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Review & preview: Track the latest ups & downs

It’s good to be Ohio State … at least for this week. The Buckeyes have risen from the dead, notching two big wins in the last week to breathe life into a season that had gone terribly bad. Here’s a look back at the last week—with a peek ahead, too. THREE STOCKS TO BUY 1. Ohio State. Just when it looked like the Buckeyes were circling the drain, they rise up. Very impressive. Ohio State had lost four in a row and five of six games, falling from 15-0 and No. 3 in the nation to out of the polls

Big Ten Geeks: Bringing the Payne

Michigan State welcomed back Adreian Payne in a blowout of Penn State. The big man played very well in 18 minutes off the bench, and the Spartans performed much better than the final margin suggests. Penn State made a big run in garbage time to turn a 25-point deficit into a 15-point loss, but it was done entirely on a lineup that included guys like Colby Wollenman, Keenan Wetzel, and Dan Chapman. Final 3:32 Points Possessions Efficiency Penn State 15 7 2.14 Michigan State 5 6 0.83 Before garbage time, Michigan State dominated at both ends. First 36:28 Points Possessions

Six B1G teams in latest ESPN tournament bracket

With so many Big Ten programs constantly beating up on each other this season, how many teams from the conference will receive bids in this year’s NCAA Tournament? That has been one of the most popular questions among Big Ten hoops fans this season. ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi projects the Big Ten to get six teams into the dance, according to his latest NCAA tournament projections. Here is a breakdown of the Big Ten teams Lundari lists in his bracket, as well as where they are seeded and what region they would be playing in. EAST Wisconsin (18-5, 5-5)-

B1G Recap: Purdue tops Minnesota in triple OT thriller

Big Ten fans were treated to another outstanding Super Wednesday. No. 16 Michigan cruised by Nebraska, 79-50 in the first game of the night. Purdue followed with a memorable 77-74 triple overtime victory over Minnesota in the nightcap. Catch up on all the scores, stats and video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] PURDUE 77, MINNESOTA 74 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) A.J. Hammons had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Purdue Boilermakers to a 77-74 triple overtime victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday

Big Ten Geeks: Crafting a Road Win

Ohio State picked up a big road win at Iowa thanks to surprisingly hot shooting. The Buckeyes shot 44 percent on threes, a number that stood in stark contrast to the Hawkeyes’ unusually cold outside shooting (3-for-20, 15 percent). Iowa dominated the glass and shot 60 percent on twos, but the three-point shot is the great equalizer, and it carried Ohio State to a huge win. Leading this attack was Aaron Craft, who went 2-for-2 from three to bolster his line of 17 points, six assists, and six steals. It was nearly a perfect game from Craft, save for four

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

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

B1G Hoops: Iowa snaps 15-year skid at Illinois

There were four outstanding Big Ten men’s basketball games on Saturday. Ohio State and Northwestern kicked off the action with one point wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota, respectively. No. 6 Michigan State fell to Georgetown, 64-60, while Iowa capped off the evening with a thrilling 81-74 victory over Illinois. Catch up on all the action in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] IOWA 81, ILLINOIS 74 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Gabriel Olaseni had 15 points and 12 rebounds and No. 15 Iowa overcame Illinois’ furious comeback to pull out

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