After winning a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1979, Michigan State has been selected by the conference coaches as the favorite to win in 2012, the Big Ten office announced Tuesday. Big Ten coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three players from their own squads to a Players to Watch list. Following the Spartans on the coaches’ preseason top six list are No. 2 Purdue, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Illinois.
The roster of games this week is littered with some intriguing matchups that will go a long way toward determining the pecking order at the top of the Big Ten standings as we enter the final few weeks of the season. And no tilt on this week’s list of contests is bigger than Wisconsin’s visit to Michigan State on Feb. 16. Now that you know BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s No. 1 game for this week, what about the others? Dienhart ranks them all, from 1 to 11, in this post.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 Big Ten plays from the past week? Watch them and vote for your top play.
Find out more about: Hoops Power Rankings
With Michigan State’s huge—and surprisingly convincing–win at Ohio State on Saturday, the Big Ten title chase has become a jumbled four-team race (standings). The Spartans and Buckeyes are tied at the top with 9-3 league marks, while the Wolverines are one half-game behind, at 9-4, and the Badgers are one game behind, at 8-4.
Find out more about: Big Ten Whiteboard
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.
Find out more about: Teleconferences
Another week of Big Ten basketball is in the books, and that means it’s time to run down the best plays from Feb. 6-12 action. There were plenty of highlights this past week, but which ones have a spot on BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina’s Hardwood Highlights? See Brent’s top 10 plays in this post. Don’t agree? Cast your vote for the top play at the bottom of this post. See last week’s plays and keep up with all the best highlights from across the Big Ten with our Did You See This? feature.
Find out more about: Big Ten Top 10
Prior to his breakout performance against Ohio State, Adreian Payne had scored double figures in exactly two Big Ten games as a Spartan. And although his offense was certainly a big reason for Michigan State’s victory, his defense probably deserves more credit. Payne did something that few ever will–make Jared Sullinger look like a bad basketball player. The Ohio State big man was frustrated all game long, and although he had 17 points and 16 rebounds, it came at a cost of 10 turnovers (not to mention 4 fouls).