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On Wednesday, Minnesota made a statement, beating Illinois by 17 points in Champaign. This was a strange one, as the Illini actually negated the Gophers’ huge on-paper advantage on the glass. Instead, it was a big discrepancy in shooting accuracy that told the story. Minnesota, normally a mediocre outside shooting team, hit nine of 15 from behind the arc, while Illinois made just three of its 24 three-point attempts. The Gopher defense certainly had a lot to do with the Illini’s struggles–there just weren’t all that many open looks–but it was also just one of those nights (see Andre Hollins’ banked-in three from nearly midcourt to beat the shot clock).
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Last night, it was Sam Thompson putting A.J. Hammons on a poster (Watch it). Wednesday night, it was Brandon Paul doing it to Trevor Mbakwe. Paul’s posterizing flush was as impressive as any we’ve seen this year, but it also was a little controversial. The Illini senior was called for a charge on the play, and yet the bucket counted. Maybe because the dunk was just THAT good? Watch the slam now and see the Twitter reaction to it in this post.
Joe Coleman scored 29 points and Andre Hollins added 19 to help No. 8 Minnesota top Illinois Wednesday 84-67 and remain undefeated in the Big Ten. The Gophers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) held off a charge by the 12th-ranked Illini midway through the second half. Joseph Bertrand pulled Illinois within at 44-42 on a short jumper with 12:37 left.
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Ohio State picked up a solid road victory at Purdue last night, but the bigger story may be the point guard controversy simmering in Columbus.
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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
This LostLettermen.com post got me thinking about the Big Ten’s top dunkers. There’s a bunch of them, and they’ve kept me busy this season on our Big Ten Dunk Archive. But who are the best of the best? I’ve come up with my top 5, plus honorable mention list, in this post. Let’s hear from you, too, though. There’s a poll included inside and feel free to send your nomination in the comment box.