We are halfway through the Big Ten season, and the conference hasn’t disappointed. All of that preseason hype about being the top conference has proven to be true, with Indiana and Michigan already haven taken turns sitting atop the national polls. And Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin all have impressed to varying degrees. Here’s how I size up the conference at midseason. FIRST TEAM G Trey Burke, Michigan G Victor Oladipo, Indiana F Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State F/C Adreian Payne, Michigan State C Cody Zeller, Indiana SECOND TEAM G Keith Appling, Michigan State G Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan G Aaron
Fresh off an impressive week that included a rout at rival Purdue and an eight-point win over then-No. 1 Michigan, Indiana reclaims the top spot in my weekly 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). [ RELATED: Where is your Big Ten team ranked in latest national polls? ] 1. Indiana, (20-2, 8-1) – No. 1 again, both in the national polls and right here, the Hoosiers
Indiana reclaimed the top spot in the polls after it held off Michigan in Bloomington. The Hoosiers lit up the Wolverines’ defense to the tune of 1.17 points per possession, the highest mark allowed so far this season by John Beilein’s team. And the reality it that it could have been much worse, as careless turnovers were about the only thing that slowed down the IU offense. Michigan had the opposite problem—while it took care of the ball by only committing 8 turnovers in a 69 possession game, the Wolverines were atypically inaccurate on both twos (49 percent) and threes
We’re approximately at the midway point of the conference schedule, so it’s a logical time to check in our preseason predictions. Were we close? First, let’s look at the records we predicted against the current KenPom projections for final records: Team BTG Predicted W-L Current KenPom Projected W-L Deviation Indiana 14-4 15-3 +1 Ohio State 13-5 12-6 -1 Michigan 12-6 14-4 +2 Michigan State 12-6 12-6 0 Wisconsin 11-7 12-6 +1 Minnesota 11-7 11-7 0 Illinois 9-9 6-12 -3 Iowa 8-10 8-10 0 Purdue 7-11 6-12 -1 Northwestern 6-12 7-11 +1 Penn State 3-15 1-17 -2 Nebraska 2-16 4-14 +2
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. Wisconsin eventually started making shots and Illinois (15-8, 2-7) didn’t until it was too late. The Illini closed the gap late but trailed by 15 with 5:13 to play. Frank Kaminsky added 19 for the Badgers and Ryan Evans scored 15. The win keeps the Badgers in fifth place in the Big
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. The Fighting Illini (15-7, 2-6) lost for the fifth time in six games. They had a chance to be the first team with four wins over currently ranked teams. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post.
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. Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com Michigan a No. 1 in the Midwest playing North Carolina Central. Indiana a No. 2 in the Midwest playing Montana. Michigan State a No. 3 in the East playing Stony Brook. Ohio State a No. 4 in the South playing Louisiana
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). [ RELATED: Where is your Big Ten team ranked in latest national polls? ] 1. Michigan, (19-1, 6-1) – The nation’s new No.
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. There are some other tantalizing matchups, including Wisconsin at No. 11 Ohio State, Indiana at Purdue, Iowa at No. 23 Minnesota, Illinois at No. 13 Michigan State and Wisconsin at Illinois. There is nothing better than a Purdue-Indiana hoop game in late January to heat up your house. You just know the
Indiana held serve against Michigan State to move into a tie with Michigan atop the Big Ten standings. Normally, I’d use this opportunity to point out that although Indiana won by 5, the outcome actually suggests that Michigan State is the better team. But I don’t think that’s true here, because Indiana was equal to or better than the Spartans in all but one category—three-point shooting. MSU made 11 of its 23 attempts from behind the three-point line, and I’ll go ahead and call that an aberration. While IU’s perimeter defense isn’t exactly a strength (teams are more than willing