2011-12 Season Preview: Minnesota

In Big Ten play, Minnesota was better than Michigan State last season.  Seriously.  And the season started out so well.  Through 20 games, the Gophers had 16 wins, including victories over UNC, West Virginia, Michigan, and Purdue.  But in January, Minnesota lost Al Nolen and Devoe Joseph, and the backcourt play crumbled.  It’s a remarkable feat to finish dead last in the Big Ten in three-point percentage even while carrying Blake Hoffarber on the roster.  With defenses focusing on guarding The Hoff, and no other outside threats to speak of, Minnesota finished the year on a 1-10 skid.

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Wildcats Drop Texas-PA in Opener

Northwestern's Bill Carmody

Texas Pan-American at Northwestern - Men's Basketball Highlights

(AP) John Shurna scored a 15 points and Luka Mirkovic added 12 to lead Northwestern to a 60-36 season-opening victory over Texas-Pan American on Sunday night. The Wildcats shook off a sluggish start, using an 11-1 run late in the first half to take control. They steadily extended the advantage behind 11 second-half points from Drew Crawford. Brandon Provost and Jared Maree had 12 points each for the Broncs, who are 0-2 in a season-opening Chicago swing. They lost at DePaul on Friday. Northwestern improved to 8-4 in season openers under head coach Bill Carmody and is 7-0 against Texas-Pan American in a series dating back to 1999. See the box score.

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Oladipo, Indiana Roll Chattanooga

Indiana's Victor Oladipo

UT-Chattanooga at Indiana - Men's Basketball Highlights

(AP) Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 21 points on Sunday to help Indiana beat Chattanooga 78-53. Jordan Hulls added 18 points and Verdell Jones III 16 for Indiana, which shot 50 percent from the floor and recorded seven blocks. Omar Wattad led Chattanooga, playing its season opener, with 24 points. The Mocs held a 45-36 rebounding advantage. The Hoosiers (2-0) have made 58 percent of their outside shots this season. They were coming off a 65 percent performance in Friday’s opener against Stony Brook. Indiana went on a 25-9 run to extend its lead to 61-33 midway through the second half. See the box score. Watch our interview with former Indiana star and current director of basketball operations Calbert Cheaney inside, plus see our Narrative Science recaps.

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Week 12 Football Power Rankings

Wisconsin's Russell Wilson

Brady Hoke on Win Over Illinois

Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 11 saw Penn State, the Big Ten’s last undefeated team in conference play, suffer its first Big Ten defeat. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.

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Dienhart: What I Learned in Week 11

The races in each division came into sharper focus on Saturday with some big individual performances, headlined by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball setting the Big Ten single-season touchdown record. Michigan State’s domination of Iowa makes the Spartans the clear leader in the Legends as the only team still in control of its destiny. In the Leaders, Penn State and Wisconsin control their destiny, but each seems to be going in opposite directions (see the Big Ten standings). See what Tom learned this weekend in this post.

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Henry Shot in Hand, To Miss Rest of Season

(AP) Illinois linebacker Trulon Henry will miss the rest of the season after he was shot in the hand during a shooting near campus. Illini coach Ron Zook says Henry had surgery Sunday. Urbana police say two others were wounded during the gunfire that happened before 3:30 a.m. Sunday at a large house party.

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Spartans Lead Big Ten in BCS Standings

There’s been a different team pacing the Big Ten in the BCS Standings since its first installment in Week 7, and the trend continued again this week. Following Week 11 action, Michigan State leads the conference, at No. 15, followed by No. 16 Nebraska, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 18 Michigan and No. 21 Penn State, last week’s Big Ten leader. See the full BCS Standings.

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