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This week in Big Ten basketball: Michigan battles rival Michigan State and Rutgers

The Wolverines stay in the state of Michigan for their two games this week.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Childs Adam is a freelance writer for MaizeNBrew and is a lifelong Michigan fan.

The Michigan Wolverines just can’t get things going on the basketball court this year. They lost two games last week, at Purdue and at home to Iowa, and are now 7-13 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten. The struggling Wolverines have now lost eight of nine, with their only win coming against Ohio State two weeks ago.

Nobody expected them to go to West Lafayette to beat the Boilermakers without Dug McDaniel, but a home game against the Hawkeyes was definitely winnable. They once again led a game at halftime, but couldn’t hold the lead and lost 88-78.

This week they will look to get out of their funk when they head to Michigan State on Tuesday night. The Spartans have had a disappointing season, but they are still over .500 on the season at 12-8.

In the second game of the week for the Wolverines, they will get Rutgers at home on Saturday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights come into the week on a two-game losing streak and 10-9 on the season. That game could be a battle for last place as both the Wolverines and Scarlet Knights have just two Big Ten wins coming into the week.

Rest of the Big Ten

There are no games on Monday in the Big Ten, but Tuesday gives us three. The Michigan/Michigan State game is the nightcap after an Illinois at Ohio State matchup and Iowa at Indiana battle.

Wednesday night Northwestern will go for the season sweep of No. 2 Purdue; the Wildcats upset the Boilermakers at home back on December 1st despite Zach Edey scoring 35 points. In the other game on Wednesday, Penn State heads to Rutgers.

Thursday night gives us just one game as Wisconsin looks to stay at the top of the Big Ten when it visits Nebraska. Ohio State then heads to Iowa for a Friday night battle. That is the only game in the Big Ten to end the work week.

Saturday is a busy day as four games are on the schedule. Besides the Rutgers at Michigan game, Penn State will head to Bloomington to take on Indiana, Northwestern will play in the Barn against Minnesota and Maryland travels to East Lansing to take on Michigan State.

The week wraps up with quite possibly the biggest game thus far in the Big Ten season. No. 2 Purdue will head to No. 13 Wisconsin in a battle for the top spot in the conference. All eyes will be on Madison for what could be a Big Ten Championship preview.

In the undercard on Sunday, Nebraska heads to No. 10 Illinois in a 6 p.m. battle live from Champaign.