With Saturday’s win over Michigan, Purdue has seemingly punched its ticket to the Dance. At 9-7 in conference play, the Boilermakers are probably right where most expected them to finish this season–still solidly in the field of 68, but not a serious contender for the conference championship. But how they got to this point is very unexpected. Ever since the Baby Boilers arrived at West Lafayette, defense has been the calling card of this team:
On this week’s “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012,” at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, our cameras take you behind John Shurna’s record-breaking day as the senior became Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer last weekend against Minnesota. We also profile Calbert Cheaney, the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer, who has returned to Indiana following a career in the NBA, both as a player and assistant coach. Watch a bonus clip now and see what else we’ll be profiling on Sunday’s show in this post. Also, follow the show on Twitter: @BTNJourney.
Purdue handed No. 13 Michigan its first home defeat (recap), No. 6 Michigan State blasted Nebraska (recap) and Northwestern beat Penn State in the final seconds (recap) in Saturday men’s hoops action. Catch up on all three games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. Gus Johnson was on the call for the Purdue-Michigan game, and here are his top calls. Also, bookmark our popular Did You See This? archive.
With a little more than a week to go, it has come down to Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan in the race for the Big Ten title. But other story lines exist. Which four teams will secure first-round byes in the Big Ten tourney? The Spartans, Buckeyes and Wolverines look like locks for three of the slots. But who will get the fourth? Wisconsin? Indiana? Purdue? Or, how about white-hot Iowa?
Another night, another set of at-large hopes dashed. On Wednesday evening, Minnesota hoped to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, at least for another few days, with a crucial home matchup against Michigan State. Things were looking up when the Gophers took a nine-point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining. Maybe Minnesota really would pull this off and get back onto the bubble.
Selection Sunday is March 11. Time is running out for teams to enhance their resumes for an NCAA tourney at-large berth. Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana all look like locks for the Big Dance, with one winning the automatic bid and the others at-large spots. And Penn State and Nebraska appear to be but out.