Weekend three-pointer Three things to watch this weekend

Can Michigan rebound? The Wolverines have had a strange start to the year. After respectable victories over Oregon and Syracuse, a team expected to contend for another title went off the rails with a four-game losing streak that included home losses to NJIT and Eastern Michigan. Purdue, even on the road (1:15 p.m. Saturday, BTN), is another beatable foe. Can young Michigan put the rocky past in the past?

Is Ohio State really elite? The Buckeyes have been ranked all season, but it's looking less and less like they belong. Ohio State doesn't have a single convincing victory and started off league play by losing to Iowa at home. That's not horribly embarrassing, but the Buckeyes can't make it two in row vs. Illinois (2:30p.m. Saturday, ESPN2) if they want respect. Ohio State visits Tuesday for the Gophers' Big Ten home opener.

How improved is Penn State? Senior guard D.J. Newbill has been phenomenal in leading a scrappy bunch that has gone undefeated at home. The Nittany Lions' Big Ten opener was a doozy — at No. 4 Wisconsin, they lost 89-72 — but they can start making a statement with a blowout over basement-dweller Rutgers on the road (6:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN2).

AMELIA RAYNO