Any sober look at Iowa in the preseason would have put the team somewhere in the vicinity of the bubble. The team was coming off an 8-10 Big Ten campaign that, albeit one blessed with good fortune, portended good things to come with most of the roster returning this season.
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The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.
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Trey Burke had 26 points and eight assists to help No. 7 Michigan bounce back from a slow start to beat Illinois 71-58 Sunday. The Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten) shook off a sluggish first half with a strong second half to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month.
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BTN will air a 30-minute special Black History Month presentation called “Football Pioneers” at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday Hosted by Howard Griffith, the show features interviews with former Northwestern head coach Dennis Green,who was just the second African-American head coach in Division I history. We also talk with Sidney Williams, a former Wisconsin quarterback who was Big Ten’s first African-American starting quarterback, and current Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell.
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Wisconsin held Northwestern to a paltry 0.74 points per possession in one of the most methodical blowouts you’ll ever see. The Wildcats were just consistently outclassed, as the Badgers steadily built their lead until it had swelled to the final 28-point margin. Northwestern’s lowly output helped Wisconsin nudge its in-conference defensive efficiency down to 0.901 points per trip.
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As we near the stretch run of the Big Ten schedule, there are plenty of races to keep an eye on. The most intriguing one, other than the Big Ten title race, is the battle for Big Ten Player of the Year. Will it be the season-long frontrunner Trey Burke? Or the quickly surging Victor Oladipo? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina debate the topic in this post.