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Wisconsin hands Illinois fourth straight home loss

Ben Brust scored 20 points and Wisconsin overcame a ragged start on Sunday to beat Illinois 74-68. The Badgers (15-7, 6-3 Big Ten) shot under 30 percent for most of the first half and combined with the Illini to score 14 points in the game’s first eight minutes.

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Michigan State rallies in second half

Keith Appling led a pivotal run early in the second half and finished with 24 points and seven assists to help No. 13 Michigan State beat Illinois 80-75 on Thursday night. The Spartans (18-4, 7-2 Big Ten) scored the first 14 points of the second half to take their first lead.

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Mock brackets: Where do Big Ten teams land?

It’s that time of the week, time to look at the mock brackets. And the Big Ten remains well-represented with seven teams in each of the mock brackets that I check each week. The only conference with more bids is the Big East, which has eight or nine tourney teams—depending on the bracket you check.

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Power Rankings: Minnesota continues to drop

Just a couple weeks ago, Minnesota was 15-1 and in the top 10 of the national polls. Fast forward to today, and the Gophers have lost four straight – a funk that keeps them dropping in my Power Rankings. Where does your team land on my latest list? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box at the bottom of the post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).

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Whiteboard: Purdue + Michigan = big week for IU

This is a nice week that is anchored by a Titanic prime-time clash on Saturday: No. 1 Michigan at No. 3 Indiana, which began the season No. 1. This should be a battle of first-place teams, with the winner in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten.

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