Two Big Ten men’s basketball teams remain unblemished: Wisconsin (11-0) and Ohio State (9-0). Both recorded another win Wednesday night, and both have a good shot to enter Big Ten play unscathed.
But, which one will be the last to lose? I break it down in this post.
Let’s just start with the near future, OK? There’s no need to start looking ahead to February or March and entertaining thoughts of an undefeated regular season. Maybe we can do that in a month or so, but not today.
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Noncon games left: Ohio State, 4 (North Dakota State; Delaware; Notre Dame; Louisiana Monroe); Wisconsin, 2 (Eastern Kentucky; Prairie View A&M).
Ohio State has one real test left, in Notre Dame, although North Dakota State isn’t exactly a cupcake. Still, if the Buckeyes get by the Irish, the Big Ten should feature two undefeated teams when conference play tips.
First 5 B1G games: Ohio State (at Purdue; vs. Nebraska; at Michigan State; vs. Iowa; at Minnesota); Wisconsin (at Northwestern; vs. Iowa; vs. Illinois; at Indiana; vs. Michigan).
The Buckeyes’ first five Big Ten games include two at home and three on the road, while the Badgers are the opposite. Advantage, Badgers. Ohio State draws two legit Big Ten contenders early on, including a date at previously No. 1 Michigan State. Advantage, Badgers. The Buckeyes get one of the Big Ten’s likely lower teams (Nebraska); the Badgers also get one (at Northwestern).
Five Big Ten games in, with these respective early slates, both likely will have a loss. I’ll say Wisconsin is the last to fall, though, with the Buckeyes losing Jan. 7 at Michigan State. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Iowa clips Wisconsin two days earlier.
For the curious minds: Should both teams remain undefeated through January, one is guaranteed to lose Feb. 1, when Wisconsin hosts Ohio State in the lone matchup of the regular season.
Here’s Ohio State’s remaining schedule: