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Big Ten Geeks: A look at Tuesday's Challenge games

It’s that time of year again, when the powers of the Midwest exert their basketball dominance over the Atlantic Coasters. Or at least that’s been the story in recent years, with the Big Ten taking three of the last four Challenges (last season was an unsatisfying tie). We won’t talk about what happened in the 10 prior Challenges. We’re going to give a quick rundown on each of the 12 games, complete with our picks. First, here’s our look at Tuesday’s games. ** Notre Dame at Iowa Pomeroy says: Iowa by 12 The teams: Notre Dame has played the third-weakest schedule

Big Ten Geeks: Dramatic Gophers

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a flurry of interesting results for Big Ten teams. Let’s dive in to what it all means. ** Minnesota had a rough couple days in Maui, losing to Syracuse and Arkansas by a combined 22 points. The problem in both games was defense, as the Gophers’ zone was often porous and ineffective. Cue Dramatic Gopher! Coming into the season, the big question with Minnesota was how much it would get out of its frontcourt. Thus far, the results are decidedly mixed. Elliott Eliason is off to a good start with his rebounding and shotblocking, but Oto

Tuesday B1G men's hoops roundup: IU rolls Evansville

Tuesday featured a handful of Big Ten men’s hoops games, including No. 25 Indiana blasting instate foe Evansville, 77-46, at Assembly Hall. Track all the day’s action, plus get select video highlights, in this post. [ MORE: View Tuesday’s full Big Ten men’s hoops schedule ] ILLINOIS 61, UNLV 59 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Rayvonte Rice is making a name for himself in his young Illinois career.With his Illini and UNLV tied with under a minute to play, Rice took a pass from Tracy Abrams, saw an opening in the lane and converted a driving layup that

Big Ten Geeks: Oh, Canada!

Michigan survived a tough test against Florida State, a team whom not many thought much of coming into the season. This was, after all, a bad team last year that was losing its best player in Michael Snaer. But sometimes, weird things happen. In the Seminoles’ case, the player wearing the #30 jersey is clearly someone pretending to be Ian Miller. Throughout his career, Miller has been a so-so outside shooter with not much to contribute when inside the three-point line. This season, however, Miller is not only a deadeye outside shooter (44 percent on threes), but he’s been a

Friday Big Ten Hoops Roundup

There were seven Big Ten men’s basketball games on Friday, including Michigan’s impressive 82-80 overtime win over Florida State. Sophomore Nik Stauskas scored a game-high 26 points, including seven in overtime, as the Wolverines erased a 16-point second-half deficit. Catch up on all of Friday’s action in this post. UAB 87, NEBRASKA 74 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY Terran Petteway led Nebraska with 21 points, but UAB bounced back from a double-overtime defeat to No. 19 New Mexico with an 87-74 victory over the Huskers at the Charleston Classic on Friday. Frazier reached the 30-point level for a second

Big Ten Geeks: Miles Ahead

The consensus amongst, well, everyone, was that Nebraska was set to finish last in the Big Ten this year. And we’re still very early in the season, so it’s premature to start upsetting the prediction apple cart too much based on a handful of games. But it’s impossible not to notice the fact that Tim Miles’ team is well ahead of where most figured it would be this year. To wit, the Huskers entered the season ranked as the #123 team in the Pomeroy ratings, which reflects an assessment of how last year’s team played, along with what players they have

Thursday Hoops Roundup: No. 12 Wisconsin wins big

There were five Big Ten men’s basketball games on Thursday, including Wisconsin’s impressive 88-64 win over Bowling Green. The Badgers had six players score in double figures, led by Ben Brust, who had a game-high 19 points. This is the first time Wisconsin has had back-to-back 80-plus point games since December, 2012. Catch up on all of Thursday’s action in this post. MASSACHUSETTS 96, NEBRASKA 90 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Texas Tech transfer Terran Pettaway led the Cornhuskers with a career-high 28 points, but Massachusetts held on in the final minute to open the Charleston Classic with

A look at early basketball signing classes

The early basketball signing period started last Wednesday, Nov. 13, and ends today. The Big Ten had a decent haul. According to Scout.com, Ohio State (No. 6) and Indiana (No. 21) are the lone league schools to rank among the Top 25 classes in the nation. But there still will be a spring signing period, so these classes can change. There were just two five-star signees, and both inked with Ohio State: 6-4 off-guard D’Angelo Russell and 6-7 small forward Keita Bates-Diop. There were seven four-star signees. Russell is the highest-rated Big Ten prospect, coming in at No. 16 in

Sunday Big Ten men's hoops roundup: Iowa St. upsets Michigan

It was a busy day in Big Ten men’s basketball, as seven teams were in action. No. 8 Michigan was upset at Iowa State, while No. 23 Indiana had no trouble with Stony Brook. Get all the scores, stats and video highlights from Sunday’s action in this post. [ MORE: View Sunday’s full Big Ten scoreboard ] ILLINOIS 81, BRADLEY 55 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Jon Ekey scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Sunday as Illinois cruised to an easy 81-55 victory over previously unbeaten Bradley. The 6-foot-7-inch Ekey hit five of seven from the

Video: Tom Crean, Hoosiers honor Ed Hightower

Tom Crean and Indiana honored referee Ed Hightower in the closing moments of the team’s convincing 105-59 win over Samford on Friday night. Hightower, the longtime and high-profile Big Ten ref, was officiating his final game at Assembly Hall. Watch Crean and the Hoosiers honor Hightower in this post. “For 32 years he has not only been one of the best officials, but one of the classiest officials,” Tom Crean said over the public address system, prompting Hightower to come over for a handshake and hug. Indiana also gave Hightower the game ball following the final buzzer. This is why