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The youthful Boilermakers are a surprising 5-6 in conference, and Northwestern is 4-7 with four games left against the Big Ten’s top five teams.

According to Ohio State coach Thad Matta, the league’s depth starts at the top. With the exception of Illinois first-year coach John Groce, all the coaches in the group below the lead pack have been at their school for at least three years.

“Guys can really, really coach in this league. I think from that perspective, you see guys really doing a good job of putting their players in a position to be successful,” Matta said.

Though it will be nearly impossible to match last week’s drama, there should be plenty to see in the Big Ten this week.

Michigan State hosts Michigan on Tuesday night in a matchup with major title ramifications for both teams. Ohio State will seek a huge road win at Wisconsin on Sunday, while Minnesota plays an Iowa team in desperate need of wins.

The race for the Big Ten title should remain murky for weeks. But according to Izzo, the question over which league is the best is very clear.

“If anybody wants to argue that top to bottom this isn’t the best by far, I wouldn’t even argue,” Izzo said. “It wouldn’t be worth the argument.”


AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.


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