March is less than 48 hours away and we have four Big Ten games on the docket for an action-packed Sunday.
Game of the Day:
Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio State Buckeyes (4:00PM ET - CBS)
Ohio State's NCAA Tournament chances are almost microscopic at this point, but a win against the Hawkeyes would certainly put them quite a bit closer to the right side of the bubble. Oh, and it would also make a lot of people north of Louisville and south of Indianapolis pretty happy. If Iowa loses at OSU, then the Indiana Hoosiers are guaranteed to at least be co-champions of the conference. Jarrod Uthoff and the Hawkeyes have lost two straight, but they will need to bounce back and win out if they want a shot at an outright title. This will be the first meeting of these two teams this season, and the stakes couldn't get much higher for either group of players.
Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan State Spartans (12:00PM ET - BTN)
Somewhat shockingly, Penn State has become the conference's giant killer. The Nittany Lions have knocked off the last two ranked teams they've played, beating both Iowa and Indiana. Fortunately for the Spartans, those games were in State College, and this one is in East Lansing. MSU is arguably the hottest team in the Big Ten right now. They have won seven of their last eight, the lone loss coming in overtime at Purdue, and Denzel Valentine is playing as well as anyone in the nation. PSU is dangerous, but it'll take a near-miracle for them to steal one in the Breslin Center.
Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers (6:00PM ET - BTN)
As of now, most bracketologists have the Badgers and Wolverines safely in the field of 68, but a poor showing to end the season and quick exit from the Big Ten Tournament is all it would take for them to end up on the outside looking in. Michigan could really use a quality road win on their resume, and this is their last chance. The Kohl Center is quickly regaining its status as one of the toughest places to play in the conference. The Badgers haven't lost their since January 9th against Maryland, way back when Melo Trimble was a great player. This could be the closest match-up of the day, and if there weren't conference title implications in Columbus it would be the obvious choice for game of the day.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Illinois Fighting Illini (8:00PM ET - BTN)
The Gophers have won back-to-back games, snapping a 14-game losing streak. Since their trip to Minneapolis, the Illini haven't beaten anyone but Rutgers (unless you count the first half against IU, before Illinois gave up 47 points in the second). Although, both teams have shown flashes of brilliance against quality opposition, this game probably won't be pretty. It will be interesting to see if Minnesota can get their first road win of the season and keep their momentum going. Maybe they can win their last five in the Big Ten after losing the first 13.