Have a Big Ten football question you want answered? I’m Tom Dienhart and I want you to fire off an email to me. This is a great place for us to interact, sharing our passion for all things Big Ten as the season prepares to hit the home stretch. This week, there were many good questions—as usual—but there was a theme in many emails that I received, asking: What are the tiebreakers to determine division champs? I address that, as well as—get this—a BASKETBALL question. Really.
October was a crazy and unpredictable month. The proof: Under-the-radar Penn State went 5-0 and sits comfortably atop the Leaders Division, Big Ten favorite Wisconsin lost back-to-back games on last-minute Hail Marys, Michigan State got through a stretch of Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin unscathed, and Iowa lost to struggling Minnesota despite getting 252 rushing yards from Marcus Coker. The list could continue, but you get the point.
The Minnesota men’s basketball team opened its season with a 71-58 exhibition win against Bemidji State on Tuesday night at Williams Arena. Trevor Mbakwe had 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds and Ralph Sampson III added 15 points and four rebounds to pace the Gophers. Freshman Andre Hollins dished out eight assists without a turnover and scored six points. Watch a wrap-up of the action from Matt Nelson and Quincy Lewis now, and then jump inside for a postgame interview with Mbakwe, the preseason first-team All-Big Ten honoree.
It’s the exhibition season for Big Ten women’s basketball teams, which means it’s only a matter of days before the ball jumps for real. Until the games start to count on the ledger, though, use this post to see how the conference’s teams are doing in exhibition play, plus watch select video highlights.
Last week in Chicago, Big Ten basketball coaches and players gathered for their annual meet and greet with the national media. Producers from BTN’s award-winning series The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012 attended and sat down with the conference’s movers and shakers as a new season of Big Ten hoops approaches.