D.J. Richardson started slow Thursday but finished with 18 points and hit a pair of key free throws late in Illinois’ ugly 64-59 win over Penn State.
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Since slumping to 2-7 in the Big Ten, Illinois has ripped off four wins in a row to greatly enhance its NCAA profile. And, it’s an impressive profile, with wins over the likes of Gonzaga, Butler, Ohio State and Indiana. D.J. Richardson has played a big role in the Fighting Illini’s surge.
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Indiana pulled out a huge road win over Michigan State, thanks largely to the all-around heroics of Victor Oladipo. The surging national player of the year contender made things happen all over the court. On the offensive end, Oladipo was about as efficient as it gets, attacking the tin (he went six for seven on dunks and layups, ridiculous numbers for a guard) while turning it over only once.
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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.
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John Groce’s Illini continued their torrid play this week, dispatching Purdue and Northwestern, teams they lost to earlier this season. Winners of four straight, Illinois has moved to No. 5 in my latest Power Rankings. Where does your team land? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box in this post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).
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We’re only a few weeks away from Selection Sunday, and there’s only a handful of games left for teams to pick up signature wins. This weekend, some did, and some didn’t.