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Big Ten Geeks: Away we go

On the final day of 2013, two-thirds of the Big Ten got the conference season underway in entertaining fashion. Ohio State withstood a valiant effort from Purdue before pulling away for the road win. More than anything else, this game displayed the Boilermakers’ potential, as they played even with one of the nation’s top teams for long stretches. Purdue nearly managed to score a point per possession on the Buckeyes–a feat which has been accomplished only once this season–despite shooting 3-for-14 from three and getting a lackluster offensive game from A.J. Hammons. The supporting cast did a great job of making

BTN.com's nonconference honors, teams

With the nonconference season now in the books, BTN.com’s basketball panel decided to release its best of the 2013 nonconference season. From superlative honors to All-Big Ten teams, our guys offer their picks.  See it all in this post. Don’t agree? Feel free to leave your picks in the submission box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Big Ten Geeks hand out nonconference report cards ] BIGGEST SURPRISE (TEAM) Wisconsin. We knew the Badgers would be good. Bo Ryan is still the coach, after all. But not a single person thought they would enter Big Ten play with

Ranking the games: Will anything top Iowa at Wisconsin?

There are 12 games this week to open the Big Ten season. And many of the matchups will go a long way toward shaping the race, with Iowa’s trip to Wisconsin being the headliner. In fact, it could be one of the better games of the season. Here’s a ranking of this week’s games. [ MORE: Get Dienhart’s preview to the opening week of Big Ten play ] 1. Iowa at Wisconsin, Sun., Jan. 5. A must-see early Big Ten game that won’t disappoint, right? The undefeated Badgers will pose a challenge for a deep and talented Hawkeyes’ club that

Big Ten Geeks: First semester grades

We’re all set to tip-off conference play on Tuesday, which means it’s time to hand out our final grades for the nonconference season. We’ll do this in alphabetical order. Illinois: B The Illini have probably hit par, by going 11-2 in the non-conference schedule. By doing so, the team really hasn’t moved any closer or further away from an at-large berth. Coming into the season, we thought it was more likely than not that Illinois would miss the Tournament. With the Illini hovering at around 50 in the Pomeroy ratings, that still looks right—but there will be plenty of chances

Here are 14 hoops thoughts as we enter 2014

The conference hoops season tips off New Year’s Eve. I hope you’re excited, too! Before the games really start to count, here are 14 (random) thoughts I have entering 2014. For the record, no, these thoughts are in no particular order. [ MORE: Video: Watch our top 10 nonconference dunks ] 1. As many as three Big Ten teams could hold the No. 1 ranking this season. Michigan State already has been No. 1, while No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Wisconsin could also get their time atop the polls. Both the Buckeyes and Badgers are undefeated, and if

B1G nonconference thoughts in 140 characters or less

The Big Ten went 5-1 on Saturday to close out the nonconference season with a bang. There were plenty of memorable moments early on this year, so how do we go about summing up 12 teams and 153 total nonconference games? Simple — We follow the rules of twitter. Here is a summary of every Big Ten teams’ nonconference performances in 140 characters or less. [ MORE: View Stephen Bardo’s latest Big Ten Power Rankings ] 1. Ohio State (13-0): Great defense and better than expected on offense. Craft has been terrific. Consistent play down low makes this a championship-caliber

Friday B1G hoops roundup: Buckeyes remain perfect

The Big Ten went 1-1 in Friday night’s conference hoops action, highlighted by Ohio State’s 71-31 blowout win over Louisiana-Monroe. With the victory, Ohio State finished the non-conference season with a perfect 13-0 record. Northwestern fell to DePaul 57-56 on a last second buzzer-beater in the other Big Ten game on Friday night. Catch up on all the stats, scores and select video highlights in this post. OHIO STATE 71, LA-MONROE 31 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 17 points and LaQuinton Ross added 15 to lead No. 3 Ohio State past Louisiana at Monroe

Big Ten Geeks: Getting Defensive

We sit mere days away from Big Ten play, so it seems a proper time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conference’s defenses. Possibly the best way to do that is through detailed shot data. The best defenses will limit open threes and shots at the rim while forcing opponents to take low value two-point jumpers. Courtesy of Hoop-Math, the following table contains defensive shot data for the teams in the Big Ten, sorted from fewest shots allowed at the rim to most shots allowed at the rim. Team % Shots At Rim % Shots 2pt Jumpers %

Sunday hoops roundup: B1G goes for 5 for 5

The Big Ten went a perfect 5-0 for the second consecutive day Sunday. Indiana (Kennesaw State), Iowa (Ark-Pine Bluff), Northwestern (Brown), Penn State (Mount St. Mary’s) and Purdue (West Virginia) all carded nonconference wins. Catch up on all the stats, scores and select video highlights in this post. INDIANA 90, KENNESAW STATE 66 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Yogi Ferrell had 25 points while Noah Vonleh added 14 points and nine rebounds as Indiana easily defeated Kennesaw State 90-66 on Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers (10-3), who open Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve at Illinois, shot a

BTN expands studio team of basketball analysts

CHICAGO – BTN will bolster its team of studio analysts to coincide with the start of conference basketball by adding former Maryland and Ohio State head coach Gary Williams and Hall of Fame sportswriters Dick “Hoops” Weiss and Mike DeCourcy, who returns for a third season. In total, BTN will televise 67 men’s conference basketball matchups, including nine straight weeks of “Super Wednesday” doubleheaders, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, and four Big Ten Tournament games. All “Super Wednesday” doubleheaders will begin with the Auto Owner’s Insurance Big Ten Tip-Off Show, hosted by Dave Revsine alongside analyst Jim Jackson. BTN’s lineup