Penn State. Will there be more fireworks and upsets today?
Game of the Day:
Michigan State's week got off to a tough start. The Spartans climbed out of an 18-point hole in Mackey Arena and even took a 72-68 lead with two minutes to go before Purdue rallied and won in overtime. Now they have to take on an Indiana team that trumped #4 Iowa on Thursday. The Hoosiers will have two less days of rest than MSU, but their confidence has to be brimming after seizing the opportunity to regain the tie at the top of the conference standings.
In order to win on the road, you need a good performance from your top players. Can IU get one from Yogi Ferrell? The senior has gone 5-24 from the field in the last two games. That likely won't be enough to steal a win in the Breslin Center. For Michigan State, they will need a better offensive showing from starting guards not named Denzel Valentine. Eron Harris and Bryn Forbes combined for 4-19 shooting and only 10 despite playing an extra five minutes in West Lafayette. This game should be a tight one and could come down to which team is willing to put in the effort on the defensive end.
The nightcap isn't going to draw attention from any casual fans, but there are no guarantees in the Big Ten. Minnesota is winless, they are on the road, and they just might make this one a game worth watching. In recent weeks, the Gophers have put a scare into Indiana (twice), Michigan (@Michigan), Purdue, and Illinois. This team isn't good, but they are certainly not Rutgers-level bad.
On the other hand, Iowa has already been upset once this week, and they should be on their game at home. The Hawkeyes haven't dropped a game at home since the last time Minnesota came to town, a year and two days ago. Jarrod Uthoff had 17 points in that game, but Iowa turned the ball over 16 times. That's a number they haven't reached in any games since then. This Iowa team shouldn't have that issue today, but don't be surprised if this isn't the huge blowout that KenPom and Vegas expect.
Phew...made it through a whole article about Michigan State playing on February 14th without making any Valentine's Day jokes.