Every year, it’s a test of one’s will to avoid drawing any conclusions prior to the beginning of conference play. For instance, two years ago the Texas Longhorns jumped out to an undefeated mark before beginning their conference slate. Non-conference opponents included Pitt, UNC, and Michigan State. After opening conference play with wins over what turned out to be the bottom of the Big XII, Texas sat atop both polls (I still don’t understand the point of polls in college basketball) and was generally recognized as the best team in the country.
Eight of the 12 Big Ten women’s hoops teams are in action Monday, including the conference’s three ranked teams. No. 12 Ohio State took down Iowa, 81-74, and No. 17 Penn State throttled Wisconsin, 84-49. No. 21 Purdue is taking on Illinois right now. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard, watch our highlights and interviews from Ohio State win now and get recaps from every game in this post.
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s latest installment, for action from Dec. 26-Jan.1, in this post. And get ready for the coming week of Big Ten action with our Big Ten scoreboard.
It was a crazy day of Big Ten hoops Saturday, highlighted by a pair of exciting upsets. No. 15 Indiana knocked off No. 2 Ohio State (recap) and Iowa stunned No. 11 Wisconsin at the Kohl Center (recap). In other action, Purdue defeated Illinois (recap) and No. 17 Michigan State held off Nebraska (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get recaps, video and stats in this post. We have the call from the final seconds of Indiana’s upset win ready for your viewing here.
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The conference season is officially underway, as every B1G team has played a game (isn’t that 12-team balance nice?). Let’s take a look at the opening performances from Wednesday and Thursday.
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Iowa fell to Oklahoma 31-14 in Friday night’s Insight Bowl and the Hawkeyes really missed RB Marcus Coker, who was suspended earlier this month for breaking team rules. Coker was the nucleus of the Hawkeye attack, ranking 14th in the nation in rushing (115.3 ypg) with 15 touchdowns. Iowa went with a running back-by-committee approach that had mixed results, running 37 times for 76 yards (2.1 ypc). My pregame prediction was Oklahoma 34-21 – not too shabby – but I also learned a few things from this game.
Blake Bell ran for three touchdowns to help No. 19 Oklahoma survive a late rally and a crashing camera to beat Iowa 31-14 in the Insight Bowl Friday night. Iowa (7-6) fell into a 21-0 hole before rallying behind two touchdown passes from James Vandenberg. The Hawkeyes came up just short and dodged a potential disaster when an overhead camera crashed to the field next to receiver Marvin McNutt in the closing minutes (see photos of the crashed camera). Jump inside for links to stats and recaps for each quarter of the Insight Bowl.