Monday night featured a pair of Big Ten women’s basketball games, and it also saw Penn State clinch at least a share of its first Big Ten title since 2004. The Lady Lions accomplished the feat by powering past ranked Ohio State, 84-66, at the Bryce Jordan Center. In other action, Illinois dropped instate rival Northwestern, 69-57. Watch highlights from Illinois’ win now and see interviews with the Illini in this post.
Some interesting games are on tap this week, with the headliner being Wisconsin’s visit to Ohio State on Sunday. Also, front-running Michigan State may face a tough test at Minnesota, where the Gophers are a pesky team. But of all of the contenders, Michigan has the toughest tests in its quest for its first Big Ten crown since Antoine Joubert and his Jheri curl were roaming the court in 1985-86, with a game at Northwestern and a visit from Purdue.
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It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 Big Ten plays from the past week? Watch them and vote for your top play. The latest national polls are out, as well.
At halftime of Sunday’s game against Penn State, Wisconsin celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its 2002 Big Ten title team. The team, of course, was Bo Ryan’s first in Madison, Wis., and it wasn’t expected to compete for the Big Ten crown. The Badgers entered Big Ten play with a mediocre 7-6 clip, although they did upset Dwyane Wade and Marquette. Wisconsin figured things out, though, and went on to split the title with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State, its first Big Ten crown since 1947. Watch the WisconsinAthletics YouTube video tribute in this post.
With each passing week, Michigan State is looking more and more dominant. In fact, this past week may have been the Spartans’ best yet, dominating Wisconsin, 69-55, in East Lansing and whipping Purdue, 76-62, in West Lafayette. Michigan State is looking to maintain its one-game lead this week, playing at Minnesota and playing host to Nebraska. Neither game looks threatening to the Spartans, but they must remain vigilant against a letdown.
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.
What a weekend, especially for Michigan, which remains in the hunt for a Big Ten title with that impressive win over Ohio State. Read all about the surging Wolverines’ quest for their first Big Ten regular-season title since 1985-86 and other Big Ten happenings with these links in this post.