How do you break a Big Ten losing streak? Last night, the unlikely answer was to take a trip to snowy Indiana. Wisconsin and Minnesota got their seasons back on track with impressive wins in the Hoosier state.
Minnesota survived a furious second-half comeback effort by Indiana in Bloomington to beat the Hoosiers 77-74 to win the Gophers’ first conference game of the season. Cody Zeller led Indiana with 23 points and eight rebounds. Have you seen our “Best of Gus Johnson” video calls yet? We’ve got some good ones from tonight. Earlier in another conference game, Ben Brust went 4-of-7 from the field and led five Wisconsin players in double digits with 13 points as the Badgers defeated Purdue 67-62.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Johnson and Jim Jackson called Thursday night’s game in Bloomington.
The 2011 season was barely punctuated, and the 2012 football polls were already coming out. LSU looks like a consensus pick for No. 1, but the Big Ten is well represented. In the five polls I found, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all were ranked. And Nebraska appeared in all but one poll. Ohio State, which is ineligible to win the Big Ten title or play in a bowl in 2012 because of probation, is in two polls.
With an amazing 43-point performance from Brandon Paul, Illinois shocked Ohio State in Champaign. Coming in, this looked like a game that the Illini might hope to keep close with their defense, but it seemed unlikely that Bruce Weber’s struggling offense would be able to scrape together enough points against the nation’s top defense. That analysis went out the window once Paul got rolling.
With every Big Ten basketball team having played anywhere between 15-17 games, we’ve reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-12 season. Pretty soon it will be March, and that means the Big Ten tourney and NCAA tourney aren’t that far off. OK, they’re still two months away, but the first couple of months sure didn’t take long. Find Brent Yarina’s midway Big Ten honors in this post.
BTN’s powerful new original series “Impact the World” debuted Tuesday night. The series, hosted by actor Dennis Haysbert, will include 24 stories from all 12 Big Ten universities. On the debut episode, we focused on stories that illustrate the impact of advances in medical therapy and treatment at Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota. Watch the clip on Indiana University’s horse therapy now and find out more about the show in this post.