Nearly a month into the men’s hoops season, it’s clear the future of the Big Ten is in good hands. I say this because of the conference’s loaded sophomore class, one headlined by possible NBA departures Jared Sullinger and Tim Hardaway Jr.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands at that time. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below.
We already knew Wisconsin was headed to the Rose Bowl this bowl season. That much was decided with Saturday night’s thrilling victory over Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game. The rest of the bowl pairings were announced Sunday night, and when all was said and done, the Big Ten accepted a record 10 invitations. Here’s the list: Illinois (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl), Michigan (Sugar Bowl), Michigan State (Outback Bowl), Nebraska (Capital One Bowl), Northwestern (Meineke Car Care Bowl), Ohio State (Gator Bowl), Penn State (TicketCity Bowl), Purdue (Little Caesars Pizza Bowl) and Wisconsin (Rose Bowl). See all the pairings in this post.
Big Ten title game champ Wisconsin moved to No. 8 in the latest Coaches’ Poll, released Sunday morning. The Badgers, also the Leaders Division champs, pace the Big Ten and are followed by No. 12 Michigan, No. 13 Michigan State, No. 20 Nebraska and No. 23 Penn State. The Wolverines moving up to No. 12, from No. 16, is the biggest development, because teams seeking a BCS at-large berth must finish inside the top 14. By moving up four spots, it could be enough when the final BCS Standings are released tonight.
Sunday featured six Big Ten women’s hoops games, including three that pit Big Ten teams against top 25 competition. No. 13 Purdue defeated reigning national champ and No. 4 Texas A&M, 60-51, three days after it lost to No. 7 Duke. The victory marked Purdue’s first win over a ranked nonconference foe since 2009. Catch up on all the action in this post and on our Big Ten scoreboard. Also, watch our highlights from Purdue’s impressive upset win now.
Want to see an amazing 360-degree dunk off the turnover? Check out Rodney Williams throwing it down late in the first half Saturday against USC right here. Five of the seven Big Ten men’s teams in action won today. Click inside this post to get recaps and links to box scores, plus more video highlights.
Two nights does not a season make, but the Big Ten certainly boosted their reputation as the nation’s preeminent basketball conference by wrapping up the Big Ten/ACC Challenge by an 8-4 margin. But beyond the scope of the Challenge, there are resumes to be built here–let’s see who hurt and helped their cause this week.