It’s mid-January. Seems like a good time to start taking a look at some mock NCAA brackets. Things are looking good for Wisconsin and Michigan State, which are primed to be No. 1 seeds.
It’s time for my Big Ten basketball 3-Pointers, my look back at the week that was in the Big Ten—with a sneak peek at what’s to come. It has been a good week to be Minnesota and Indiana. It hasn’t been such a good week to be Ohio State and Illinois. And if you’re Richard Pitno’s jacket from Thursday night, you had a little bit of good and bad this week.
Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota picked up a huge resume win over Ohio State, 63-53 in 63 possessions. The story of this game was on the interior, where Elliott Eliason made his presence felt on both ends. The bearded big man went 6-for-8 on twos, leading a Gopher attack that scored a point per trip despite a bad night from the perimeter.
After kicking off the Big Ten season with impressive wins over Indiana and Penn State, Illinois has now lost three straight, including Wednesday night’s 66-58 loss to Purdue in Champaign. Illinois coach John Groce addressed the media following the game and had some strong words, making it very clear how unhappy he was with his team’s performance.
In case any doubters remained—Iowa is for real, as proven by its 10-point win in Columbus. Granted, this was probably more like a six- or eight-point win if Ohio State isn’t fouling desperately at the end. But that’s splitting hairs, especially because most teams in that position do the same thing.