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Big Ten Basketball What To Watch: Week Of December 16th

This week, there are only four nonconference games scheduled in the world of Big Ten basketball. Here are my six things to look at over this week in the Big Ten.

1) Although not all of them are playing this week, four Big Ten are ranked coming into this week of play. These teams are the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes, #4 Wisconsin Badgers, #5 Michigan State Spartans, and #25 Iowa Hawkeyes. Only two of these teams will tip off this week as MSU will play North Florida and OSU will play Delaware.

2) Can #3 Ohio State stay undefeated? The Buckeyes will continue to stay undefeated this season as they host the Delaware Fightin Blue Hens on Wednesday. It’s hard to see the Buckeyes losing against Delware this week in their own building. Because of that, I’m saying that the Top 5 B1G team will improve to 11-0.

3) It will also be interesting to see how #5 Michigan State will play following there narrow victory against Oakland on Saturday. The Oakland game followed Sparty’s first loss of the season to Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Izzo’s Spartans only beat Oakland by four points and trailed by one point at the half (Oakland was 2-8 coming into the game). MSU will play North Florida (0-2 v.s. B1G this season) on Tuesday.

4) One of the main reason’s why OSU is undefeated and #3 in the country is because of their shooting thus far this season. Thad Matta’s crew is shooting a conference-high 48.7% from the field and is ranked Top 50 in the country. Buckeye junior Amir Williams leads the team and the B1G in field goal percentage at 69.6%.

5) On Wednesday night, Big Ten fans will have their chance to see the best blocker in the conference when A.J. Hammons and Purdue take on Maryland-Eastern Shore. Hammons not only leads the team in blocking, but also leads the B1G with 3.9 blocks per contest thus far this season.

6) Northwestern will look to get back to their winning ways on Monday as they will host Mississippi State Valley. The Wildcats beat Western Michigan after dropping three straight to Mizzou, UCLA, and NC State. Northwestern has only lost at home once this season (to Illinois State on November 17th).

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

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