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Power Rankings: Surging Illini continue ascent

John Groce

Evans Dunks It Back In With Gusto

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

John Groce’s Illini continued their torrid play this week, dispatching Purdue and Northwestern, teams they lost to earlier this season. Winners of four straight, Illinois has moved to No. 5 in my latest Power Rankings. Where does your team land? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box in this post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).

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'You're everything that's right about Penn State'

Patrick Chambers

Patrick Chambers THON Check Presentation

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers pledged to donate $10 to THON 2013 for every student who attended the Iowa-Penn State game Thursday night. Friday, before the students embarked on 46 consecutive hours of dancing, Chambers addressed the THON participants and presented a $14,200 check from the men’s basketball program.

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Big Ten Geeks: Boiling Over

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois exorcised some demons in a 20 point blowout of Purdue. The Fighting Illini seniors had never beaten the Boilermakers, but they changed that in emphatic fashion by attacking the offensive glass and limiting turnovers. In all, Illinois attempted 13 more field goals than Purdue, and those extra looks enabled John Groce’s team to score 1.20 points per trip despite 29 percent shooting on jumpers. It was Illinois’ best output since the win at Gonzaga, and it appears that the Illini of the season’s first month have returned.

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Iowa survives Penn State's late surge

psu

Iowa at Penn State - Men's Basketball Highlights

Devyn Marble scored 22 points and Melsahn Basabe blocked a potential game-tying layup with 21 seconds left to help Iowa hold off Penn State 74-72 on Thursday night. Iowa (16-9, 5-7 Big Ten) led by at least 10 twice in the game but couldn’t put away the league’s last-place team until late.

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