A look at the upcoming week around the Big Ten Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 3 Michigan at No. 21 Wisconsin, Sunday: Assuming this game takes place as scheduled, it would mark Michigan’s first game in three weeks. Michigan put all athletic activities on pause after receiving several positive tests for a COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate. The Wolverines’ last game was a 70-53 victory at Purdue on Jan. 22. Michigan leads the Big Ten standings and is chasing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But, how rusty will the Wolverines be after such a long delay? Wisconsin has been sliding down the Top 25 the last few weeks and lost 77-54 at Michigan on Jan. 12.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Big Ten announced Tuesday it was moving its tournament from Chicago to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. That should give Big Ten teams some time to acclimate themselves to the surroundings before the NCAA Tournament, which will take place entirely in Indianapolis with the Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium. While the Big Ten men hold their tournament March 10-14 at Lucas Oil Stadium, the women will have their tournament March 9-13 at nearby Bankers Like Fieldhouse. This marks the first year the men’s and women’s tournaments are taking place in the same city during the same week.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu recorded the third triple-double in school history – and first since 2001 – in a 75-60 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday. The 6-foot-5 junior collected 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in that game. Dosunmu is averaging 21.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5 assists this season. The last Big Ten player to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists over the course of a season was Ohio State’s Evan Turner in 2009-10.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The Big Ten has three of the top six teams in the current AP Top 25: Michigan, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 6 Illinois. … The Big Ten had 10 of the top 50 teams in the NET rankings heading into Wednesday’s games: Michigan (3rd), Illinois (4th), Ohio State (6th), Iowa (10th), Wisconsin (18th), Purdue (23rd), Rutgers (26th), Penn State (31st), Maryland (42nd) and Indiana (48th). … Ohio State has won five straight Big Ten road games. The last time Ohio State won more than five true Big Ten road games in one season was in 2010-11. … Iowa’s Luka Garza is the first Big Ten player to have at least 2,000 career points, 800 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 3-point baskets.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Brenda Frese owns a 499-130 record in 19 seasons at Maryland to match the school record for career wins set by her predecessor, Chris Weller (499-286 from 1975-2002). Frese can move into sole possession of first place when the ninth-ranked Terrapins visit Nebraska on Sunday. … Rutgers’ 78-62 victory over Nebraska was the Scarlet Knights’ first game since Jan. 3. … Indiana’s Grace Berger collected her third triple-double of the season to tie a Big Ten record Wednesday as the 15th-ranked Hoosiers beat Penn State 90-65. Berger had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The only other Big Ten player ever to have three triple-doubles in a season was Iowa’s Samantha Logic in 2014-15.
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