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It’s been a bit of a quiet week for Big Ten basketball, with most teams facing tune-up games against over-matched opponents. Let’s take a quick look at the games that weren’t complete blowouts.
Drew Crawford went 6-of-11 from the field and led five Northwestern players in double digits with 19 points as the Wildcats defeated Baylor 74-70 on Tuesday at Ferrell Center in Waco. Northwestern also got double-digit contributions from Reggie Hearn (17), Dave Sobolewski (13), Jared Swopshire (12) and Alex Olah (10).
We found out where the Big Ten’s seven bowl teams were headed Sunday night. Read Tom Dienhart’s early thoughts on each game here. Now, it’s time to familiarize ourselves a little more with the seven opponents. Who is the key player for each team, and why should we keep our eye on him during the bowl game?
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Purdue isn’t used to this. Under Matt Painter, only once have we seen the Boilermakers struggle, and that was in Painter’s understandably rebuidling 2005-06 season, which managed only a 9-19 record in the wake of Carl Landry’s knee injury that kept him off the court for the majority of the season. Since then, Purdue has won no fewer than 22 games a season. It didn’t matter if the team was relying on freshmen, whether it was short, or whether key players were lost to injuries. Painter somehow kept the whole thing going.
The bowl matchups are set as the Big Ten filled seven of its eight bowl slots. Four of the matchups are rematches of previous bowls. Here is a quick take on each bowl, with more analysis in coming days.
David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
Josh Crittle’s go-ahead basket with 53 seconds remaining helped UIC to a 50-44 upset of Northwestern on Saturday. Crittle finished with a team-high 13 points, and Gary Talton’s two free throws with 29 seconds left sealed the win for the Flames (6-1). The Wildcats committed 16 turnovers and were just 10 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE