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Power Rankings: Surging Illini continue ascent

John Groce

Evans Dunks It Back In With Gusto

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

John Groce’s Illini continued their torrid play this week, dispatching Purdue and Northwestern, teams they lost to earlier this season. Winners of four straight, Illinois has moved to No. 5 in my latest Power Rankings. Where does your team land? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box in this post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).

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Big Ten Geeks: Boiling Over

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois exorcised some demons in a 20 point blowout of Purdue. The Fighting Illini seniors had never beaten the Boilermakers, but they changed that in emphatic fashion by attacking the offensive glass and limiting turnovers. In all, Illinois attempted 13 more field goals than Purdue, and those extra looks enabled John Groce’s team to score 1.20 points per trip despite 29 percent shooting on jumpers. It was Illinois’ best output since the win at Gonzaga, and it appears that the Illini of the season’s first month have returned.

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Iowa survives Penn State's late surge

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Iowa at Penn State - Men's Basketball Highlights

Devyn Marble scored 22 points and Melsahn Basabe blocked a potential game-tying layup with 21 seconds left to help Iowa hold off Penn State 74-72 on Thursday night. Iowa (16-9, 5-7 Big Ten) led by at least 10 twice in the game but couldn’t put away the league’s last-place team until late.

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BTN Connect 2.0: Follow tonight's games with it

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John Groce: One-on-One

On tonight’s Super Wednesday presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, we invite you to check out our new and improved online hub for in-game conversation, updates scores and stats, and more. BTN Connect is worth checking out today and every day throughout the season. 

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