Latest Big Ten Geeks News

Big Ten Geeks: Saturday Night Showdown

Indiana reclaimed the top spot in the polls after it held off Michigan in Bloomington. The Hoosiers lit up the Wolverines’ defense to the tune of 1.17 points per possession, the highest mark allowed so far this season by John Beilein’s team. And the reality it that it could have been much worse, as careless turnovers were about the only thing that slowed down the IU offense.

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Big Ten Geeks: Checking Ourselves

We’re approximately at the midway point of the conference schedule, so it’s a logical time to check in our preseason predictions. Were we close?

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Big Ten Geeks: Defense and Deshaun

In a matchup of the Big Ten’s two best defenses, it was Ohio State that prevailed with a nine-point home victory over Wisconsin. Both of these teams rely on good old fashioned B1G defense: make you miss (without fouling), then secure the carom. Turnovers are optional.

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Big Ten Geeks: In Defense of Jordan Morgan's Defense

If there’s any subject that’s sure to get a good college basketball debate going, it’s defense. It’s easy to see why—we don’t have very good ways of measuring defense. At the individual level, we have steals, blocks, and defensive rebounds. And some people don’t believe that last one is actually “defense:”

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Big Ten Geeks: It's Ola-doeverything for Indiana

Indiana held serve against Michigan State to move into a tie with Michigan atop the Big Ten standings. Normally, I’d use this opportunity to point out that although Indiana won by 5, the outcome actually suggests that Michigan State is the better team. But I don’t think that’s true here, because Indiana was equal to or better than the Spartans in all but one category—three-point shooting. MSU made 11 of its 23 attempts from behind the three-point line, and I’ll go ahead and call that an aberration.

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Big Ten Geeks: Who are the Gophers?

I’ll admit—I’ve never truly forgiven Minnesota for 2010. Back in those days, when the internet was over, it was my opinion that the Gophers should have been contending for a Big Ten championship. I wasn’t even close, as Minnesota finished the season at 9-9, and squeaked into the NCAA Tournament (the Gophers barely had enough time to check into their hotel before Xavier dispatched of them in the first round).

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Big Ten Geeks: Spartans Outlast Badgers

Michigan State won a battle of attrition in frigid Madison, edging Wisconsin by a 49-47 score. The Spartans are now 5-0 in games decided by three points or less, and this win was especially fortunate. The Badgers did an excellent job on defense, forcing Michigan State to take an abnormally high proportion of two-point jumpers:

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Big Ten Geeks: Here come the Hawkeyes

On Saturday, Iowa defended its home court with a win over Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes raced out to a 30-10 lead before the Badgers finally got something going on offense, though I think that early start for Wisconsin overshadows what kind of game this really was.

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Big Ten Geeks: Inconvenient Truths

This may surprise you, but every now and then we say something that really gets fans riled up. The best example of this is our belief that while Aaron Craft is a very good defender, he is not, nor has he ever been, Ohio State’s best defender. And this year, he’s not even the team’s best perimeter defender. Rather than take this as a complement to Ohio State’s collection of outstanding defenders, a lot of people take this as a slight to Craft.

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Big Ten Geeks: Badgers Shock Indiana

Wisconsin now owns the most impressive result in all of college basketball after its five point win at Indiana. During the Badgers’ nonconference struggles, we Geeks wondered what was up with Wisconsin’s defense. While the Badgers were still stifling the offense of many a cupcake, they were getting lit up (in a relative sense) against tournament-level teams.

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Big Ten Geeks: Early Dominance

This weekend featured a lot of games where the home team came out of the gate strong, though there were some second half scares as well. Indiana ran all over Minnesota in the first half on Saturday, opening up a 23-point lead after the first 20 minutes.

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Big Ten Geeks: Gophers make a statement

On Wednesday, Minnesota made a statement, beating Illinois by 17 points in Champaign. This was a strange one, as the Illini actually negated the Gophers’ huge on-paper advantage on the glass. Instead, it was a big discrepancy in shooting accuracy that told the story. Minnesota, normally a mediocre outside shooting team, hit nine of 15 from behind the arc, while Illinois made just three of its 24 three-point attempts. The Gopher defense certainly had a lot to do with the Illini’s struggles–there just weren’t all that many open looks–but it was also just one of those nights (see Andre Hollins’ banked-in three from nearly midcourt to beat the shot clock).

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Big Ten Geeks: Master of his Craft?

Ohio State picked up a solid road victory at Purdue last night, but the bigger story may be the point guard controversy simmering in Columbus.

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Big Ten Geeks: Is Ohio State good?

It seems ludicrous that a Geek would pose such a question concerning the No. 11-ranked team according to Ken Pomeroy, but it’s fair. While the Buckeyes still look good in the computer’s eyes, but the computer’s eyes aren’t going to determine things like whether Ohio State will be invited to the Dance and how it will be seeded. So far on the season, OSU has faced three quality opponents (Duke, Kansas, and Illinois), and they’ve lost them all.

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Big Ten Geeks: It isn't the Little Ten

Illinois’ weaknesses were exposed in a road loss against a mediocre Purdue team last night. The concerning thing isn’t so much that Illinois lost—Purdue isn’t a terrible team, just a terrible offensive team—it’s that it lost to Purdue despite hitting 10 three-pointers (38% from three on the night). Thus, it appears the “Illinois wins when it shoots well” maxim is incorrect. This team can shoot well, and still lose.

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