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Big Ten Weekend Watch: Indiana can clinch the Big Ten title with Iowa, Maryland losses

The Hoosiers are off until Tuesday's huge matchup at Iowa -- but if the cards fall correctly, Tom Crean & Co. can be assured of a title by Sunday night.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Disappointed that there's no Indiana basketball to watch this weekend? Don't worry -- there's plenty on the line for the Hoosiers, even as Yogi Ferrell & Co. are posted up on the couch just like you for the weekend.

With a Purdue win at home over Maryland and a Ohio State win at home over Iowa, Indiana would clinch a share of the Big Ten title -- their second in four seasons. It would also open the door for a chaos scenario of hilarity in which five teams could share the conference crown. Here's how this slate of weekend games will shape the final week of the conference race.


Rutgers (6-22, 0-15) at Northwestern (17-11, 5-10), 2pm, ESPNU


Maryland (23-5, 11-4) at Purdue (21-7, 9-6), 4pm, ESPN

This one might be the most important of the weekend for Indiana fans -- and the one that might have you most conflicted. A Purdue win over Maryland would push the Terps to five losses on the year, and would give Indiana a chance to win the title outright with a win at Iowa on Tuesday. Of course, it won't be easy for the Boilers at home. Both teams will be desperate for big wins having lost two of their last three, and Mark Turgeon's team is likely more-than-aware that they'll get a crack at Indiana in the last game of the Big Ten regular season.


Penn State (15-13, 6-9) at Michigan State (23-5, 10-5), 12pm, BTN

Hey, look, a Tom Izzo team that was left for dead in the conference race weeks ago is lingering just below the chaos line. If Indiana falls flat on their face in the final two games of the year, Michigan State will almost assuredly stand to profit. The Spartans remaining schedule after this one? A trip to Rutgers and a home finale for Denzel Valentine in East Lansing against Ohio State. Go ahead and write in the Spartans for 13-5 on the year, and wait for the possible chaos to fall around them.

Iowa (20-7, 11-4) at Ohio State (18-11, 10-6), 4pm, CBS

If the Boilers are able to knock off Maryland at home today, this is the one that could give the Hoosiers a share of the conference title. The Hawkeyes haven't looked like the same team since the loss in Bloomington, dropping games on the road at Penn State and at home against Wisconsin -- not to mention struggling mightily with Minnesota in Iowa City.

Michigan (20-9, 10-6) at Wisconsin (18-10, 10-5), 6pm, BTN

An NCAA Tournament play-in game -- with Big Ten title implications. The winner of this one's likely safely in the field, but the loser might need another win or two to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday. Oh, and yeah, the Badgers would still have a shot at a conference title with a win here and two more at Minnesota and Purdue if the Hoosiers collapse.

Minnesota (8-19, 2-13) at Illinois (12-16, 4-11), 8pm, BTN

Yeah, don't watch this one.

Coming tomorrow: Full Big Ten seeding scenarios for the conference tournament.