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Ranking games: Two Iowa tests top the list

We begin to head down the backstretch of the season, as my friends at Big Ten Geeks pointed out earlier this week. If you are like me, getting a clean read on the season makes you as confused as ever. But, don’t worry. Things will begin to crystallize … I think. Here’s my ranking of this week’s men’s basketball games. 1. Michigan at Iowa, Sat., Feb. 8. This is the game of week, ladies and gentlemen. The Wolverines sit atop the Big Ten along with Michigan State, as each has one loss. The Hawkeyes have three losses. A defeat will

Yarina: A look at top teams' remaining slates

Here’s something everyone should be able to agree on: At the midway point of the Big Ten season, the conference title race is down to three teams. The teams are Michigan (8-1), Michigan State (8-1) and Iowa (6-3). The rest of the Big Ten is competing for fourth place and a first-round bye in the Big Ten tourney. Who’s going to win? That’s a tough question, but I’ve broken out the remaining schedule for each contender to try to make sense of it all. With all the parity this season, no one will be surprised to find out each team

Audio: Listen to your Big Ten coach's teleconference

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 Patrick Chambers: Listen to coach Matt Painter: Michigan State Associate Head Coach Dwayne Stephens:  Listen to coach Bo Ryan: Listen to coach John Beilein: Listen to coach Thad Matta: Listen to coach Richard Pitino: Listen to

Big Ten Geeks: Halfway Home

We’re now at the official halfway point of the conference season, so it seems an appropriate time to glance at player stats. We’ve already thrown around some Big Ten POY discussion, but we have enough data now that we can start to look a little deeper. Courtesy of statsheet.com, the following table contains the conference-only numbers for players that meet the following criteria: minute percentage above 60 percent, possession percentage above 22 percent, offensive rating above 100. These are the best of the best, the efficient possession-consumers, at least during the first half of Big Ten play. Player Poss% Ortg

Five Big Ten teams ranked in Coaches Poll

Five Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest Coaches Poll, released Monday. Michigan State leads the way at No. 8, while Iowa (No. 13), Michigan (No. 16), Wisconsin (No. 24) and Ohio State (No. 25) round out the Big Ten contingent. See the Coaches and AP polls in this post. Coaches Rankings Rankings as of 2/3/2014 Rank School Votes Prev Rank 1 Syracuse 21-0 800 (32) 2 2 Wichita State 23-0 745 3 3 Arizona 21-1 725 1 4 Florida 19-2 720 4 5 San Diego State 19-1 680 5 6 Villanova 19-2 596 9 7 Cincinnati 21-2 570

B1G Hoops: IU sends Michigan to first Big Ten loss

Another day, another exciting day of Big Ten basketball. First, Penn State dropped Purdue, 79-68, to card its third straight Big Ten win. After that, Indiana handed No. 14 Michigan its first Big Ten loss in a 63-52 upset. Catch up on all the scores, stats and video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] INDIANA 63, MICHIGAN 52 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Yogi Ferrell scored 27 points, hitting seven 3-pointers in eight tries, to lead unranked Indiana to a 63-52 upset of No. 10 Michigan on Sunday.

Harris, Irvin featured on Saturday's 'Journey'

This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014” we see why the Michigan-Michigan State game took on a special meaning for longtime friends Gary Harris of the Spartans and Zak Irvin of the Wolverines. The new episode debuts Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET right after the Iowa-Illinois game on BTN/BTN2Go (full schedule here). Also this week, learn how Ohio State guard Aaron Craft and his sister Cait help each other in the game of basketball. Plus, find out how Aaron White, lightly recruited out of high school, has helped put Iowa basketball back on the national map. We’ll also

Big Ten Mailbag: Is Michigan basketball for real?

It’s time for me to reach into my mail bag to answer your pressing questions. Basketball is on your mind. And that’s understandable, as we are in the heart of the season as I type this. So, let’s begin. [ MORE: Survey Says: Who is the Big Ten’s top newcomer ] Do you think that Michigan is for real? I really love watching the Wolverines play. – J.R. Rinehart Michigan is fun to watch, isn’t it? Making the success even more delicious is the fact no one expected this type of excellence from the Wolverines after they lost Trey Burke

Review & Preview: Every game is a Big Ten adventure

OK, are you as confused as I am? This week of upsets has turned the conference on its side and trashed most everything I thought I knew about the Big Ten. Penn State wins at Ohio State, Northwestern prevails at Wisconsin, and Nebraska dumps Indiana. And the Big Ten standings speak to that. But, hey, Michigan just keeps on winning. So, there’s a constant. Michigan State, too. Otherwise, hang on and buckle up for what could be wild February. Who will be the next upset victim? THREE STOCKS TO BUY 1. Michigan State. Just when it looked like injuries to

Big Ten Geeks: What Just Happened?

KenPom’s game probabilities gave Northwestern just a five percent chance of winning at Wisconsin, and it didn’t like Penn State’s chances of winning at Ohio State much better (nine percent). In one of the unlikeliest nights of Big Ten basketball you’ll ever see, both road underdogs pulled the upset, an outcome that had a combined probability of less than half a percent. How did this happen? Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria! For Penn State, the key was furious finish in which it scored 16 points on the final eight possessions of regulation. The Buckeyes had held a 10-point