WSCR: Race for the Conference Title

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In its first year without a conference tournament, the Big Ten regular-season champion will earn the coveted automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. With only two weeks left in conference play, every team is fighting to make some headway in the race for the conference title.

Things heat up this weekend as No. 18 Purdue travels to Columbus, Ohio, to face No. 19 Ohio State in a pivotal conference title showdown, slated for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. The Buckeyes seized sole possession of the Big Ten lead with a 3-0 blanking over Illinois on Thursday, upping their tally to 16 points, seven games into its conference schedule. Purdue currently sits in a tie with Minnesota for fourth place in the conference standings after earning 11 points through its first six conference games. The Boilermakers enter the weekend fresh off two consecutive shutout wins over Michigan and Evansville and will look to interrupt OSU's five-game unbeaten streak. Sunday will mark the 18th meeting between the two programs with the Boilermakers leading the all-time series 8-7-2.

Wisconsin sits one game back in the race for the conference championship, with 15 points. The Badgers conclude the regular season with a three-game road-swing, including a visit to Michigan on Sunday, where they will look to improve their unbeaten streak to six. The match is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (ET) start time.

Rounding out the top three teams in the current conference standings is Penn State who enters the weekend in striking distance, sitting only three points behind the Big Ten frontrunner. The Nittany Lions welcome Illinois to Happy Valley for a 2 p.m. contest on Sunday in a game to be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

In other conference action, No. 24 Indiana plays host to Iowa, while Michigan State prepares to entertain Minnesota in a noon matchup to be televised live on the Big Ten Network from East Lansing, Mich. .

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