Jan. 19, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; General view of a basketball during the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half at the Jack Breslin Students Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Basketball What to Watch: Week of January 21st

This week, the Big Ten has six conference games scheduled featuring all twelve Big Ten teams. Here are my six things to look at over this week in the Big Ten.

January 13, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Trey Burke (3) brings the ball up the court against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena. Ohio State won the game 56-53. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

1) Five Big Ten teams are ranked coming into this week of play. These teams are the #2 Michigan Wolverines, the #7 Indian Hoosiers, the #12 Minnesota Golden Gophers, the #13 Michigan State Spartans, and the #14 Ohio State Buckeyes.

2) Penn State is the only winless team in the Big Ten conference play. The Nittany Lions will play a Indiana team that beat them, 74-51, on January 7th.

3) The Penn State/Indiana game will feature the conference’s best scoring offense and worst scoring defense. Indiana is the best in the Big Ten in scoring offense while Penn State is the worst in the Big Ten in scoring defense. The Hoosiers are averaging 84.4 points per game while the Nittany Lions are giving up an average of 66.9 points per game.

4) #8 Minnesota is still the best defensive team in the Big Ten. They lead the conference with 9.6 steals per game and 6.4 blocks per game.

5) The Big Ten game of the week has to be Tuesday’s match-up between #13 Michigan State and Wisconsin. The Spartans are currently riding a five-game winning streak since losing to Minnesota on December 31st. Wisconsin lost their first conference game against Iowa on Saturday. Both teams only have one conference loss so far this season.

6) Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State), Brandon Paul (Illinois), and Trey Burke (Michigan) are still the best scorers in the conference. Thomas leads the Big Ten with 20.8 points per game. Thomas and Paul will play on Tuesday night while Burke will play on Thursday night.

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Tags: Basketball Big Ten Illinois Fighting Illini Michigan State Spartans Wisconsin Badgers

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