Zack Novak is the face of Michigan, the embodiment of what John Beilein is trying to build the Wolverine program into in his fifth year in Ann Arbor. Just watch Novak on the court. The energy, the desire, the passion. And, the production. He’s the inspirational leader of a Michigan team that is 19-7 overall and 9-4 in the Big Ten, very much in the hunt for the Big Ten title.
Purdue suffered a big blow with guard Kelsey Barlow being dismissed from the program and guard/forward D.J. Byrd being suspended for a game. The duo was involved in an incident at a West Lafayette, Ind., bar that resulted in Byrd being arrested on suspicion of public intoxication early Friday. Purdue (17-9 overall, 7-6 Big Ten) plays host to Michigan State on Sunday.
It has been an interesting week, with the league title chase coming into sharper focus with Michigan State’s big win at Ohio State. It will come down to Sparty vs. Brutus for the title, which is what we thought would happen back in October. So, it looks like the other Big Ten teams are relegated to a chase for third place.
What better way to end your work week than by getting caught up on all the Big Ten news right here? Selection Sunday is March 11. Until then, here’s a projection of the NCAA field from one of the smartest men in the business, Mike Huguenin of Yahoo! Sports.
It’s that time of the week where the best of your questions are posted and I do my very best to answer them. As you would suspect, there are plenty of basketball questions—and some very concerned Ohio State fans.
Say what you want about Illinois coach Bruce Weber. Debate his in-game strategy, complain about his inability to land the mega recruit, lament his seemingly kid-glove treatment of players. All legit beefs. But no one can argue with Weber’s sincerity and honesty.
Big game tonight, with Wisconsin invading Michigan State in a Big Ten battle of ranked teams. But that’s not the only news. Check out the latest scuttlebutt in Big Ten territory, including this story: Already making fall plans? Thank Matt Murschek of the Orlando Sentinel for looking ahead to five killer Big Ten games in 2012. Find more links lower in this post.
This week’s conversation with CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm offers some revealing insights. Among them: He has no Big Ten team as a No. 1 seed. And he thinks there’s a chance that won’t change come Selection Sunday. Click here and have a listen. And click here to check out Palm’s work at CBSSports.com.
Tuesday on Big Ten Football Report, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart joined Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith on the weekly show. The crew tackled plenty of topics, including the NCAA Rules Committee proposing to move kickoffs to the 35-yard line and the Football Bowl Association considering increasing the number of wins for bowl eligibility, from six to seven. Watch the video now to see what our guys think about the issues and cast your vote on both in this post. Also, watch DiNardo’s interview with new Illinois coach Tim Beckman inside.
Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger or Michigan State’s Draymond Green? Who is the best player? It may be neither. Perhaps it’s Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor or Indiana’s Cody Zeller. And how does it compare to my list from last week?
News, notes and everything in betewen from the Big Ten as I prepare to join Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith on tonight’s Big Ten Football Report. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET!
The roster of games this week is littered with some intriguing matchups that will go a long way toward determining the pecking order at the top of the Big Ten standings as we enter the final few weeks of the season. And no tilt on this week’s list of contests is bigger than Wisconsin’s visit to Michigan State on Feb. 16. Now that you know BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s No. 1 game for this week, what about the others? Dienhart ranks them all, from 1 to 11, in this post.
With Michigan State’s huge—and surprisingly convincing–win at Ohio State on Saturday, the Big Ten title chase has become a jumbled four-team race (standings). The Spartans and Buckeyes are tied at the top with 9-3 league marks, while the Wolverines are one half-game behind, at 9-4, and the Badgers are one game behind, at 8-4.
News, notes and whatnot from the Big Ten as I still try to catch my breath following Michigan State’s surprisingly dominant win at Ohio State. Who is gonna win this thing?
The calendar says February, and the sense of urgency builds for teams with NCAA dreams. Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana look like locks. But Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern? Work must be done down the home stretch.
A big night in the Big Ten on Thursday, with three games, so there’s lots to talk about. And there’s also this little basketball game on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, between Michigan State and Ohio State that’s creating a little bit of buzz. Let’s look at the Friday morning headlines.
You have your questions. And, as usual, I have my answers. Put them together and you have another BTN.com mailbag. Basketball is on the minds of many, which is why I rank my top Big Ten point guards in this mailbag. But interest in football never wanes so we talk about some recruiting, too. Heck, some spring practices will begin in less than a month, if you can believe it.
Is there a more electric player in the Big Ten than Minnesota’s Rodney Williams? Of course not. The 6-7, 200-pound junior forward from Minneapolis is a human highlight film, seemingly executing one jaw-dropping, make-your-heart pound dunk every game. Like, for instance, the 360-degree one in this post.
Some stuff to read while you wait for the Illinois at Indiana game tonight, which will be highlighted by a battle of what the late Al McGuire used to call “aircraft carriers” between Meyers Leonard and Cody Zeller. That’s over 14-feet of uber talent that soon will be cashing checks with lots of zeros.
How many Big Ten teams does Jerry Palm have in the Big Dance? Click inside to listen to my latest phone conversations with NCAA bracket guru Jerry Palm (full audio archive over here) to find out the answer to that question and others. But know this: Palm’s current bracket features zero No. 1 seeds from the Big Ten. That’s right, Brutus. You aren’t a No. 1 seed—at least for now.
Basketball season is hitting its stretch run, but spring football isn’t far away. That’s why I tracked down the spring football dates for each school. And I know you’re going to ask about TV coverage. BTN.com and BTN TV have covered spring football in the past and they’ll do the same this year. When we have more information on broadcast dates and times, we’ll write a post on that, too.
Jared Sullinger, Draymond Green. Draymond Green, Jared Sullinger. The player on top of my weekly player rankings seemingly changes each week. And it may continue to flip-flop the rest of the month, too. For now, I have to go with Sullinger, given his sterling effort in Ohio State’s first win at Wisconsin since 2000 and the fact Green hurt his knee in a loss at Illinois.
News that the Big Ten is offering structure ideas for a college football playoff is good news for those who dislike a BCS system that has been in place for 14 seasons. Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reported this on Monday. I take a look at the benefits and problems with this idea, but you tell me what you think in the comments box below.