Saturday is almost here. Can you feel it? Can you sense it? Every team gets four downs to make something happen. So, why not me? That’s the idea here. Here’s what’s running through my mind with Week 12 of the Big Ten season on the horizon.
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The Big Ten suffered its first losses over the past couple nights, and we learned just a little bit more about the shape of this conference. Let’s dive in. In a formula that might become common this season, Illinois struggled to score over Valparaiso’s length but did enough on defense to secure the victory. After facing two decidedly smaller teams to open the season, Illinois had trouble converting over Valpo’s big and experienced frontline. In fact, the Illini’s 35.6 effective field goal percentage is the lowest mark of the John Groce era, and last season’s team wasn’t exactly a collection of sharpshooters.
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Who will represent the Legends Division in Indianapolis? Three choices for this poll: #BTNSpartans, #BTNHuskers or #BTNGophers.
Down goes No. 1! No. 2 Michigan State dropped top-ranked Kentucky, 78-74, on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic at the United Center. The Spartans’ big win was just one of seven Big Ten games on the night. Get game recaps, stats and video highlights from all the games in this post.
The Big Ten placed a nation’s best 10 players on the John R. Wooden Award preseason top 50 list, released Tuesday. Michigan State led the way with three players (Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Adreian Payne), while Michigan (Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III) and Ohio State (Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross) also made the list. A freshman made the cut, too. See all the representatives in this post.
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The cards and letters keep coming in. Thanks. And, by the look of things, many of you are excited about what Minnesota is doing. No doubt, to be 8-2 and riding a four-game winning streak is pretty incredible. Michigan has many flummoxed. And Nebraska’s rise has stirred the masses.