Just when you thought the Big Ten couldn’t get any wilder, it does. Every day, it seemed, there was a thrilling upset. Like, Northwestern over Wisconsin. Or, Penn State over Ohio State. Or, Indiana over Michigan. Naturally, the unexpected results were felt in my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Find out where your team lands in this post.
There were four outstanding Big Ten men’s basketball games on Saturday. Ohio State and Northwestern kicked off the action with one point wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota, respectively. No. 6 Michigan State fell to Georgetown, 64-60, while Iowa capped off the evening with a thrilling 81-74 victory over Illinois. Catch up on all the action in this post.
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This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014” we see why the Michigan-Michigan State game took on a special meaning for longtime friends Gary Harris of the Spartans and Zak Irvin of the Wolverines. The new episode debuts Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET right after the Iowa-Illinois game on BTN/BTN2Go (full schedule here).
OK, are you as confused as I am? This week of upsets has turned the conference on its side and trashed most everything I thought I knew about the Big Ten. Penn State wins at Ohio State, Northwestern prevails at Wisconsin, and Nebraska dumps Indiana. And the Big Ten standings speak to that. But, hey, Michigan just keeps on winning. So, there’s a constant. Michigan State, too.
KenPom’s game probabilities gave Northwestern just a five percent chance of winning at Wisconsin, and it didn’t like Penn State’s chances of winning at Ohio State much better (nine percent). In one of the unlikeliest nights of Big Ten basketball you’ll ever see, both road underdogs pulled the upset, an outcome that had a combined probability of less than half a percent.
The Big Ten is more balanced than ever right now. I love it because every game is an adventure. Is this good for the conference? Will the teams eat each other up and bring down the number of teams that get into the NCAA tournament?
Find out more about: Stephen Bardo