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.
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.
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.
It’s still early, but it can be instructive to look at how Big Ten teams have performed relative to preseason expectations. With so few games of consequence being played this week, now is as good a time as any to pause and see how things have gone.
Roger Powell Jr. capped off his collegiate career in style at the Final Four.
Year Two under Tim Beckman brought hope in the form of an improved won-loss record, as Illinois went from two victories to four. The credit goes to a revived offense, as new coordinator Bill Cubit altered the scheme and maxed out the skills of senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. Illinois averaged 29.7 points and 426.7 yards in 2013 after averaging 16.7 points and 296.7 yards in 2012.