It was looking like it would be an historic night in Evanston. In front of a sold-out Welsh-Ryan Arena, the Northwestern Wildcats were locked in a tight battle with the visiting Michigan Wolverines. With a win, Northwestern would move one step closer to the 9-9 conference record that would almost certainly earn the program its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. As a cherry on top, the Wildcats’ signature nonconference win was looking even better as Seton Hall had just finished off an impressive win over Georgetown. If Bill Carmody’s team could just pull out this victory, it could be argued that it would be the most important night in Northwestern basketball history.
In the latest installment of “I Hit It To Win It,” BTN’s Jordan Cornette sits down with former Ohio State player Matt Sylvester to discuss his buzzer-beating shot that handed the 2004-2005 Illinois team their only regular season loss. This is an ongoing series of interviews and we store them all in our “I Hit IT To Win It” section. Previously, Cornette spoke with Nick Anderson, who hit an incredible shot against Indiana to win the game at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Watch the video of the shot and Cornette’s interview with Anderson now right now.
By now, every Big Ten team knows that Ohio State’s Sam Thompson is a highlight waiting to happen. And yet, the freshman seems to consistently find open spaces around the rim, which, more times than not, leads to a jaw-dropping alley-oop. Thompson struck again in Tuesday night’s win over Illinois. This time, the pass came from Shannon Scott, not the usual Aaron Craft, but it was just as nice. And for good measure, Thompson also had a great block in the revenge win. Watch Thompson’s alley-oop now and see the terrific block in this post.
No. 13 Michigan beat Northwestern in overtime for the second time this season (recap) and No. 9 Ohio State got revenge on reeling Illinois (recap) in men’s hoops action Tuesday night. Catch up on both games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post.
With his play in recent weeks, Michigan State’s Draymond Green has solidified his hold on the top spot in my weekly player rankings. The senior is a do-it-all talent who’s driven to leave campus standing side-by-side with players like Mateen Cleaves and Magic Johnson as an all-time great en route to leading the Spartans to a Big Ten title and spot in the Final Four. I am not gonna bet against him.
Monday night featured a pair of Big Ten women’s basketball games, and it also saw Penn State clinch at least a share of its first Big Ten title since 2004. The Lady Lions accomplished the feat by powering past ranked Ohio State, 84-66, at the Bryce Jordan Center. In other action, Illinois dropped instate rival Northwestern, 69-57. Watch highlights from Illinois’ win now and see interviews with the Illini in this post.
Some interesting games are on tap this week, with the headliner being Wisconsin’s visit to Ohio State on Sunday. Also, front-running Michigan State may face a tough test at Minnesota, where the Gophers are a pesky team. But of all of the contenders, Michigan has the toughest tests in its quest for its first Big Ten crown since Antoine Joubert and his Jheri curl were roaming the court in 1985-86, with a game at Northwestern and a visit from Purdue.