Friday, February 10, 2017

BLOG: 5 Big (B1G?) Big Ten Series to Watch Down the Stretch

HM: Michigan vs. MSU at the Joe tonight - with the opening next season of Little Caesars Arena, just north of downtown, it's the final regular season meeting between the two schools at Joe Louis Arena.

5. Michigan State at Minnesota (March 10-11) - The final weekend of the season could have several implications in the Big Ten race. A year ago, the Spartans nearly played spoiler by soundly defeating the Gophers in East Lansing. Another one is likely needed to make an argument to save Tom Anastos' job.

4. Ohio State at Wisconsin (March 10-11) - Another final weekend showdown where both teams could be fighting for seeding, NCAA berths, or in the case of the Badgers, a possible title.

3. Minnesota at Penn State  (February 17-18) - The Gophers and Nittany Lions face each other for the second time in three weeks. Both teams will remember how last weekend went in a building where PSU has won games each of the past two seasons.

2. Penn State at Wisconsin (Friday-Saturday) - Winless in its last five, the Nittany Lions' season doesn't get any easier with a trip to Madison. Can Penn State turn things around and stay competitive?

1. Wisconsin at Minnesota (February 24-25) - Much of the top five has revolved around the Badgers and Gophers and for good reason. The two teams have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. That includes a split in Madison last month. A showdown at Mariucci Arena could be the difference between Tony Granato's team completing a worst-to-first championship run or Minnesota taking home its fourth straight Big Ten regular season title.

Take away all that and it's still Minnesota and Wisconsin. Records can be taken out when generations of hatred reside, however, it adds to the rivalry when a trophy is on the line.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

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