With the potential for each division to be wrapped up this Saturday, there will be plenty to keep an eye on. Can Michigan State continue to run well? Is Penn State dialed it despite all of the off-field turmoil? Wisconsin must guard against a letdown when it plays at Illinois. Will the Badgers remain focused? Here’s what you should watch for each team this Saturday.
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Saturday is on our doorstep with many key games and storylines looming. Can Purdue and Northwestern become bowl eligible? Could Michigan State (Legends) and Penn State (Leaders) wrap up their division? Here are my picks for each of the six games. Now you make yours, too.
A full slate of games is on tap this weekend and the storylines abound. Michigan State (Legends) and Penn State (Leaders) could clinch shares of their respective divisions, but Wisconsin also controls its destiny in the Leaders and looks to keep pace with the Nittany Lions (full standings here). And Purdue and Northwestern could become bowl eligible. Following is a look at this Saturday’s menu of games, so be sure to track them from kickoff to the final whistle.
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Last night, Ohio State handled a very good Florida team–a squad that at least one astute observer has picked to win the National Championship–with relative ease. After a slow start, the Buckeyes led by as many as 16 points before finally winning by seven. Thad Matta’s team displayed the same strengths as a season ago–namely a high effective field goal percentage and a low turnover rate–but they also showed a new wrinkle: getting to the foul line. It’s extremely early, but Ohio State now has a free throw rate of 72 FTA per 100 FGA. For some perspective, the Buckeyes only eclipsed that number twice all of last season–and both times were against the hacktastic Hoosiers. Perhaps this increase in trips to the foul line shouldn’t be surprising given the players that are being replaced:
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Northwestern followed up their regular-season title with the Big Ten Tounament title. In the latest installment of “BTN Soccer Report,” host Kevin Egan and analyst Aron Hyde recap the tournament and highlight Northwestern’s championship run. Soccer By Ives writer John Boschini also calls in to look ahead to the NCAA Tournament. On the women’s side, Illinois beat 2010 defending NCAA Champion Notre Dame to advance to the second round. We’ll also hear from Illini coach Janet Rayfield about the win. Watch the latest webisode now and come back next week for another soccer update.
We continue to work our way up our projected standings, and today we’ve reached our pick for fifth place: the Illinois Fighting Illini. Bruce Weber’s squad may be the biggest wild card in this season’s Big Ten, as it is supremely talented but woefully inexperienced. What’s a reasonable range of expectations for a team like this? Let’s find out.
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