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Big Ten Conference Play Tips Off With a Bang

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Best Games of the Week in the Big Ten

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Entering the 2012-13 college basketball season, we all knew that the Big Ten Conference would be one of the best in the nation and that has not changed. However, we will finally be getting to see teams like Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State go head-to-head. Big Ten play is finally here and it is going to tipoff with a bang, thanks to some great matchups in the first week.

The Hoosiers may be the best team in the conference, but how will they fair against the undefeated Wolverines, who are ranked No. 2 in the nation?

Last season Ohio State and Michigan State played some very exciting games against one another. One matchup in that series even decided the Big Ten title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Will this year’s matchups between those two teams bring the same excitement?

There are currently four teams ranked in the top 10 out of the Big Ten Conference and six teams total that are ranked in the top 25. This conference clearly has some great teams, which will make conference play that much more exciting this year. Indiana may be the favorite to win the regular season title, but there are plenty of teams in the conference that are capable of taking the crown

Conference play is finally here and the Big Ten will be hosting great matchups all week long to tip off conference play. However, read on to see the top games of the week left to be played.

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Penn State Nittany Lions at Wisconsin Badgers Jan. 3

penn state
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers have not gotten off to the best start this season, with an 8-4 record. However, the Badgers have lost to some very good opponents this season, including games against the Florida Gators, Creighton Bluejays and Marquette Golden Eagles.

Although Penn State has not had as tough of a schedule as Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions also have an 8-4 record. Although this will be the first Big Ten game of the season for both teams, it will be one that will get the victor headed into the right direction.

Don’t expect Wisconsin or Penn State to win the Big Ten this year, but both teams are good enough to make the NCAA tournament.

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No. 11 Illinois Fighting Illini at Purdue Boilermakers Jan. 2

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini have a good enough team to compete with Indiana and Michigan for the conference title. With that said, Illinois will definitely be the favorites in the game against the Purdue Boilermakers.

Purdue may be 6-6 on the season, but it will tip off conference play at home. If D.J. Byrd can start off hot, who knows what will happen in the game against the Fighting Illini.

A victory in the Big Ten is always a hard feat, especially when a team is on the road.

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No. 2 Michigan Wolverines at Northwestern Wildcats Jan. 3

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Northwestern Wildcats have played some very tough teams so far this season. The Wildcats best win of the year came against the Baylor Bears on the road, which is a good victory no matter who you are.

Well, the Michigan Wolverines will enter this game as the No. 2 team in the country. Michigan has one of the best backcourts in the nation and a couple of freshmen that are just as good as anyone.

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No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 11 Illinois Fighting Illini Jan. 5

ohio state
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

This is by far the best matchup of the week for Big Ten Conference play.

The Ohio State Buckeyes only have two losses on the year, with both coming against top 10 teams. Ohio State has one of the best scorers in the nation in Deshaun Thomas and it also has one of the best field generals in Aaron Craft.

Illinois currently only has one loss on the year, but the Buckeyes are a very good team. Whoever wins this game will instantly jump up the rankings and will have a very impressive win on the resume.

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