With the arrival of Big Ten Conference play in men’s basketball, we’ve updated our BTN Big Ten fan Facebook headers. Scroll down in this post and click on the thumbnail of your school to get the full-sized graphic. Right click to save the large image to your computer, then add it to your Facebook page to show off your school spirit.
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In the opening game of the conference season, Minnesota held serve at home by pulling away from Michigan State in the final minutes. Over the last 10 minutes of the game, the Gophers outscored the Spartans 22-6, erasing a three-point lead by MSU. This was a game between two teams that play very similar styles. For the most part, neither squad is blessed with outside shooting, and they know it—only Purdue shoots fewer three-pointers than these teams.
Andre Hollins had 22 points and six assists and Rodney Williams added 15 points and six rebounds to lift No. 9 Minnesota to a 76-63 victory over No. 18 Michigan State on Monday. Trevor Mbakwe had 11 points and 12 rebounds and the Golden Gophers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) shot 56.6 percent to open conference play with an emphatic victory over a team that has owned them for years.
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And just like that, it’s time for the Big Ten season to tip. It was a highly successful nonconference season, with the Big Ten owning the national polls. We have even more to look forward in the coming months, however, as many feel this could be one of the better conference races in recent history. Check out my All-Big Ten Nonconference Teams in this post.
There were a trio of Big Ten women’s basketball games Sunday, including Iowa taking down San Diego to claim the San Diego Surf ‘N Slam championship and Minnesota topping Creighton in double overtime. Catch up on all the day’s action in this post.
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D.J. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech a 34-31 comeback victory over Minnesota on Friday night in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Seth Doege found Eric Ward on a short pass, and he outran a defender for a 35-yard scoring play to tie it at 31 with just more than a minute remaining. Read three things BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spotted about the Golden Gophers while monitoring this bowl game, plus see video highlights and quarter0by-quarter recaps in this post.
This is a battle between programs looking to ascend the food chain in their respective conferences. Jerry Kill is in his second season in the Twin Cities, rallying the program to its first bowl since 2009. The extra practices will help hasten the development of this rising team.