The B1G basketball race is shaping up to be another dramatic finish down the stretch. On Wednesday night, 2 of the top 3 teams in the conference will also face off against upset-minded teams.

No. 12 Illinois starts the evening with a 7 pm EST tip-off on the road at Rutgers. The Illini currently lead the conference with an 11-3 record in B1G play, just half a game ahead of Purdue. Rutgers will try to keep its charge toward the NCAA Tournament going Wednesday night, riding a 3-game winning streak vs. ranked opponent into the game vs. Illinois.

No. 5 Purdue will follow that game with 9 pm EST tip-off at Northwestern. The Wildcats most recently lost on the road at Illinois but had won 3 straight games vs. Rutgers, Nebraska, and Indiana. The Boilermakers are currently tied with Wisconsin at 11-4 in conference play and are 8-2 in their last 10 games played. The Badgers will next play on Sunday vs. Michigan.

Ohio State at 9-4 and Michigan State and Rutgers at 9-5 in conference play round out the rest of the teams in contention for the regular-season title. The Buckeyes are 4-2 in their last 6 games with losses to the Boilermakers and the Scarlet Knights in that stretch.

For Tom Izzo’s Spartans, Michigan State was in a great position just a few short weeks ago. They have since gone 4-5 in their last 9 games with multiple losses to unranked opponents.

On the other hand, Rutgers is surging with its recent winning streak and has played its way onto the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Another upset win would be a huge boost for the Scarlet Knights’ hopes to make the postseason.

Here’s how the top of the B1G standings look heading into Wednesday’s action:

  • 1. Illinois – 11-3
  • 2. Purdue – 11-4
  • 3. Wisconsin – 11-4
  • 4. Ohio State – 9-4
  • 5. Michigan State – 9-5
  • 6. Rutgers – 9-5