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This week in Big Ten basketball: Saturday’s slate could be the best all year long

The Wolverines step back out of conference to play Eastern Michigan this week.

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

The Michigan Wolverines’ basketball season is in full swing, and without football to fill the week — for a few more weeks, anyways — we take a look at what is in store for Michigan and the rest of the Big Ten on the hardwood.

The Wolverines snapped a three-game losing streak on Sunday when they went to Iowa and used a big second half to earn a 90-80 victory. The win was their first Big Ten win of the season and moved them back to .500 at 5-5.

The game against the Hawkeyes was their fifth game in the last six away from home, and their fifth straight against a major conference opponent. It hasn’t been an easy schedule for the Wolverines, but they get a bit of a break this week as they have just one game and it is at home on Saturday, Dec. 16 against the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

EMU is just 5-4 this year and is coming off a loss to Oakland. This should be an easier game, but the Eagles took the Wolverines to the wire a year ago. They don’t have Emoni Bates anymore, but what they do have is Tyson Acuff, who is averaging 22.2 points per game. He has been a one-man show, though, as no other player is averaging double figures.

We’ll get more into the U-M/EMU game later this week, but for now, let’s take a brief look around the conference for the upcoming week.

Rest of the Big Ten

The Big Ten has a weak schedule until Saturday, but it ramps up in a big way. The day is headlined by a huge top-five matchup when No. 1 Arizona takes on No. 4 Purdue in the Indy Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Both look like potential Final Four teams, and it could be one of the best games of the year.

Bloomington will also be rocking on Saturday as No. 2 Kansas visits Indiana. The Hoosiers are coming off a blowout loss to Auburn and are looking to bounce back, while the Jayhawks hope to win in Bloomington for the first time ever. They are 0-3 all time in Assembly Hall, but haven’t played there since 1994.

In another big matchup, Ohio State and UCLA lock horns in Atlanta in the CBS Sports Classic. The Buckeyes are off to an 8-2 start and are aiming for a resume-building win against a historic program.

Last but not least, Michigan State heads to Detroit to take on No. 9 Baylor in a game the Spartans need to win. They started the year ranked in the top-five, but are just 4-5 after losing at Nebraska on Sunday, and have lost two in a row.

Again, all those games are taking place on Saturday alone. It will be one heck of a way to cap off a week of hoops in the Big Ten. Stay locked in with Maize n Brew for all the latest on Big Ten basketball and your Michigan Wolverines.