After the injury to Trevor Mbakwe, I fully expected this to be somewhat of a “what if?” season for the Gophers. And that certainly appeared to be the case through four conference games, as Minnesota stumbled to a 0-4 start in the Big Ten. But Tubby Smith’s team has responded by winning three straight games, most recently in a stomping of Northwestern at The Barn. And although Minnesota had dropped some close games over its losing streak, the turnaround isn’t simply a matter of fortunate ball bounces:
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — January is about to melt into February. Winter has set in, but spring isn’t that far out of sight. And neither is the NCAA tourney. Wisconsin knows that. So does Illinois. That’s what made today’s game so huge, as a topsy-turvy Big Ten races was about to take another step toward perhaps making some sense. Or, maybe not.
No. 13 Indiana took down Penn State (recap), Wisconsin held off No. 25 Illinois (recap | Dienhart column) and Minnesota dropped Northwestern (recap) in a BTN tripleheader Sunday. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. Also, did you see Rodney Williams’ acrobatic And-one play and his impressive slam dunk? Watch them here.
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Ten of the 12 Big Ten women’s basketball teams were in action Sunday, including No. 12 Ohio State, which took down Illinois 96-84. Samantha Prahalis scored 28 points in the victory to move the Buckeyes one-half game behind Purdue for the Big Ten lead. Track all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and find stats, video and recaps in this post.
After a long break in which it moved into first place, Illinois saw its offense lay an egg in a losing effort at Penn State. It was clear that, despite the rousing win over Ohio State, this is still the same Illinois team we’ve watched all season. Let’s again roll out what we’ll have to start calling the Illini table:
While I wait for some Big Ten team – any Big Ten team – to take charge of this way-crazy, makes-no-sense Big Ten race, it’s time for this week’s 3-pointers from a cornfield somewhere outside Decatur, Illinois, on I-72.
Tim Frazier hit the game-winning shot with six seconds to go and Illinois missed as a shot as time expired giving Penn State a 54-52 win over No. 25 Illinois on Thursday. See the box score here.