Latest Big Ten Geeks News

Big Ten Geeks: The window is closing

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin vs. Kentucky - 2014 NCAA Final Four Analysis

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

While the NCAA Tournament is without question a national treasure, the madness comes at a cost—sometimes, teams with a combined 18 losses will play for the right to credibly call themselves the best team in the country. For the most part we all play along, accepting that the bounces and breaks that necessarily play a large role in a single-elimination tournament do nothing more than lead us to the correct answer. It’s not random, it’s clutch. Or so we say.

Read More

Find out more about:

Geeks: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky preview

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As the lone Big Ten team still standing, Wisconsin has finally broken through for its first Final Four under Bo Ryan. Can the Badgers keep it going? We’ll find out Saturday night as Wisconsin will take on Kentucky in a national semifinal.

Read More

Find out more about:

Big Ten Geeks: Left Hanging

America’s High Five was locked out of the Final Four, as both Michigan State and Michigan fell in the Elite 8. And while each team lost for very different reasons, it was peculiar that both games came down to the other team scoring three points after the defense forced a contested heave from 23 feet.

Read More

Find out more about: ,

Big Ten Geeks: Narrative no more

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Bo Ryan - Wisconsin Final Four Celebration

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Up until Saturday, plenty of college basketball fans appreciated Bo Ryan’s coaching ability in a patronizing, half-insulting kind of way. Yes, he’s a fantastic Big Ten coach, that much is beyond dispute.

Read More

Find out more about: ,

Geeks Preview: Michigan State vs. Virginia

Michigan State arrives in the Sweet 16 on a five-game winning streak, with fans and analysts around the country espousing the Spartans as one of the main contenders for the national title. First things first – to reach the Elite Eight, Michigan State must defeat Virginia tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Read More

Find out more about:

Big Ten Geeks: In the Zone

Wisconsin is one win away from Bo Ryan’s first-ever Final Four after destroying Baylor last night. The Badgers scored 1.11 points per possession, and frankly, it should have been higher. Baylor largely stuck to its zone all night long, but what a strange zone it was. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a zone where four players are on one side of the court—the side without the basketball:

Read More

Find out more about:

Geeks Preview: Michigan vs. Tennessee

Michigan has strolled into the Sweet 16 with nary a challenge, beating Wofford and Texas by a combined 31 points. The level of difficulty ramps up considerably tonight as the Wolverines take on Tennessee in Indianapolis. Casual fans may look at the seed matchup – a 2-seed against an 11-seed – and conclude that this will be a cakewalk for Michigan, but that’s nowhere near the truth.

Read More

Find out more about:

Big Ten Geeks: Living Dangerously

Every Big Ten team remaining in the Round of 32 advanced to the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t easy for a couple of those teams. Wisconsin found itself in one of the most entertaining games of the Tournament thus far, but it did not look promising for the Badgers in the first half. Facing a team that could not miss, Bo Ryan’s team found itself in a 14-point hole just before the half. But Wisconsin came roaring out of the gate in the second half, and narrowed the gap to just one point by the first TV timeout. From that point on, it was a back-and-forth affair until the last minute or so.

Read More

Big Ten Geeks: Defense on Day One

Ohio State dropped a tight one against an in-state “Little Brother,” which had to make the loss all the more frustrating. There wasn’t anything especially unique about this loss—once again, Ohio State’s offense stalled out when it had to play in the half-court. The outside shooting was tepid (3 of 12 on 3s), and the ballhandling was suspect (the Buckeyes turned it over on 21 percent of their possessions; Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross each had five of their own). And on the 27 occasions when Ohio State had an opportunity to rebound one of its frequent misses, Thad Matta’s team came up with the ball just three times.

Read More

Find out more about: , , , , ,

Big Ten Geeks: Preview of Nebraska vs. Baylor

With the rest of the conference’s NCAA tournament teams already done with their first games, Nebraska will be the lone representative in action today. At 12:40pm ET, the Huskers will seek the first NCAA tournament win in program history as they take on 6-seed Baylor in San Antonio.

Read More

Find out more about: ,

Big Ten Geeks: Preview of Wisconsin vs. American

Today at 12:40pm ET, Wisconsin will begin its bid to get Bo Ryan that elusive Final Four appearance with a matchup against American. This one will be played in Milwaukee, so the crowd figures to include a heavy contingent of Badger faithful. That will help, but this is a game where Wisconsin doesn’t figure to need much of a boost.

Read More

Find out more about: ,

Big Ten Geeks: A Preview of Iowa vs. Tennessee

While I will always associate the initial Thursday and Friday games of the NCAA tournament with the term “first round,” the NCAA tournament’s first round officially will be played tonight and tomorrow in the form of the play-in games. On Wednesday night, a Big Ten representative will look to advance from Dayton, as Iowa takes on Tennessee in a battle to become the Midwest Region’s 11-seed.

Read More

Find out more about:

Big Ten Geeks: How did Easy Bubble Solver do?

Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday morning, with just a handful of games left to be played, we took a last look at the Easy Bubble Solver. As a reminder, the Easy Bubble Solver involves adding together the KenPom rank and RPI rank for every team, then ranking them in ascending order. It’s a way to get a feel for which teams are in the field without spending all the time necessary to scrutinize every team’s resume.

Read More

Big Ten Geeks: Michigan State outshoots Wisconsin

Michigan State rode some hot jump-shooting to an eight-point win over Wisconsin in Saturday’s second semifinal. Right out of the gate, the Spartans were deadly accurate with their perimeter shooting, and there was little the Badgers could do to slow them. Michigan State poured in 43 points in a 27 possession first half, and, when combined with some stout interior defense spearheaded by Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson, it gave the Spartans a 17-point halftime advantage.

Read More

Big Ten Geeks: Wisconsin pummels Minnesota

There are some that read way too much into the first occurrence of something. Like the hubbub made over the choice of an opening day pitcher, or the superstition that you can tell how a season will go by the first play. We Geeks pride ourselves in believing no such thing. We value large sample sizes over the random outcome of a single event.

Read More

Find out more about:

Big Ten Geeks: Nebraska lets one slip away

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State vs. Nebraska - Top Plays

A central tenant of Nebraska’s offense under Tim Miles has been to embrace your inner ballhog (our words, not his). While this approach may not win you many friends at the YMCA, it’s a perfectly acceptable strategy in the world of college basketball. With fewer passes, you have fewer turnovers, and a low-turnover offense is in itself more efficient. Sure, you won’t shoot great percentages, and you won’t get many assists (Nebraska is near the bottom of DI in assists per made field goal), but I’d argue that this collection of Huskers just isn’t build to shoot high percentages anyway.

Read More

Find out more about: