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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.
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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).
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.
Sam Ostarello had 14 points and 10 rebounds Thursday night to lead No. 14 Purdue to a 59-42 win over Indiana. KK Houser and April Wilson scored 12 points apiece for the Boilermakers (18-3, 7-1 Big Ten). Taylor Manuel added 11 points for Purdue, which held a 45-30 rebounding edge. It was one of six games in the Big Ten on Thursday and several of them ended in upsets.
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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.
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.