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Purdue-Indiana, Michigan-Maryland Highlight Big Ten Weekend Schedule

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With 5 teams within a half game of each other for the final double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament, it's a weekend fraught with exciting basketball in the B1G.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

We've got 10 of 14 teams in action this weekend as the Big Ten's crowded Top 8 all seek to extricate themselves from the pack and make a charge at the regular-season crown! Here are your previews, rankings updates, and open-thread for the weekend.

For rankings, we'll throw the KenpomStewPoll, and the Massey Composite ratings at you side-by-side for some compare-contrast.

Saturday

Penn State (13-13, 4-9) at Rutgers (6-20, 0-13)

12pm, ESPNU

Penn State Nittany Lions (13-13, 4-9)

Kenpom

133

StewPoll

157

Massey Composite

129

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-20, 0-13)

Kenpom

284

StewPoll

300

Massey Composite

269

Aaron Yorke: Penn State is playing Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway and I'm scared the Lions are going to lose. Sure the Knights have not won a single game since defeating UMass-Lowell on December 28, but Penn State is just 2-7 in road games this season. Brandon Taylor has been the only consistent performer for this team, but if Shep Garner and Donovon Jack can at least show a little bit of that spark that made the Iowa game so memorable, the Lions could be in line for consecutive conference wins for the first time this year.

Ohio State (17-10, 9-5) at Nebraska (14-13, 6-8)

6pm,BTN

Ohio State Buckeyes (17-10, 9-5)

Kenpom

66

StewPoll

74

Massey Composite

78

Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-13, 6-8)

Kenpom

94

StewPoll

135

Massey Composite

94

Jesse Collins: Nebraska plays Ohio State on Saturday in a game where both teams certainly are in a 'must win' of sorts. Nebraska still has a puncher's chance at the NIT, but it will take a lot better defense than they showed against Indiana. As of now, I have no idea if Shields will be back - at all, really - but we could sure use him as a spark. I like that this game is at home for Nebraska, but who knows what that will do for the team. We're playing above where most people thought we would, so hey, things could be worse. Time to make a run at some postseason play now.

This is a sidenote, but Nebraska and Ohio State are very similar statistically, but OSU has far fewer dumb losses... But seriously, this should be a fun game, but I just can't imagine Ohio State running Nebraska out of the building.

#17 Purdue (21-6, 9-5) at #22 Indiana (21-6, 11-3)

7:30pm, ESPN

#17 Purdue Boilermakers (21-6, 9-5)

Kenpom

17

StewPoll

15

Massey Composite

17

#22 Indiana Hoosiers (21-6, 11-3)

Kenpom

20

StewPoll

21

Massey Composite

20

babaoreally: Purdue travels south to face Indiana in their only game of the season. The Boilers have won the last three meetings, including a win at IU last season. This is the first time in a long time that both teams are ranked when facing each other. Indiana has a more perimeter-oriented team, while Purdue will want to keeping feeding their big men inside.

This is a big game for the Hoosiers, as they look to stay atop the conference. The Boilers, meanwhile, are looking at trying to move up in the standings to secure a double bye in the conference tournament.

While not an expert or surprising prediction by any means, I think Tom "Bryl" Crean will make the proper pants adjustments to lead the Hoosiers to a victory.

Sunday

Michigan (19-8, 9-5) at #6 Maryland (22-5, 10-4)

12pm, CBS

Michigan Wolverines (19-8, 9-5)

Kenpom

50

StewPoll

52

Massey Composite

37

#6 Maryland Terrapins (22-5, 10-4)

Kenpom

19

StewPoll

14

Massey Composite

11

Illinois (12-14, 4-9) at Wisconsin (16-10, 8-5)

6:30pm, BTN

Line

Illinois Fighting Illini (12-14, 4-9)

Kenpom

124

StewPoll

169

Massey Composite

124

Wisconsin Badgers (16-10, 8-5)

Kenpom

38

StewPoll

59

Massey Composite

38


#4 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-6, 11-3)

Kenpom

10

StewPoll

18

Massey Composite

8

Stewmonkey13: Iowa is off this weekend.  They'll get some much needed rest as they haven't had a bye period in about 6 weeks.  Hopefully they'll get their legs under them and be able to finish strong in the stretch run with the possibility to still win the conference.

#8 Michigan State Spartans (21-5, 9-5)

Kenpom

3

StewPoll

7

Massey Composite

5


Northwestern Wildcats (17-10, 5-9)

Kenpom

93

StewPoll

94

Massey Composite

85

MNW: Northwestern takes the weekend off. A Wednesday date at Michigan looms, and the 'Cats will need to bring their 'A' defense to that one.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-19, 1-13)

Kenpom

167

StewPoll

237

Massey Composite

186

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Weekend preview: WE'RE RIDING OUR WINNING STREAK INTO THE RUTGERS GAME ON TUESDAY! WOO! Sure, it's more of a "not losing streak of 1" than a "winning streak," but I don't care about semantics right now.

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This will serve as your open thread for the weekend of Big Ten basketball! Normal rules apply.