A look at things to watch this week in the Big Ten:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Northwestern at No. 7 Wisconsin. The Wildcats (18-5, 7-3) have lost two straight and been bumped out of the AP Top 25 after a one-week stay. Beating the Big Ten-leading Badgers (20-3, 9-1) at the Kohl Center would snap coach Chris Collins' team out of its funk and strengthen its chances of securing the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. Wisconsin had a two-game lead in the loss column at midweek over second-place Maryland and Purdue. But the Badgers have been struggling of late from 3-point range. The Wildcats are one of the best teams in the league in 3-point defense, holding foes to 31 percent from behind the arc.
LOOKING AHEAD: Indiana has home games against No. 16 Purdue on Thursday and Michigan on Sunday. The Hoosiers face four of their last five regular season games on the road, where coach Tom Crean's team was just 1-5 entering weekend play. Indiana has been without leading scorer James Blackmon Jr. (lower left leg), while key player OG Anunoby (right knee) is out for the year. Crean does like the way his team got into passing lanes and played defense to stay close to Wisconsin in a 65-50 loss last week.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: With 11 points in a loss on Tuesday night at Penn State, Maryland's Melo Trimble eclipsed 1,500 points for his career. He joins Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes and Illinois' Malcolm Hill as active Big Ten players with at least 1,500 points. ... Hill had 14 points in a win over Northwestern on Tuesday, moving him into sole possession of eighth place on Illinois' career scoring list with 1,665, passing Mark Smith and Brandon Paul. ... Michigan's 86-57 victory over Michigan State on Tuesday night equaled its most lopsided victory over the Spartans since 1948.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Purdue's Caleb Swanigan is the Big Ten leader in scoring (20.0 points) and rebounding (13.0 rebounds) in conference play and is on pace to become the first player to lead the league in both categories in Big Ten play since Ohio State's Evan Turner in 2009-10. The Boilermakers on Thursday play Indiana, which allowed 20 points last week to Wisconsin post player Ethan Happ and 15 to forward Nigel Hayes.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: Another week, another milestone for No. 3 Maryland (23-1, 11-0), which is off to the best start in the program's 46-year history. The next best chance for a conference foe to pick off the Terrapins is Sunday, when Maryland visits Michigan State (16-7, 6-4). ... Rutgers, which is 0-11 on the road and will try to break through for a win on Sunday at Minnesota.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Genaro C. Armas in Milwaukee.
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