OK, are you as confused as I am? This week of upsets has turned the conference on its side and trashed most everything I thought I knew about the Big Ten. Penn State wins at Ohio State, Northwestern prevails at Wisconsin, and Nebraska dumps Indiana. And the Big Ten standings speak to that. But, hey, Michigan just keeps on winning. So, there’s a constant. Michigan State, too.
KenPom’s game probabilities gave Northwestern just a five percent chance of winning at Wisconsin, and it didn’t like Penn State’s chances of winning at Ohio State much better (nine percent). In one of the unlikeliest nights of Big Ten basketball you’ll ever see, both road underdogs pulled the upset, an outcome that had a combined probability of less than half a percent.
The arrival of the Super Bowl means many things to many people. Ro-tel and Velveeta dip … the end of the most wonderful time of the year … spring is approaching. For me, it means we basically are at the halfway point of the Big Ten hoop season.
Michigan State pulled out an impressive overtime win at Iowa despite the continued absence of Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson. The gritty win was all about defense for the Spartans, as they held one of the nation’s top offenses to 1.01 points per trip at home.
President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Address tonight. That being the case, I thought I’d do something super-cheesy and address the state of each Big Ten men’s basketball team. See my take on all 12 teams in this post.
The best Big Ten game this week is the first one, tonight in Iowa City when Michigan State visits Iowa. Each team is looking for a win to keep pace with Big Ten leader Michigan. The Wolverines beat each team last week, adding to the sense of urgency for both clubs. Here is my ranking of this week’s action.