Here’s a quick look around what’s buzzing in the Big Ten while I marvel at Pat Sajak’s ability to work intoxicated. Who would have thought you could host “Wheel of Fortune” under those conditions? Guess the wheel wasn’t the only thing spinning those many years ago. Dive into my links for Friday
It’s time to reach into the mailbag and answer your questions. Lots of variety with hoops in full swing, Signing Day on the horizon and the Super Bowl around the corner.
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Here’s something you don’t see every night, much less twice in the same night: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Minnesota’s Julian Welch both hit halfcourt shots on attempted alley-oop passes Wednesday. We kid you not. Craft did it first, as his pass to Sam Thompson went through the rim in Ohio State’s easy win over Penn State. Later, Welch, from just behind the midcourt line, threw a pass in Rodney Williams’ direction and into the bucket in Minnesota’s loss at Michigan State. Watch Craft’s shot here and check out Welch’s in this post.
Most teams go an entire season, if not longer, without even attempting an alley-oop on an inbound pass. Then again, most teams don’t have an athlete quite like Ohio State’s Sam Thompson. Only a freshman, Thompson was on the receiving end of his second such play in Big Ten action alone Wednesday night. Which inbound alley-oop was better, though: Tonight’s or the one at Indiana on New Year’s Eve? Watch both incredible plays and vote on the best one in this post.
The Big Ten race is starting to firm up—at least a little bit. Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin look like they may be the best teams in the league. But it’s too early to count out Indiana and Illinois. It’s gonna be a fun title chase to watch unfold.
Michigan picked up its first road win of the season in a hard fought two-point victory over Purdue. This was a mild upset, as Vegas had the homestanding Boilermakers favored by five points and KenPom had Purdue by four. This outcome certainly changes the season outlook for both squads.