Welcome to the first installment of “Three Pointers,” a fun, informative and informal spin around Big Ten men’s basketball every Friday afternoon. There is a lot to explore with the start of Big Ten action this week. Early signs indicate the conference will be as good as advertised, as six Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 20. And four are in the top 13.
Illinois’ weaknesses were exposed in a road loss against a mediocre Purdue team last night. The concerning thing isn’t so much that Illinois lost—Purdue isn’t a terrible team, just a terrible offensive team—it’s that it lost to Purdue despite hitting 10 three-pointers (38% from three on the night). Thus, it appears the “Illinois wins when it shoots well” maxim is incorrect. This team can shoot well, and still lose.
First he’s gone, then he’s staying. It has been a crazy few days tracking the saga of Penn State’s Bill O’Brien. But, according to many reports last night, O’Brien is staying in State College, Pa. So, let’s begin Friday’s daily links right there.
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Wisconsin held a small lead late in the game on Thursday night, but Penn State wouldn’t go away for most of the second half. And then the 6-foot-10 Jared Berggren delivered two smashing dunks. On the first, he took a nice bounce pass from Mike Bruesewitz.
Driven by a group of four scoring in double figures, the Iowa women’s basketball team upset No. 24 Ohio State, 77-71, in overtime. Theairra Taylor scored the first six points in overtime for the Hawkeyes and put an exclamation point on the outcome with a steal with four seconds remaining.
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The time is now for Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble. This is his Hawkeyes team. He must be a leader and he must show the way if the program is to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.