Latest Big Ten Geeks News

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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Big Ten Geeks: Rise of the Gophers

Indiana suffered another road loss to a previously scuffling squad, this time falling at Minnesota by four points. Much has been said about Cody Zeller’s lack of offensive production on this night (nine points, four turnovers, five fouls), but the Hoosiers scored quite well with their big man scuffling.

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Big Ten Geeks: Cupcakes aren't good for you

Any sober look at Iowa in the preseason would have put the team somewhere in the vicinity of the bubble. The team was coming off an 8-10 Big Ten campaign that, albeit one blessed with good fortune, portended good things to come with most of the roster returning this season.

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Big Ten Geeks: The best B1G defense in a decade?

Wisconsin held Northwestern to a paltry 0.74 points per possession in one of the most methodical blowouts you’ll ever see. The Wildcats were just consistently outclassed, as the Badgers steadily built their lead until it had swelled to the final 28-point margin. Northwestern’s lowly output helped Wisconsin nudge its in-conference defensive efficiency down to 0.901 points per trip.

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Big Ten Geeks: Say Hello to your champs

Indiana pulled out a huge road win over Michigan State, thanks largely to the all-around heroics of Victor Oladipo. The surging national player of the year contender made things happen all over the court. On the offensive end, Oladipo was about as efficient as it gets, attacking the tin (he went six for seven on dunks and layups, ridiculous numbers for a guard) while turning it over only once.

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Big Ten Geeks: Getting ready for the Dance

We’re only a few weeks away from Selection Sunday, and there’s only a handful of games left for teams to pick up signature wins. This weekend, some did, and some didn’t.

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Big Ten Geeks: Boiling Over

Illinois exorcised some demons in a 20 point blowout of Purdue. The Fighting Illini seniors had never beaten the Boilermakers, but they changed that in emphatic fashion by attacking the offensive glass and limiting turnovers. In all, Illinois attempted 13 more field goals than Purdue, and those extra looks enabled John Groce’s team to score 1.20 points per trip despite 29 percent shooting on jumpers. It was Illinois’ best output since the win at Gonzaga, and it appears that the Illini of the season’s first month have returned.

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Big Ten Geeks: Michigan State cruises

In the first 2013 installment of an intense rivalry, Michigan State humiliated Michigan by 23 points, a margin that belies how truly dominant Tom Izzo’s team was. The lead touched 31 points before garbage time began, and Michigan’s deep reserves made a run to bring the margin down at the final buzzer.

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Big Ten Geeks: Foul!

Wisconsin picked up an overtime win over Michigan in a contest with plenty of late-game drama. Wisconsin and Michigan both found themselves with plenty of fouls to give at the end of regulation on Saturday, but neither team opted to hack to deprive the opponent of a desperation heave.

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Big Ten Geeks: Indiana Stunned in Champaign

With one of the most improbable comebacks you’ll see this season, Illinois shocked Indiana in Champaign. This was a game controlled by the Hoosiers most of the way, and Tom Crean’s squad held an eight point lead with 3:01 remaining. At that point, KenPom’s win probability, which factors in time, score, and team quality, gave the Illini just a 1.1 percent chance of coming back to win. With those teams, in that situation, you’d expect Indiana to win 99 out of 100 times.

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Big Ten Geeks: Michigan provides another beauty

The Big Ten served up yet another “game of the year” candidate in Michigan’s extra period triumph over Ohio State. This game featured just about everything–impressive defensive plays, back-and-forth big shots down the stretch, and plenty of scoring. Truth be told, you probably couldn’t construct a team more liable to be involved in aesthetically pleasing games than 2012-13 Michigan.

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