We begin to head down the backstretch of the season, as my friends at Big Ten Geeks pointed out earlier this week. If you are like me, getting a clean read on the season makes you as confused as ever. But, don’t worry. Things will begin to crystallize … I think. Here’s my ranking of this week’s men’s basketball games.
Here’s something everyone should be able to agree on: At the midway point of the Big Ten season, the conference title race is down to three teams. The teams are Michigan (8-1), Michigan State (8-1) and Iowa (6-3). The rest of the Big Ten is competing for fourth place and a first-round bye in the Big Ten tourney. Who’s going to win? That’s a tough question, but I’ve broken out the remaining schedule for each contender to try to make sense of it all.
On Monday, the 12 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches joined the Big Ten teleconference to take questions from the media. We’ve posted the audio for each coach on the call here, and will do so every Monday throughout the basketball season.
We’re now at the official halfway point of the conference season, so it seems an appropriate time to glance at player stats. We’ve already thrown around some Big Ten POY discussion, but we have enough data now that we can start to look a little deeper.
Five Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest Coaches Poll, released Monday. Michigan State leads the way at No. 8, while Iowa (No. 13), Michigan (No. 16), Wisconsin (No. 24) and Ohio State (No. 25) round out the Big Ten contingent. See the Coaches and AP polls 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.