Latest Big Ten Geeks News

Big Ten Geeks: Illinois 2013-14 Preview

The yo-yo continues. Since the Dee Brown Era, Illinois has reliably alternated good season with mediocre, missing the NCAA Tournament every other year. This past season did its part in an up year, as the Illini were only 5 points from reaching their first Sweet 16 since 2005.

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Big Ten Geeks: Looking Ahead to 2013-14

We’re now officially in the college basketball offseason, a long seven months where the NBA playoffs, major league baseball, and eventually football serve as poor stand-ins for our sports attention. But before we shift into that fruitless exercise, let’s take a quick look at what awaits us beyond the gap.

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Big Ten Geeks: Wolverines come up short

In Monday’s national championship, Michigan kept up its impressive tournament run of scoring on the college game’s best defenses, but its own defense just couldn’t slow Louisville enough to take home the title.

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Big Ten Geeks: Winning Ugly

On Friday, Mike predicted that whichever of Syracuse or Michigan scored over a point per trip would win, and he further opined that Michigan was up to the task and would prevail with a five-point win.

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Big Ten Geeks: Our Michigan vs. Syracuse preview

After nearly five months of basketball, we’re now down to the Final Four, with Michigan the lone Big Ten representative. Needless to say, a national title for the Wolverines would provide a nice boost for the conference’s reputation, as banners carry more lasting relevance than computer ratings that have pegged the Big Ten as the nation’s best conference for three years running. Rightly or wrongly, postseason success trumps all else.

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Big Ten Geeks: Iowa taking bite out of Big Apple

While most have been focused on the drama that has led to this weekend’s Final Four (which we will preview Friday), Iowa has quietly been dispatching solid teams in the NIT. The Hawkeyes had a relatively easy time with Maryland last night and will face Baylor in the championship Thursday night.

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Big Ten Geeks: Say Yes to Michigan!

With two-and-a-half minutes left against Kansas, Michigan was losing by 10, and its season looked done. From that point on, Michigan went on a 104-72 run over the rest of the weekend.

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Big Ten Geeks: Danger zone

Thursday was a mixed bag for the Big Ten, with just one team advancing to the Elite Eight in unconvincing fashion. Before Friday’s action tips off, let’s have a look at last night’s results.

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Big Ten Geeks: Inside Friday's Sweet 16 battles

Recently we previewed Thursday’s NCAA Tournament games involving Big Ten teams. Today, we look at Friday’s matchups for the two representatives from the Great Lakes State.

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Big Ten Geeks: Inside Thursday's Sweet 16 battles

As expected, four Big Ten teams have advanced to the Sweet 16, with play resuming Thursday night. Let’s take a close look at tomorrow’s matchups (Ohio State vs. Arizona; Indiana vs. Syracuse). On Thursday, we’ll preview Friday’s regional semifinals (Michigan State vs. Michigan vs. Kansas).

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Big Ten Geeks: Weekend at Tourney's

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Big Ten Geeks: Before the madness, a look back

As we sit on the cusp of postseason play for nine Big Ten teams, it feels an appropriate time to revisit where we were just four short months ago, previewing a season that was about to unfold before us. Did we nail it, or do we need to turn in our Geek cards?

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Big Ten Geeks: On Buckeyes & NCAA Tourney

Ohio State won the Big Ten Tournament this weekend, the fourth time that Thad Matta’s team has taken home the crown. While the Buckeyes won largely on the strength of its defense—holding Wisconsin to under 0.8 points per possession—this Ohio State team has been offensively excellent over the back half of its Big Ten schedule:

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Big Ten Geeks: Thoughts on Day 3

Indiana and Wisconsin tipped things off on Saturday in a back-and-forth affair that did not go according to script. For one, Indiana was supposed to be the athletic offensive rebounding powerhouse, but it was Wisconsin that was crashing the offensive glass early, collecting  43 percent of its misses in the first half.

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Big Ten Geeks: Thoughts on Day 2

Scouting matters. Have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t know your opponent, you’ll get sliced up. So credit Indiana for blowing up Illinois’ offense by stretching its defense well out to the perimeter in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. There was no space to breathe for Illinois’ shooters, and consequently just 6 of Illinois’ 27 field goal attempts were three-pointers in the first half.

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Big Ten Geeks: Thoughts on Day 1

The tournament opener between Illinois and Minnesota didn’t offer much in the way of aesthetically pleasing play, but a buzzer beater has a way of upping the entertainment value. The Gophers turned it over on a season-worst 35 percent of their possessions, allowing the Illini to stay in the game dispute big Minnesota advantages in every other category.

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Recapping the Season, Part Two

See part one of our discussion here.

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Big Ten Geeks: Recapping the season, part one

As we do every March, Josh and I take to a back-and-forth format to recap everything we saw in the regular season. Here’s part one, covering our all-conference team and other thoughts on half the conference members.

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Big Ten Geeks: Champs

Indiana won the Big Ten championship outright by about half a Newton, as Jordan Morgan’s tip-in attempt was a hair too strong, allowing Indiana to complete a road comeback and dulling the festivities of the rest of the weekend. After a sluggish first half that ended with Michigan leading 33-30 (33 possessions), the two teams combined for 80 points in the second half (32 possessions). However, despite the fact that these two teams played a back-and-forth battle, I think the result raises more concerns about Michigan than Indiana.

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Big Ten Geeks: Michigan State outruns Wisconsin

In what amounted to an elimination game for a potentially shared Big Ten title, Michigan State steamrolled Wisconsin by 15 points. This game was certainly no work of art, as both teams struggled mightily to score in the half court set. The defense had the upper hand at both ends of the court, but the difference came in the form of Wisconsin live-ball turnovers.

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Big Ten Geeks: Buckeyes break open title race

Ohio State shook up the Big Ten title race with an impressive victory at Indiana. This one was all about the Buckeyes’ defense, spearheaded by Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott, as they held the Hoosiers to their second-lowest output of the season (Indiana actually scored slightly worse in the win at Iowa, albeit in a lot more possessions).

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Big Ten Geeks: No more BPI, please

If you’ve been watching or reading any of ESPN’s college basketball coverage over the past couple of months, you know what BPI is. That’s because ESPN is shoving this proprietary metric down its audience’s throat. Who should be #1? Let’s check BPI. Is your team on the bubble? Let BPI decide. When SportsCenter loads up a resume of an at-large hopeful, it’s BPI that’s splashed on the screen.

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Big Ten Geeks: Three-Point Struggle

After this weekend’s terrible display of inaccuracy from beyond 20 feet, it occurred to me that this year’s Big Ten seems to be missing more shots than ever. Sure enough, one look at Kenpom confirmed what my eyes were suggesting:

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Big Ten Geeks: Bricks, a whole lot of bricks

It was a terrible shooting weekend for the title contenders. Collectively, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan were 14 for 76 from three this weekend. Two of those teams nonetheless found a way to win.

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Big Ten Geeks: Penn State springs the upset of the season

With 10:39 to play in the Bryce Jordan Center, Michigan’s Jon Horford finished an easy dunk off an inbounds play to put Penn State down 15 points. At that very moment, KenPom’s win probability gave the Wolverines a 99.3 percent chance of leaving town with the victory. In other words, given the time, score, and team qualities, you’d expect a game replayed 150 times from that exact situation to end with Michigan losing only once.

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