If you ask most national observers about John Beilein’s coaching style, you’ll hear phrases like “live and die by the three” or “offensive-minded.” In Maui, Michigan used none of the above to get an impressive win over Memphis. The Wolverines took their threes, sure, but they weren’t particularly good from there. Instead, they dominated the Tigers in the paint, making those national observers’ collective heads explode.
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The turnaround has been remarkable. Last year, Michigan finished last in the Big Ten in passing defense (261.9 ypg) and scoring defense (35.2 ppg) and 10th in rushing defense (188.9 ypg). This year, the Wolverine defense is No. 5 (316.0) in the Big Ten overall, vs. the run (131.6) and vs. the pass (184.4). And one of the reasons for the turnaround is end Ryan Van Bergen.
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As we get closer to the Big Ten Football Championship, I’m seeing more and more mail on the end-of-season awards, bowl games and tiebreakers. I even got my first basketball question! I love to get your notes and encourage you to keep them coming. The more mail the better. Now let’s get to this week’s answers …
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(GopherSports.com) The No. 19 University of Minnesota volleyball team beat border rival Wisconsin in straight sets (25-21, 25-21, 28-26) Wednesday at the Sports Pavilion. The Golden Gophers (17-11, 10-9) swept the Badgers this season, also defeating UW on Oct. 19 in Madison, Wis. in five sets. Minnesota was led on the court by sophomore sensations Ashley Wittman and middle blocker Tori Dixon, both of which tied for match-highs with 14 kills. Read the full recap at GopherSports.com.
Now, it’s time to unveil the projected champs of the Big Ten. Look at us, out here on this limb, picking the Buckeyes.
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At 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Chris Martin and Teddy Greenstein bring you Big Ten Football & Beyond. On tonight’s show, our crew debates whether Michigan State, which wrapped up the Legends Division last week, should have a different approach for this weekend’s game. The guys also will answer which game they’d watch if both were on at same time they couldn’t flip channels: Ohio State-Michigan or Penn State-Wisconsin. See what else we’ll be talking about in this post.
We’re in the third week of the college basketball season, and it’s time to point out the Big Ten’s best new faces thus far. You know, the first-year players who are off to fast starts, the ones Big Ten fans probably don’t know very well at this point in the young season. These are the guys who may become household names this season and who may be the Big Ten’s top players in coming years.