The Big Ten had a relatively bad weekend, dropping marquee games against other high-major conference teams. The main event was a battle between two top-10 teams when Kansas visited Columbus. Given that the game was on the Buckeyes’ floor, Ohio State should have won this game, and probably by more than just a point or two. Instead, Kansas ended up with a relatively comfortable 8-point win. The Jayhawks led most of the way, and started pulling away with about ten minutes left. There was no great mystery as to why OSU lost—they were terrible shooting the ball, both inside and outside the arc. On twos, Ohio State converted just 35 percent, and they were at 26 percent on threes. Kansas, meanwhile, shot 53 and 46 percent, respectively. Otherwise, OSU outplayed the Jayhawks, but shooting trumps all.
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Happy Holidays! I have a “present” for you. It’s my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. So, if you manage to get some free time from all the family and delicious eats, take a moment to see where your team ranks before the conference season tips off.
There was a trio of Big Ten men’s basketball games Sunday, including Penn State topping New Hampshire, 72-45, and Northwestern taking down Brown, 63-42. Get scores, stats, recaps and select highlights from all three games in this post.
Josh Huestis tied a career-high with 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Stanford came away with a wild 70-68 victory over Northwestern (8-4) on Friday. The Cardinal (8-4) built an 18-point lead in the first half. Later, Northwestern’s Tre Demps nailed a 3-pointer and scored in the lane to tie it at 61 with 6:34 remaining. He hit another 3 with 1:50 left to tie it at 67, but Stanford held on.
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The 2011-12 Illini would push their record to 15-3 with a win over Ohio State (you remember, the Brandon Paul game), and they climbed all the way to 22nd in the AP poll. What followed was a complete collapse–Illinois went 2-12 the rest of the way, and what had looked like a surefire at-large team ended up with no postseason appearance at all. Somehow, the Illini had covered the full range of possibilities we had covered in our 2011-12 season preview (hey, the Brandon Paul/Kemba Walker comparison doesn’t seem quite so insane now!). Could such a nosedive happen again?
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We’ve already argued for and against divisions in Big Ten basketball. Today, we discuss whether every member of a 14-team Big Ten should be allowed to play in the Big Ten tournament.
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Reggie Hearn knows some great basketball players have matriculated through Northwestern. Guys like Evan Eschmeyer, Billy McKinney, Shon Morris, Juice Thompson and John Shurna, among others. And none of them delivered an NCAA tourney bid. There have been six trips to the NIT, but Hearn and his teammates want more. They want to dance in March.