It would be tough to find anyone with knowledge of college basketball who would argue against the Big Ten being among the top conferences in the country this year. We are in early January, and already, the conference features nine teams with double-digit wins, five of which are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.
Wednesday and Thursday brought some interesting results on the Big Ten hardwood. Let’s jump right in. After Michigan’s last road game, we opined that the Wolverines were fortunate to leave Minneapolis with a victory. As if to troll us, John Beilein’s team found an even luckier way to win a Big Ten road game, this time in Nebraska’s brand new Pinnacle Bank Arena.
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Minnesota product Damian Johnson never averaged double digits in a season – he came painstakingly close as a senior (9.9) – but he didn’t need to score to make an impact. The 6-7 forward averaged 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.8 steals per game in his final three seasons. BTN.com caught up with the former Gopher (2006-2010) who recently signed a deal to play pro ball in Australia.
OK, the mail has been steadily streaming in. That makes sense since there has been a lot going on these days, what with the bowl season, hoops heating up and … oh, yes, Fran McCaffery! Let’s dig in and address the best of your questions and comments.
BTN featured a doubleheader of Big Ten men’s hoops action on Wednesday night. Minnesota kicked off the night with an 68-65 win over Penn State, while No. 4 Wisconsin carded a 95-70 blowout win over No. 23 Illinois to improve to 16-0, the best start in school history.
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