On tonight’s Big Ten Breakdown with Howard Griffith and Chris Martin at 7 p.m. ET, Mike Hall joins our analysts to look back at the previous weekend and discuss how it impacts the upcoming Big Ten football picture. Find out what else our guys will be talking about on tonight’s show in this post, plus send in your nominations for “Howard’s Hero” and Chris Martin’s “On the Corner.”
(BigTen.org) Indiana and Northwestern have earned berths to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, the selection committee announced on Monday. The selections mark the ninth straight year that two or more conference teams have earned bids to the tournament, which begins on Thursday.
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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(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.
(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.
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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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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