It seems every radio show I am on, I’m asked this question: Is the Big Ten the best league in America? Or, it is an average league with a lot of good teams?
We decided to have a little fun providing a preview to this year’s B1G Wrestling Championships on March 8-9 at Wisconsin. BTN wrestling analyst Jim Gibbons, an NCAA champion both as a wrestler and coach at Iowa State, will break down one weight class a day, and pick a winner, each day through March 7. Today, it’s the 157-pound weight class.
Michigan won the Big Ten title outright last night on the strength of a shockingly easy win at Illinois. Sure, the Illini don’t have an impressive record, but John Groce’s team came into the matchup on a three-game winning streak, during which no opponent broke 0.9 points per trip. This was a hot team whose defense was absolutely stifling conference opponents. Talk had even begun of this Illinois team somehow sneaking back onto the bubble in the season’s final week.
Michigan is a fun team to watch. Nik Stauskas, of course, paces the high-scoring attack that helped the Wolverines claim their first outright Big Ten title since 1986. It’s fun to watch the Michigan bench, too, because the reserves are having as much fun as the key contributors. Especially freshman walk-on Andrew Dakich.
(AP) Nik Stauskas scored 24 points and No. 12 Michigan shot 70 percent from the 3-point line to win its first Big Ten title outright since 1986 with an 84-53 victory over Illinois on Tuesday night. The Wolverines (22-7, 14-3 Big Ten) were 16 of 23 from 3-point range, including Stauskas’ career-high seven.
Michigan won its first outright Big Ten championship since 1986 on Tuesday night. Based on the subdued celebration in the locker room, the Wolverines are expecting to do a lot more damage the rest of the season. Check out a few photos of the Wolverines and the Big Ten championship trophy in this post.
It’s become common for Big Ten fans to shower Nik Stauskas with “U-S-A!” chants. The Canada native takes it all in stride, and in Tuesday night’s 84-53 Big Ten-clinching win at Illinois, he silenced said chants with a deep buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the first half. It amazed everyone, including the fans and the broadcast crew. Watch the whole sequence in this post.