Penn State experienced a rough week, losing to Texas A&M on Thursday, Butler on Friday, and VCU on Sunday, falling to 4-3 overall.
Minnesota Gophers had an uneven week, beating Arkansas Pine Bluff at home on Tuesday before falling short against San Francisco in California on Sunday – with mixed results leaving Minnesota currently sitting at 4-2 overall.
At seven games into Michigan’s season, its long-term prospects remain uncertain. Although it appears more promising than last year’s squad, many of the same issues continue to surface, and their schedule doesn’t ease any time soon.
Maryland earned two straightforward victories this week, defeating UMBC on Tuesday and South Alabama on Saturday without much difficulty or controversy – increasing its overall record to 3-3. These wins brought Maryland back up to 3-3 for this season.
Maryland returns to action this week against Rider at home on Tuesday and Indiana away on Friday. Given their early losses, Maryland likely must find a way to win both games to feel confident with themselves.
This week was an off week for the Scarlet Knights following their win against Howard on the 18th, but they will return to action this Monday against Saint Peter’s and Illinois on Saturday.
The Illini have played one good team and lost to them, that loss to Marquette was not terrible, but they have no quality wins yet.
Indiana will play Maryland at home this Friday in what is its sole game this week, according to KenPom’s ratings. KenPom gives Indiana a slight edge, making this game of paramount importance; should Indiana find a way to win and keep building towards the toughest part of their schedule, it could pave the way to successful conference competition. However, failure could present challenging games ahead.
Michigan State’s Spartans had an unsuccessful week, dropping their only game on Thanksgiving in California against Arizona due to a slow start and late mistakes, which prevented Michigan State from pulling off an upset win and keeping its record at 3-3 overall.
Michigan State has shown significant strides over its first month of play this season. Although still struggling with shooting accuracy, Michigan State is no longer as horrid as initially. Furthermore, rotations appear to have settled more slowly now compared to early season. Fans should hope this trend continues when more challenging opponents arrive soon.
Last week, Iowa split their games, losing to Oklahoma on Thanksgiving but winning against Seton Hall the following Friday to end up 4-2 overall and beating one of KenPom’s top 175 teams for the first time this season.
Northwestern only played one game this week against Mississippi in Connecticut on Monday, where they opened strong before succumbing to a superior opponent down the stretch and losing by 66-57. Although their record fell from 4-1 overall to 4-2, it still represents an admirable achievement given their schedule of competition.
This could be the start of a special season in Nebraska. We will find out how good Nebraska is on Sunday as they will face a top-ten team in the Creighton Blue Jays.
Wisconsin had an incredible week, thrashing Virginia on a neutral court and beating SMU on the same court the following evening. These victories brought Wisconsin to 4-2 overall and helped make up for early season losses to Tennessee and Providence. The Badgers have played a tough early season schedule.
Ohio State had an incredible week, defeating Alabama on Friday and Santa Clara on Saturday to improve to 5-1 overall. Their victory against Alabama is why they are ranked this high; after a slow start to the season, the Buckeyes are starting to roll.
No questions exist about who is the best team in the Big Ten so far. Purdue’s Boilermakers had an outstanding week at the 2023 Maui Invitational tournament, sweeping their three games easily against top-15 competition. Gonzaga on Monday, Tennessee on Tuesday, and Marquette on Wednesday.
Last week was truly remarkable for Purdue, and it isn’t easy to overstate their achievements. Facing an extremely challenging schedule–similar to what would be found deep into an NCAA Tournament–they managed three wins out of three, including an impressive double-digit win against Gonzaga on Monday–that will serve them well and likely put them in position for No. 1 status on Monday as well as one seed status come March.
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