Illinois used double-figure scoring from five players to hold off stubborn Nebraska Saturday, 72-65. The Huskers led 57-55 with just over 6 minutes to play. But the Illini (21-9, 8-8 Big Ten) went on a 7-0 run started by a 3-pointer from D.J. Richardson to go up 62-57. They never trailed again.
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While the score didn’t allow John Groce to give Illinois’ seniors the appropriate curtain call Saturday, the Illini faithful was able to give its favorite seniors a standing ovation during the pregame Senior Day festivities. Watch Illinois honor Tyler Griffey, Sam McLaurin, Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson now.
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Greg Shaheen, who ran the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for 12 years, will join BTN host Mike Hall to take fans inside the tournament selection process, from who’s in the room to where the top seeds are headed and why, to how Big Ten teams stack up in 2013. The 60-minute special, Inside the Selection Process, airs at 9 p.m. ET Monday.
Indiana suffered another road loss to a previously scuffling squad, this time falling at Minnesota by four points. Much has been said about Cody Zeller’s lack of offensive production on this night (nine points, four turnovers, five fouls), but the Hoosiers scored quite well with their big man scuffling.
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How tough is the Big Ten this season? A week ago, several people thought Michigan State might be the Big Ten’s top team. Today, following back-to-back losses, the Spartans land at No. 4 on 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).
Any sober look at Iowa in the preseason would have put the team somewhere in the vicinity of the bubble. The team was coming off an 8-10 Big Ten campaign that, albeit one blessed with good fortune, portended good things to come with most of the roster returning this season.