The new year is fast approaching, which means that Big Ten play is just around the corner. A total of six Big Ten teams will hit the hardwood on Saturday, highlighted by a quadruple-header of hoops in store on BTN.
We sit mere days away from Big Ten play, so it seems a proper time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conference’s defenses. Possibly the best way to do that is through detailed shot data. The best defenses will limit open threes and shots at the rim while forcing opponents to take low value two-point jumpers.
The headliner to the Big Ten’s wild weekend was Ohio State’s improbable comeback over Notre Dame. The Irish held an 8-point lead with under a minute to play, but OSU’s frenzied press led to four Notre Dame turnovers, which fueled a 14-3 Buckeye run. It was an unreal comeback, so hopefully you saw it, and weren’t like, trying to get a toddler to go to sleep. That would have been unfortunate.
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For the first time since 2008, Illinois has Braggin’ Rights. The Illini held off rival Missouri, 65-64, in a thrilling back-and-forth affair Saturday at Scottrade Center. The win snapped the Illini’s four-game losing streak in the series and also marked the Tigers first loss of the season. See reaction to the victory in this post.
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There were five Big Ten hoops games on Saturday and the Big Ten made a huge statement, going a perfect 5-0 on the day. No. 5 Michigan State took down Texas in Austin, Illinois sent Missouri to its first loss, and No. 2 Ohio State made an incredible comeback to drop Notre Dame. Nebraska followed with a blowout win over The Citadel, while Michigan closed out the evening with an impressive victory over Stanford.
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CHICAGO – BTN will bolster its team of studio analysts to coincide with the start of conference basketball by adding former Maryland and Ohio State head coach Gary Williams and Hall of Fame sportswriters Dick “Hoops” Weiss and Mike DeCourcy, who returns for a third season.