Andre Hollins had 22 points and six assists and Rodney Williams added 15 points and six rebounds to lift No. 9 Minnesota to a 76-63 victory over No. 18 Michigan State on Monday. Trevor Mbakwe had 11 points and 12 rebounds and the Golden Gophers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) shot 56.6 percent to open conference play with an emphatic victory over a team that has owned them for years.
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The Big Ten takes the lid off of conference action this week. Now, we really will discover what these teams are made of. The Chicago States, Slippery Rocks, North Floridas, Bryants and Nebraska-Omahas are being replaced with trips to places like Bloomington, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Champaign and Minneapolis.
This may be the last day of 2012, but it’s the first for Big Ten league hoop action. What a great place to begin my daily links!
Illinois won the team title and two Big Ten wrestlers took home individual crowns at the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Illini finished with 99.5 points, two ahead of second-place Virginia Tech, while Nebraska’s Robert Kokesh (174 lbs) and Northwestern’s Jason Welch (157) won their respective weight classes.
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Following Saturday night’s narrow 17-16 victory over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, BTN’s Lisa Byington caught up with juniors Le’Veon Bell and William Gholston to discuss each star’s upcoming career decision. Do they forgo their senior campaign and enter the NFL draft, or do they come back for their final year and try to improve their stock? Watch their answers now.
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And just like that, it’s time for the Big Ten season to tip. It was a highly successful nonconference season, with the Big Ten owning the national polls. We have even more to look forward in the coming months, however, as many feel this could be one of the better conference races in recent history. Check out my All-Big Ten Nonconference Teams in this post.
Every week during the NFL season, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina singles out the top performances by Big Ten products. Check out his Week 17 honorees in the photo gallery in this post. As a reminder, each player’s stats is listed below his photo.