Pickin’ the Big Ten: March 14-15, 2014

It’s the final weekend of regular-season play. Here’s how Drew Claussen and I have done with our picks so far.

Last week
Drew: 3-2-1 (.583)
Paula: 4-1-1 (.750)

Drew: 81-41-14 (.647)
Paula: 84-37-16 (.672)

This week

All series this weekend are Friday-Saturday.

Minnesota at Michigan

Drew: Minnesota needs two points to put a bow on the first Big Ten regular-season championship. I think the Gophers will get three. I’m not quite sure how, though. There are two main ways this series could go. The Gophers could win on Friday night and have essentially nothing to play for of Saturday, or lose on Friday and — depending on how Wisconsin does — have everything to play for on Saturday night. I’m going to say that the first scenario plays out.

Paula: The Golden Gophers swept the Wolverines in Minneapolis Feb. 14-15. I think they’ll get the same result this weekend. Friday’s game begins at 6:30 p.m. and is televised by ESPNews. Saturday’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. and is carried by the Big Ten Network.

Drew’s picks: Minnesota 6-2, Michigan 4-1.
Paula’s picks: Minnesota 3-2, 3-2.

Ohio State at Penn State

Drew: Compared to the other teams in the Big Ten, Ohio State has been the squad that has handled Penn State the best this season. The Buckeyes managed a four-goal victory against PSU on the last day of January and added a three-goal win Feb. 1. It’ll be interesting to see if the afternoon Saturday game messes with either team. I wouldn’t be surprised if Penn State stole one, but I have to go with an Ohio State sweep.

Paula’s picks: I have to say that I’ve come to respect Drew’s intuition when it comes to Ohio State. Friday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m., Saturday’s at 3:00 p.m., and neither is televised.

Drew’s picks: Ohio State 4-0, 4-3.
Paula’s picks: Ohio State 3-2, 4-1.

Wisconsin at Michigan State

Drew: I think this series will produce two close games. However, in a “three things” blog a couple weeks back I said Wisconsin would win its last four games. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Everyone can look past the fact that I also said Michigan State would lose its final four contests in the same blog.

Paula: The Badgers swept the Spartans in Madison Feb. 21-22, shutting out Michigan State the second night. Last weekend, Wisconsin picked up its third and fourth conference road wins against Penn State. I have misgivings about picking a Wisconsin sweep, though. The Spartans are tenacious. Friday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. and is not televised; Saturday’s game starts at 4:00 p.m. and is carried by Fox Sports Detroit Plus and Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Drew’s picks: Wisconsin 3-2, 3-1.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 3-2, Michigan State 3-2.