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Week 10: BTP Game of the Week: Wisconsin at Minnesota

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

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

To say Big Ten play has been wild so far this season would be a tremendous understatement. Fans have seen upsets, blowouts, and ups and downs for nearly every team in the league. And with so many teams fighting for NCAA Tournament bids around the conference, every game is filled with plenty of pressure. That fact certainly won’t change as the calendar turns to this week.

And with that, here’s a look at the top games in the coming week.

Game Of The Week:

-Wisconsin Badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

For much of the last decade, this rivalry has been pretty non-eventful. Wisconsin has absolutely dominated the series for much of the last decade. The Badgers hold a 15-5 record against the Gophers in the last 20 meetings and Minnesota has failed to beat Wisconsin since January of 2014.

However, this year’s matchup should be much different.

Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have raced out to fast starts this season and each has proven itself against some quality competition. The two teams have both been ranked at some point this season. As such, this could arguably be one of the more meaningful meetings between these two in quite some time.

Of course, there will be a ton of pressure on Minnesota’s frontcourt group of Reggie Lynch and Jordan Murphy to hold up against Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes. It won’t be an easy task, but expect a raucous environment to help propel the Gophers in their upset bid against Wisconsin.

Honorable Mention:

-Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers

While things haven’t gone as well for Indiana and Michigan State as fans might have hoped before the season, both will enter this game with postseason aspirations and a lot on the line in a key matchup. Each side needs another quality win on the resume and this should offer an opportunity.

Admittedly, this game is bigger for Indiana than it is for Michigan State. Not only because this one comes in Bloomington, but also because Indiana is 2-4 over its last six games and only has three wins against top 100 teams. The Hoosiers desperately need another quality win and fans will have to wait and see if the backcourt can play well enough to grab Indiana the win.

-Northwestern Wildcats at Ohio State Buckeyes

There’s no Big Ten team that’s been more under the radar this season than Northwestern. However, even without the hype, Northwestern is sitting at 15-4 and 4-2 in the Big Ten heading into a road matchup with Ohio State this weekend. The Wildcats have an opportunity to secure an NCAA Tournament bid over the next few weeks and this could be a key part of that puzzle.

On the other side, Ohio State is sitting in an uncomfortable spot. The Buckeyes did knock off Michigan State last weekend, but the team is still just 1-4 in the Big Ten heading into this week. Beating Northwestern could help get things back on track and would be huge, especially considering this is a 50-50 game.

Worst Game of the Week:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Another week and another Rutgers game earns the honor of being the Big Ten’s Worst Game of the Week. Considering that the Scarlet Knights have still yet to beat a competent opponent this season, expect this to be a reoccurring theme.

To be honest, this isn’t actually that bad of a game. Nebraska still has some legitimate NCAA hopes and Rutgers could have an opportunity to add its first conference win of the season in this matchup. However, with what the rest of the schedule offers this week, this had to be the selection.

Season Stats:

-Game of the Week Appearances:

  • Indiana - 2
  • Michigan State - 2
  • Minnesota - 2
  • Wisconsin - 2
  • Iowa - 1
  • Northwestern - 1
  • Purdue - 1
  • Rutgers - 1

-Game of the Week Honorable Mention Appearances:

  • Michigan State - 4
  • Wisconsin - 4
  • Indiana - 3
  • Maryland - 3
  • Michigan - 3
  • Ohio State - 3
  • Northwestern - 2
  • Illinois - 1
  • Iowa - 1
  • Minnesota - 1
  • Purdue - 1

-Total Appearances:

  • Michigan State - 6
  • Wisconsin - 6
  • Indiana - 5
  • Maryland - 3
  • Michigan - 3
  • Minnesota - 3
  • Northwestern - 3
  • Ohio State - 3
  • Iowa - 2
  • Purdue - 2
  • Illinois - 1
  • Rutgers - 1

-Worst Game Appearances:

  • Rutgers - 6
  • Nebraska - 2
  • Penn State - 2
  • Illinois - 1
  • Indiana - 1
  • Michigan State - 1

* - An earlier version of this article incorrectly referenced a ranked Minnesota team. This has since been corrected.