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Top Big Ten Games To Watch

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With every Big Ten team’s schedule announced, which games should you circle on your calendar?

NCAA Football: Indiana at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten was the fourth conference to have every team announce their schedule.

With that, let’s list some of the best regular season games involving Big Ten teams in 2017.

We’ll start with listing some nonconference games to watch.

FEBRUARY

Navy @ Johns Hopkins (February 7)

Maryland @ Navy (February 11)

Penn State @ Hobart (February 11)

Michigan @ Detroit Mercy (February 15)

Loyola @ Johns Hopkins (February 18)

Cornell @ Penn State (February 18)

Army West Point @ Rutgers (February 18)

Johns Hopkins @ North Carolina (February 25)

Yale @ Maryland (February 25)

Penn State @ Villanova (February 25)

Rutgers @ Fairfield (February 25)

MARCH

Michigan @ Mercer (March 1)

Ohio State @ Marquette (March 3)

Maryland @ Notre Dame (March 4)

Penn @ Penn State (March 4)

Brown @ Rutgers (March 4)

Johns Hopkins @ Towson (March 11)

Maryland @ Albany (March 11)

Penn @ Michigan (March 11)

Penn State @ Harvard (March 11)

Ohio State @ Towson (March 14)

Princeton @ Rutgers (March 14)

Syracuse @ Johns Hopkins (March 18)

Villanova @ Maryland (March 18)

Fairfield @ Penn State (March 18)

Denver @ Ohio State (March 19)

Virginia @ Johns Hopkins (March 25)

Maryland @ North Carolina (March 25)

Ohio State @ Notre Dame (March 25)

TOP GAME: Is it not obvious that a national championship rematch between Maryland and North Carolina the easy pick? It’s definitely one of the most anticipated games of the regular season, and it’s also a big time rivalry game between two blue bloods of the sport. There’s plenty of other games, like the Hopkins and Maryland rivalries.

TOP MATCHUP: Adam Charalambides was one of the top freshmen in the country last season. Nobody really picked up on him until later in the season when Rutgers was contending for an at-large spot. He’ll be taking on another offensive stud in Tewaaraton winner Dylan Molloy of Brown. I hope they each score at least seven points.

UNDER-THE-RADAR GAME: I like Penn State’s showdown with Cornell. The Big Red were a down team last year, but as they return the majority of their squad this year, as well as adding top freshman Jeff Teat, I think it’ll be another competitive matchup between Jeff Tambroni’s old team and his current team. It might be better if the game was held maybe in mid-March instead of early February with Ivy League rules.

From the nonconference games to the conference games, here’s my Top 5.

  1. Johns Hopkins @ Maryland (April 29) - The Rivalry. Duh. The most well-known teams in the Big Ten have high expectations as usual, and it’s one of the biggest lacrosse rivalries in the sport. I almost said it was the biggest, but that goes to Cuse-Hopkins.
  2. Penn State @ Maryland (April 8) - Penn State was in a ton of thrilling nail biters last season. Their overtime loss to Maryland was the first of three one-goal losses by the Nittany Lions, including the first of two in overtime. If Penn State continues to be competitive in the Big Ten like they were a year ago, it could be another thriller.
  3. Rutgers @ Johns Hopkins (March 31 ) - RUUUUUTTTTGGGGGEEEERRRRSSS!!!! The Scarlet Knights took both meetings from the Blue Jays last season. Granted, Hopkins had some notable losses, including Joel Tinney and Drew Supinski at midfield. If Hopkins stays healthy, they might be able to gain revenge on the Scarlet Knights.
  4. Penn State @ Johns Hopkins (April 15) - This was the second overtime loss that was aforementioned with the Penn State-Maryland game. The same thing applies here too. Two years ago, the two teams battled to double overtime, where the Blue Jays edged out the Nittany Lions at Homewood. That started seven straight wins for Hopkins, which led them to a Big Ten Championship an appearance in Championship Weekend.
  5. Ohio State @ Rutgers (April 29) - I was struggling with picking this game, Rutgers-Penn State, and Ohio State-Penn State. I selected this game because it could mean big implications for the Big Ten Tournament. Both teams could be battling for the final spot in the Big Ten Tournament, and Ohio State won last year’s meeting by two goals in Piscataway. There might be more appealing games on paper, but wait until April when this game could mean everything for one or both of these teams.