Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Big Ten Title Race: Here Comes Wisconsin
Michigan State sits atop the Big Ten standings at 8 and 0. For those who have declared the rest of the season a formality before the Spartans are given the title, take a glance at the rest of the schedule. It can be a quick one. It won't take long to get the picture. Tom Izzo's club still has dates at Wisconsin, at Illinois and at Purdue. Their home stretch isn't a gimme either, with visits to come from Purdue and Ohio State. To say the Spartans haven't hit the meat of their Big Ten schedule yet is an understatement. If this was Super Mario Bros 3, State's only in Desert Hill right now. Bowser's Kingdom is coming fast.
Wisconsin is second place in the big ten standings at 6 and 2. And guess what? They're in Grass Land the rest of the way (last Mario Bros reference, I promise). Their toughest road games remaining are at Purdue this Thursday and at Minnesota. They play Michigan State again, but at home. Oh, and they're done with Ohio State and Evan Turner. They still have Indiana twice, Iowa twice, Northwestern at home, Michigan on the road and some Illinois thrown in for good measure. There is a very good possibility that Wisconsin could be looking at only 2 more losses the rest of the way.
Michigan State has done an awesome job staying undefeated during a relatively easy opening stretch. Now, they have to keep their foot planted on the accelerator. A 2 game lead on Wisconsin doesn't leave a lot of room for error. Especially when you're about to face Bowser, and Wisconsin is kicking some goombas around out on the lawn.