Read Thursday's Big Ten headlines roundup

Indiana’s strange and bizarre season took another unexpected and maddening turn last night with a home loss to last-place Penn State. How can this IU team beat top-10 squads like Wisconsin and Michigan in Bloomington, and then lose to the likes of the Nittany Lions and Northwestern at home? It’s safe to say, panic has set in for Indiana.

This team just can’t shoot. And the turnover issues persist. The Hoosiers led by seven with two minutes to play. And they failed to score a basket in the final 5:16. It didn’t help that IU turned the ball over three times in the final 33 seconds. This team’s NCAA hopes are basically done, save for a miracle run in the Big Ten tourney.

As for Penn State … again, some felt Pat Chambers was on a hot seat? Laughable.

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Is it time to include Nebraska’s Tim Miles in the conversation for Big Ten Coach of the Year? Perhaps. Last night’s win over Illinois moved the Cornhuskers to 5-6 in the Big Ten.

And there’s a shot Nebraska could get to nine league victories with games left at Michigan State; Penn State; Purdue; at Illinois; Northwestern; at Indiana; Wisconsin. An NIT bid would be big tangible progress for Miles and Co.

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Big Ten Standings (through 2/12)
Conference Overall
W-L W-L
Michigan 10-2 18-6
Michigan State 9-2 20-4
Iowa 7-4 18-6
Wisconsin 6-5 19-5
Ohio State 6-6 19-6
Minnesota 5-6 16-8
Nebraska 5-6 13-10
Northwestern 5-6 12-12
Purdue 4-7 14-10
Indiana 4-7 14-10
Penn State 4-8 13-12
Illinois 3-9 14-11
View Full Standings

Good to see Michigan is taking some rest after a rugged stretch that saw the Wolverines play five games in 13 days. It’s a rest well-deserved respite for the Big Ten’s first-place team that’s in the driver’s seat to win the league for the second time in three seasons.

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Nice read on Michigan State point man Keith Appling. Got to love the guy’s toughness and grit. But, as this story points out, that toughness and grit can be a detriment.

The guy probably should have taken time off after first hurting the wrist vs. North Carolina back in early December. But he soldiered on and is now paying for it by missing games. Appling needs to be healthy for the NCAA tourney. Without him, MSU would face long odds to win it all.

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Have you seen this video of the Penn State football staff? Interesting. Love the ending, with James Franklin proclaiming to have “the most aggressive recruiting staff in America.”

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Devyn Marble is making a case for Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Not bad for a guy who didn’t make the six-man preseason All-Big Ten team.

For now, he’s got my vote. But MSU’s Gary Harris and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas are still in the running.

If you want a ticket to the Ohio State spring game, I suggest you buy one now. A ducat in advance costs $12. A ticket the day of the game is $20. Way back in 2009—remember that year?—a ticket to the spring game was $5.

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This is pretty cool. The Cedar Rapids Gazette obtained a Jim Delany email through an open-records request that was addressed to college presidents and NCAA officials last March in which Delany outlined areas of concern with hopes of elevating college basketball’s national profile.

Delany wanted rules changes to enhance the game and increase movement and scoring. And, lo and behold, those changes were enacted by the sport and have led to a better product.

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TWEETS THAT MATTER

My take: Life in the Big Ten.

My take: Shavon Shields was out of his mind last night. What a game.

My take: I’m sure he’s on it.

My take: This Illinois team really struggles to score.

My take: Amazing.

My take: Stunning.

My take: I won’t argue this notion.

My take: Sorta reminds me of Gene Keady in that sense.

My take: Amen.

My take: I do. But, hey, that’s me.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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2 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (2 Comments)
Bob Jones on 2/13/2014 @ 11:41am EST Said:

Long ways to go, and the Huskers always seem to disappoint after raising expectations, but Husker fans are talking about finishing up 5-2, which would be 10-8 in conference and winning a couple in the BIG tourney and sneaking into the NCAA. Longshot, but certainly still possible.

theotherbigone on 2/13/2014 @ 1:35pm EST Said:

OSU charges for their spring game – what a rip!!!