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Power Rankings: There's a new No. 1 team

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. There’s a new No. 1 team on the list following Indiana’s loss to Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic. How far did the Hoosiers drop as a result of the loss? Find out in this post. [ RELATED: View the latest AP and Coaches Polls ] 1. Michigan, 11-0 – How’s this for a start? The Wolverines have topped Pittsburgh, Kansas State, North Carolina State, Arkansas and West Virginia, teams with a combined 33-14 record (.702), by an average of 10.8 points per game. Last

Big Ten Geeks: Christmas Wishlist, Part I

As we finish up non-conference play, we’re getting a better picture of where the teams stack up, and where they have holes to fill. No team is perfect, so everyone could stand to benefit from some gifts from Santa (or whoever). Here’s a rundown of what everyone needs. Illinois (11-0) Illinois’ fast start has been powered by its hot outside shooting. Not only are the Illini making a lot of 3s (39.6 percent), but over 40 percent of their attempts have come from three-point range. That’s good for the 11 wins John Groce’s team has banked, but can the Illini

Big Ten Geeks: Digging into Indiana's defense

This week’s slate is extremely light, so rather than dwelling on the few results we do have (Minnesota handling North Dakota State in impressive fashion, Illinois struggling with yet another low major), let’s delve deeper into a subject that will play a major factor in the Big Ten race: Indiana’s defense. Indiana was the preseason No. 1 because of its offense. The Hoosiers scored very efficiently last season and returned all the major pieces. Indiana’s offense has indeed been outstanding, but it is on the defensive end where major strides have been made–last season’s Hoosiers finished 64th nationally in adjusted

Big Ten Geeks: Should basketball use divisions?

With the Big Ten expanding to 14 teams, there is an open question as to whether basketball should go to divisions. Here’s our take on it. Josh: Now that the Big Ten is expanding to 14 teams, should basketball follow the lead of football and go with two divisions? Well, we can first look to a case study—the SEC. Up until this season, the SEC used a two-division format for basketball, splitting up the conference tournament by East and West. This season, the coaches voted to scrap that model, instead opting for seeding the teams based purely on conference record.

Mbakwe leads No. 16 Minnesota past North Dakota State

Rodney Williams scored a season-high 19 points, including a 360-degree dunk off a fast break, and Trevor Mbakwe grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds to lead 13th-ranked Minnesota past North Dakota State 70-57 on Tuesday night. [RELATED: Did You See This? Rodney Williams 360 dunk] Mbakwe added 14 points and Andre Hollins had 11 for the Gophers (11-1), who have won 16 straight games in this series, last losing in 1936. Lawrence Alexander led the Bison (8-3) with 19 points, Taylor Braun added 15 and Marshall Bjorklund pitched in 12. Braun, who won two of the last three Summit League Player

Zeller, Indiana top Big Ten Power Rankings

A month-plus into the men’s basketball season, it’s time to debut the Big Ten Power Rankings. With six teams landing in the top 19 of the latest major polls, it’s not an easy task to rank the top half of the conference. Indiana and Michigan are the top two teams so far, but what about after that? See my complete rankings in this post. 1. Indiana, 9-0 – The nation’s deepest team is about to welcome highly touted freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin – both opened season on suspension – to a rotation that already goes 10 deep. [RELATED:

Listen to your Big Ten hoops coach

The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held a 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 throughout the season right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive. Listen to Coach Crean:  Listen to Coach McCaffery:  Listen to Coach Groce:  Listen to Coach Carmody:  Listen to Coach Chambers:  Listen to Coach Painter:  Listen to Coach Izzo:  Listen to Coach Ryan:  Listen to Coach Beilein:  Listen to Coach Matta: 

Big Ten Geeks: Contenders and Pretenders

Up until Saturday night, Illinois’ season has been described in strange terms. At that point, it was “surprising” that Illinois was undefeated. The Illini won the Maui Invitational, which was a very “prestigious” early-season tournament. This isn’t normally how one talks about an undefeated team that’s ranked in the top-15. That’s because very few people were declaring that this team was actually as good as it looked on paper. That’s partly a function of having not played a murderer’s row of opponents (Butler destroyed the Maui bracket, making it such that Illinois might not have played a single NCAA Tournament

Minnesota's Tubby Smith wins No. 500

Minnesota’s Tubby Smith notched his 500th career coaching victory in Saturday night’s 71-57 win at Southern Cal. A 22-year coaching veteran, Smith’s also been the head man at Tulsa (79 wins), Georgia (45) and Kentucky (263), where he won the 1998 national title in his first season in Lexington. Smith is 113-65 in five-plus season in Minneapolis, and he owns a career 500-210 clip. “This is a huge win for Coach’s career,” Andre Hollins told the AP. “Part of the history books. Obviously, it shows how great of a coach he is, how great a person he is and it

No. 21 Minnesota knocks off USC, 71-57

Minnesota made the long trip West worthwhile, extending its winning streak to six games and giving coach Tubby Smith his 500th career victory. Andre Hollins led four players in double figures with 14 points in the 14th-ranked Gophers’ 71-57 win over Southern California on Saturday night. Rodney Williams added 13 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season, and Trevor Mbakwe had 12 points for the Gophers (10-1), who led all the way on their first trip to play USC in Los Angeles since Dec. 29, 1980. [ BOX | AP RECAP | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS