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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Three-Pointers, a chance to take the temperature of the Big Ten in several different areas. It’s a good time to be John Beilein and Michigan. Conversely, it’s not such a good time to be Tom Crean and Indiana.
On Wednesday night, Penn State stamped out any remaining Indiana tournament hopes with a shocking road upset. The Hoosiers seemingly had this game in hand the entire way, and it felt all but over when Indiana held an 11-point lead with three minutes remaining. Somehow, the Nittany Lions roared back, and they took their first lead of the entire game on a Tim Frazier layup with six seconds remaining. Yogi Ferrell missed a tough jumper at the horn, and the upset was complete.
There were two Big Ten men’s hoops games on Thursday night, and both had NCAA Tournament implications. No. 9 Michigan State cruised to an 85-70 victory over Northwestern in the early game, while No. 21 Wisconsin held off Minnesota, 78-70, in the second game of the evening.
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When it comes to college and pro success among recent Big Ten basketball players, it doesn’t get much better than Morris Peterson. Not only did the ex-Michigan State star claim Big Ten Player of the Year and All-America honors en route to the Spartans’ 2000 NCAA title, the Big Ten’s last crown, he enjoyed a successful 11-year NBA career.
Indiana’s strange and bizarre season took another unexpected and maddening turn last night with a home loss to last-place Penn State. How can this IU team beat top-10 squads like Wisconsin and Michigan in Bloomington, and then lose to the likes of the Nittany Lions and Northwestern at home? It’s safe to say, panic has set in for Indiana.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has taken on the role of “The Riddler” over the past month, tweeting out clues about an upcoming MSU sporting event. The riddle was solved today as Hollis announced the creation of a four-team “barnstorming tour” with MSU, Florida, North Carolina and Texas playing a round-robin set of three games, one each in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
This year’s college basketball season is entering the home stretch, which means the NBA mock drafts are going to begin to appear on a regular basis in the upcoming months. ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman released his initial 2014 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 this morning, and it’s filled with plenty of Big Ten stars.