Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, February 27, 2016
The Big Ten title race came into sharper focus on the second-to-last Saturday of the regular season.
We have Purdue to thank for it, as the 20th-ranked Boilermakers held off No. 10 Maryland, 83-79, at Mackey Arena.
With the outcome, Purdue improved heated instate rival and Big Ten leader Indiana's pursuit to the Big Ten crown. The Hoosiers can clinch a share of the Big Ten crown as early as Sunday, with an Ohio State win over Iowa, and wrap up the outright title as early as Tuesday, with a win at Iowa.
Before the penultimate Sunday of the regular season, here's a quick look at the Big Ten title scenarios.
Outright title: Win at Iowa on Tuesday night; Lose at Iowa but win vs. Maryland and have the Hawkeyes lose one of their other two games (at Ohio State; at Michigan); or lose-out, coupled with Iowa losing its two other games (at Ohio State; at Michigan) AND Maryland, Michigan State and Wisconsin all losing once.
Shared title: Win vs. Maryland in the season finale, and the Hoosiers can do no worse than a shared title; or lose final two and Iowa loses one of its other two games (at Ohio State or at Michigan).
Outright: Win final three games (at Ohio State; vs. Indiana; at Michigan), plus Indiana loses vs. Maryland.
Shared: Win two of final three games, including a victory over leader Indiana, and the Hoosiers lose vs. Maryland; or win-out and Indiana wins vs. Maryland
The following teams can only get a share of the crown, at best.
Shared: Win final two games (vs. Illinois; at Indiana), plus Indiana loses at Iowa AND Iowa loses one of its road games (at Ohio State; at Michigan).
MICHIGAN STATE (10-5)
Shared: Win final three games (vs. Penn State; at Rutgers; vs. Ohio State), plus Indiana loses last two (at Iowa; vs. Maryland) AND Iowa loses one of its road games (at Ohio State; at Michigan).
Shared: Win final three games (vs. Michigan; at Minnesota; at Purdue), plus Indiana loses last two (at Iowa; vs. Maryland) AND Iowa loses one of its road games (at Ohio State; at Michigan).