Not only was No. 12 Michigan State’s upset victory at No. 3 Ohio State huge for the Spartans (AP recap), but it did wonders to the Big Ten title race. Entering Saturday night’s contest at Value City Arena, where the Buckeyes hadn’t lost during the Jared Sullinger era, Ohio State had a chance to move two games ahead of the Spartans and the other legit Big Ten title contenders (Michigan and Wisconsin). That didn’t happen, of course, and now four teams are within one game of the top spot in the Big Ten.
No. 12 Michigan State handed No. 3 Ohio State its first home loss of the Jared Sullinger era (recap) and Tim Frazier led Penn State past Nebraska (recap) in men’s hoops action Saturday. Catch up on all the action on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart covers Big Ten basketball throughout the season, and here are his latest posts. During all the action, BTN.com editors watch for the best highlights and post them in our Did You See This? feature.
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In one of the biggest tests of his career, Adreian Payne played his best game as No. 12 Michigan State upset No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday at Value City Arena (AP recap). The sophomore big man scored a career-high 15 points, including 11 in the first half, went a perfect 6 of 6 from the field and frustrated Ohio State star Jared Sullinger. The 15-point night marked Payne’s first consecutive double-digit games — he tallied 12, which matched a career-high, Wednesday against Penn State. Watch two of Payne’s most impressive points, as he slams home Draymond Green’s missed shot. Speaking of Payne, he had a nice alley-oop in the aforementioned Penn State win.
Junior All-America candidate Torey Krug singlehandedly brought Michigan State out of a two-goal hole and his assist on Matt Berry’s game-winner in the third period helped the 17th-ranked Spartans down archrival Michigan, 3-2, in front of 7,103 fans at Munn Ice Arena. The decision marked Michigan State’s third straight victory, while it snapped Michigan’s three-game winning streak. Read the full recap at MSUSpartans.com. Or at MGoBlue.com. The Spartans and Wolverines meet meet for the fifth time this season on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
This past week on The Journey, presented by GMC, we looked at the legendary Indiana-Purdue rivalry with the Paint Crew and went behind the scenes of Draymond Green’s return from injury against rival Michigan. Also, we met the Minnesota natives on the Badgers as they went back home to Minneapolis and got to know Lenzelle Smith Jr., Ohio State’s jack of all trades. Right now, watch a clip on Green and Mateen Cleaves and see bonus clips in this post. And don’t forget to follow the Jouney on Twitter @BTNJourney.
Indiana made a living at the foul line in a chippy 13-point win over visiting Illinois. For about 30 minutes, this was a tight, back-and-forth game, with six lead changes and 14 ties. Over the final 10 minutes, however, the Hoosiers took advantage of the foul-riddled Illini to pull away. Indiana not only got to the foul line at an astounding rate; it also shot incredibly well from there, going 35 of 42 (83 percent). Paired with the Hoosiers’ customary accuracy from the field and a low turnover rate, it powered Indiana to a scorching 1.26 points per possession, the highest allowed by the Illinois defense all season.
Find out more about: Andre Hollins, Brandon Paul, Cody Zeller, D.J. Richardson, Dave Sobolewski, Geeks recaps, Jordan Hulls, Jordan Taylor, Jorge Brian Diaz, Meyers Leonard, Ryan Evans
The calendar says February, and the sense of urgency builds for teams with NCAA dreams. Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana look like locks. But Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern? Work must be done down the home stretch.