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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?
The Associated Press
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.
It’s the holiday season. Time is precious. There are many options when it comes to Big Ten bowl games but there are also five of them on Jan. 1 alone. Which ones should you watch? What should you watch for in each? That’s where I come in with my nifty ranking of the Big Ten bowls from 1-7.
In our preseason Michigan State point/counterpoint, Josh and I debated how the Spartans would replace Draymond Green. Of major concern were not only Green’s offensive contributions but also his excellent defensive acumen. So, after 12 games, how does this Green-less squad compare to last season’s team?
Seven Big Ten teams are playing in bowl games, beginning with Minnesota vs. Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 28 and ending with Wisconsin vs. Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Which Big Ten team needs to win their bowl game the most? BTN’s Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith have two different choices, and host Dave Revsine chimes in with a third possibility. Vote your choice in this post.
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. There’s a new No. 1 team on the list following Indiana’s loss to Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic.