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Big Ten Basketball Rooting Guide This Week

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Everyone is looking up at Iowa wondering how to catch them.

"You see that? that's Iowa up there. they own us right now."
"You see that? that's Iowa up there. they own us right now."
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With Purdue off until Saturday we get to sit back and watch a lot of basketball while hoping for some fortuitous results to help us in the Big Ten Standings. At best, Purdue can finish 15-3. That's if it runs the table through a difficult 8-game closing stretch. I am thinking a more conservative 6-2 run where Purdue wins its remaining home games and splits its four remaining road games. That means we need some teams ahead of us to lose, so who is here to cheer for this week:

Tuesday

Indiana at Michigan 9pm, ESPN

Both teams are ahead of Purdue in the loss column, but Indiana is two games ahead while Michigan is just one ahead. Purdue also still has to play both on the road, so they should have something to say about it. With only one loss we need more work to catch the Hoosiers, so cheer for Michigan. Also, it is Indiana, so cheer for Michigan on that reason alone.

Wednesday

Illinois at Rutgers 6:30pm, BTN

If you're watching this game you are obviously a depraved individual that needs to be institutionalized. Cheer for Illinois because our loss to them is already bad enough without getting Rutgers all over it.

Penn State at Iowa 7pm, ESPNU

It is unlikely that the Nittany Lions will upset a top 5 team on the road, but we can hope, right? Iowa needs to succumb to the SI cover curse and fall back to the pack.

Maryland at Nebraska 8:30pm, BTN

Purdue sits a full game behind Maryland and has to play the Terrapins twice. Another loss isn't a bad thing, either, as maybe it shows a weakness. It also makes Purdue's recent win over Nebraska a lot stronger.

Thursday

Ohio State at Wisconsin 7pm, ESPN

Both teams are fringe bubble teams at best right now, but Purdue plays Wisconsin twice and Ohio State once. Therefore, if Wisconsin is going to have a stronger profile it is better to have them count twice on our resume. Bonus that Purdue has already won on the road in Madison.

Minnesota at Northwestern 9pm, BTN

Pray for the heat death of the Universe. Seriously, this is not going to be a pretty game and Purdue still has to play Northwestern. As long as we don't dick-trip in Mackey neither team will help Purdue much.

Saturday

Michigan State at Michigan 1pm, CBS

Like Wisconsin over Ohio State, you want the teams you play twice to have the better profile. Purdue's double plays are Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maryland. Three of those already look really good, so let's make Michigan look better.

Rutgers at Nebraska 2pm, BTN

Again, we don't want a team to have a Rutgers loss to bring them down, especially a double-play like Nebraska.

Purdue at Maryland 4pm, ESPN

If you need to think about this one why are you reading this site?

Indiana at Penn State, 8pm, BTN

Penn State has not had its home upset yet and it has two chances left against Indiana and Iowa. For maximum hilarity let it be against Indiana.

Sunday

Iowa at Illinois 1pm, BTN

Is it too much to ask the Illini to find whatever they used to look amazing against us?