The Big Ten basketball season is approaching the midway point and the conference picture is beginning to take form. Michigan (5-0) and Michigan State (7-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the Big Ten, while Iowa is close behind at 4-1 and climbing up the national rankings. So, we ask, who is the best team in the Big Ten at this point? I debated that question with BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart. [ MORE: Dienhart: Is Stauskas the Big Ten’s best shooter? ] Dienhart: It looks like a three-team race, with Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa a cut above
Michigan State continues to rack up wins despite the absence of Adreian Payne, with Indiana serving as the latest victim. This one didn’t come easy, as the Hoosiers’ defense kept them in it for most of the game. Indiana even held a five-point lead with 11 minutes remaining, but it wouldn’t last as the Spartans’ offense came alive down the stretch. Indiana natives Gary Harris and Branden Dawson led the charge, and the outcome was never truly in doubt. Michigan State deserves a lot of credit for its ability to avoid a letdown game as the team deals with injuries.
That was a fun – and long – night of Big Ten hoops. No. 3 Michigan State held off Indiana, 71-66, to complete the season sweep in the night’s first game, and Northwestern outlasted Purdue, 63-60, in double overtime. Catch up on all the action and get the best video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] MICHIGAN STATE 71, INDIANA 66 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Gary Harris scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half, helping No. 3 Michigan State beat Indiana 71-66 on Tuesday
Ohio State at Nebraska kicked off the week with a rare Monday night game. And, it was a doozy, as the Cornhuskers sent the Buckeyes to a fourth loss in a row. Was that a portent of things to come this week? A full slate of games is on our doorstep, highlighted by Michigan at Michigan State on Saturday. Before that, Iowa plays at Michigan on Wednesday in another big Big Ten game. Here’s a look and ranking of this week’s contests. Ranked teams, beware! [ MORE: Most pivotal player for every Big Ten team ] 1. Michigan at Michigan
The college basketball season is just past the midway point, and the Big Ten picture is beginning to take shape. With five teams ranked in the latest polls, it’s clear the Big Ten is, once again, one of the nation’s elite conferences. The conference’s terrific star players have a lot to do with the Big Ten’s standing. But what about the players who aren’t household names, the all-important role players or glue guys who better their respective teams? Here is a list of the most pivotal player for every Big Ten hoops team, listed in order of the Big Ten
Weekends like this one have me considering whether it’s just better to disregard the non-conference season entirely. Because despite the last three months, there was a lot of reverting to preseason expectations. In turn… Wisconsin’s Defense is a Concern Last year the Badgers were an elite defensive unit that couldn’t score. A big reason for that was the team adopted the personalities of its two senior leaders, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren. Both players were fantastic defenders, but they also struggled to put the ball in the basket. With those offensive anchors removed—and replaced by personnel with loads of offensive
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. Listen to coach Tom Crean: Listen to coach Fran McCaffery: Listen to coach John Groce: Listen to coach Chris Collins: Listen to coach Penn State Associate Head Coach Keith Urgo: Listen to coach Matt Painter: Listen to coach Tom Izzo: Listen to coach Bo Ryan: Listen to coach John Beilein: Listen to coach Thad Matta: Listen to coach Richard
Another week, another raft of games that will go a long way toward shaping the Big Ten race. And this much is becoming clearer: Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa are the teams to beat. Speaking of the Big Ten’s holy trinity, it’s a big week for Michigan. BIG week. Here’s a look at the week that’s on our doorstep. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] GAME OF THE WEEK: Michigan at Michigan State, Sat., Jan. 25. A monster showdown between state rivals who enter the week as the lone unbeaten teams in the Big
Saturday featured a quartet of Big Ten men’s hoops games. Northwestern kicked off the action with an upset win over Indiana at Assembly Hall. Michigan followed with an impressive road win over No. 3 Wisconsin, while Purdue edged out Penn State and Michigan State cruised to a win over Illinois. Michigan and Michigan State remain the only unbeaten teams in Big Ten play this season. Catch up on all the scores, stats and in-game video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] MICHIGAN STATE 78, ILLINOIS 62 | RECAP | BOX
It’s mid-January. Seems like a good time to start taking a look at some mock NCAA brackets. Things are looking good for Wisconsin and Michigan State, which are primed to be No. 1 seeds. Michigan, Iowa and Ohio State also are solid tourney teams for now. But teams like Minnesota and Indiana may bob in and out of these mock brackets all winter. First, there’s Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com, my personal favorite because he’s a Purdue grad who studied computers and played in the All-American Marching Band. And, I know how smart those guys are, having gone to Purdue myself.