With the Big Ten expanding to 14 teams, there is an open question as to whether basketball should go to divisions. Here’s our take on it. Josh: Now that the Big Ten is expanding to 14 teams, should basketball follow the lead of football and go with two divisions? Well, we can first look to a case study—the SEC. Up until this season, the SEC used a two-division format for basketball, splitting up the conference tournament by East and West. This season, the coaches voted to scrap that model, instead opting for seeding the teams based purely on conference record.
Brandon Paul scored 14 points and D.J. Richardson overcame a shoulder injury to add 11 and help 10th-ranked Illinois hold off Norfolk State 64-54 on Tuesday night. The Illini (11-0) were coming of a win at Gonzaga on Saturday that helped move them into the top 10, but were sluggish against the Spartans. Illinois was shooting 46 percent from the field coming in but shot just 35 percent on the night. Rashid Gaston scored 12 points and Pendarvis Williams added 11 for Norfolk State (6-6), which led for much of the first half. Richardson left late in the first half
A month-plus into the men’s basketball season, it’s time to debut the Big Ten Power Rankings. With six teams landing in the top 19 of the latest major polls, it’s not an easy task to rank the top half of the conference. Indiana and Michigan are the top two teams so far, but what about after that? See my complete rankings in this post. 1. Indiana, 9-0 – The nation’s deepest team is about to welcome highly touted freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin – both opened season on suspension – to a rotation that already goes 10 deep. [RELATED:
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held a Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions throughout the season right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive. Listen to Coach Crean: Listen to Coach McCaffery: Listen to Coach Groce: Listen to Coach Carmody: Listen to Coach Chambers: Listen to Coach Painter: Listen to Coach Izzo: Listen to Coach Ryan: Listen to Coach Beilein: Listen to Coach Matta:
Up until Saturday night, Illinois’ season has been described in strange terms. At that point, it was “surprising” that Illinois was undefeated. The Illini won the Maui Invitational, which was a very “prestigious” early-season tournament. This isn’t normally how one talks about an undefeated team that’s ranked in the top-15. That’s because very few people were declaring that this team was actually as good as it looked on paper. That’s partly a function of having not played a murderer’s row of opponents (Butler destroyed the Maui bracket, making it such that Illinois might not have played a single NCAA Tournament
Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead No. 13 Illinois over No. 10 Gonzaga 85-74 on Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams. Tracy Abrams added 14 points for Illinois (10-0) and new coach John Groce is off to the best debut for an Illinois coach in the team’s modern history. Kelly Olynyk scored 16 points to lead Gonzaga (9-1). Myke Henry’s basket gave Illinois its first lead of the game at 44-43 in the opening seconds of the second half, and the Illini pushed that to 54-49 by making all five of their field goals to open the half.
With the volume of competitive games slowing considerably this week, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we’ve seen in the first four weeks of the 2012-13 basketball season. In bullet point format, here’s what I’ve found interesting so far: Jared Berggren is an NBA player. This statement could prove a bit premature, as Berggren has struggled with conference play in his career, but Wisconsin’s senior center has been off the charts. Berggren is shooting 65 percent on twos, 41 percent on threes, and 84 percent on free throws, all while dominating the offensive glass and rarely
It’s been a bit of a quiet week for Big Ten basketball, with most teams facing tune-up games against over-matched opponents. Let’s take a quick look at the games that weren’t complete blowouts. Northwestern jumped out to a shocking big lead at Baylor, thanks primarily to defense. After a first half in which both teams scored efficiently, the Bears scored just one point in the opening seven minutes of the second half. By the time Baylor’s offense recovered, Northwestern had an 18-point lead and some serious swagger, as evidenced by a Drew Crawford technical for hanging on the rim. Defense? Taunting techs? Is this Northwestern
Brandon Paul scored 14 points and No. 13 Illinois earned a 72-64 win over Western Carolina on Tuesday. Western Carolina tied the game at 54-54 with 6:15 left. Illinois guard D.J. Richardson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 62-56 lead. Richardson finished with 13 points. After a Western Carolina turnover, Illini guard Tracy Abrams made two free throws and a basket on the following possession for a 66-56 lead. Guard Preston Ross paced the Catamounts (3-6) with 17 points. James Sinclair added 13 points. The Illini (9-0) play at No. 10 Gonzaga on Saturday. [ BOX | AP RECAP
In a bit of a surprise, the ACC took four of six games last night to clinch a tie in this year’s Challenge. Let’s look at how they did it. Ohio State played an excellent first half at Cameron Indoor, but the Buckeyes’ defense let them down after the break as Duke pulled away. The change in Duke’s efficiency was startling: First Half Efficiency Second Half Efficiency Ohio State 1.04 1.03 Duke 0.77 1.39 This scalding second half can be explained with a basic stat: the Blue Devils made eight dunks or layups in the second half, after making only