The Big Ten Title Picture
With No. 5. Michigan State falling to No. 20 Indiana Tuesday night in Assembly Hall, 70-55, the Big Ten Title picture got a little murkier. The Spartans have clinched a share of the title no matter what happens the rest of the week, but Ohio State and Michigan still have a shot at becoming co-champions.
Michigan State (13-4 Big Ten, 24-6 overall) has only one game remaining on the schedule, playing the Buckeyes at home on Sunday. The Spartans win that game, they win the outright Big Ten title.
But that game suddenly seems more up for grabs than it did a mere day ago.
Against the Hoosiers, Michigan State relied on Draymond Green for its entire offense and didn’t get production from anywhere else. Green had 29 points — three more than the rest of the roster combined. If Green is the only Spartan that can score on Sunday, the Buckeyes will have their name etched in right next to Michigan State at the end of the year.
Before Sunday’s showdown, Ohio State (11-5, 23-6) will travel a little more than six hours to the east to take on Northwestern. In year’s past this wouldn’t have been a cause for concern, but Northwestern (7-9, 17-11) is on the NCAA Tournament bubble right now and will be playing for their postseason lives. This game will not be a cakewalk for the Buckeyes, who need both wins to split the Big Ten title.
Things get a little more confusing for No. 16 Michigan. The Wolverines (11-5, 21-8) need to win their remaining two games, but also need some help from Ohio State on Sunday.
Michigan State holds the tiebreaker over Michigan, but Ohio State doesn’t. So in the case that the Spartans fall to the Buckeyes, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan would all be co-champions. In this scenario, Michigan State would be the one seed, Michigan would be the second seed and Ohio State would be the third seed in the conference tournament.
Michigan still has to win its remaining two games, though, on the road against Illinois and Penn State to close out the season.
If the Wolverines had beaten Purdue at home last weekend, they would have been in a great position to win the title outright.
Instead, Michigan has to win out, then root for Ohio State on Sunday.
- Michigan State wins Big Ten outright with a win over Ohio State.
- Ohio State wins Big Ten with Michigan State with wins over Northwestern and Ohio State
- Michigan wins Big Ten title with Michigan State and Ohio State with wins over Illinois and Penn State, coupled with an Ohio State win over Michigan State.