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B1G Whiteboard: Setting the stage for this week

An interesting week awaits, as teams jockey to improve their NCAA resume. As for the Big Ten title chase, Michigan State’s loss at Wisconsin on Sunday made things more interesting. The Spartans don’t have much very heavy lifting this week. Conversely, this will be a big week for Michigan, which is trying to keep pace. Here’s a look at what’s ahead. Game of the Week: Michigan at Ohio State. Teams seemingly going in opposite directions. This is the only meeting of the season between these rivals. And, it’s a biggie. After losing five of six games, the Buckeyes have come

Here's one topic mentioned every time your team plays

Watch a conference enough, and you can’t help but notice that every team has a common theme that gets mentioned in every broadcast. Chances are, you know your team’s topic of conversation. But what about the rest of the Big Ten teams? Here’s my recurring subject for every Big Ten team. Illinois. Bruce Weber didn’t recruit Champaign native Rayvonte Rice. Indiana. Yogi Ferrell has a new role now that Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are in the NBA. Iowa. Depth! Michigan. Tie: Nik Stauskas isn’t just a shooter. And, the Wolverines are without preseason All-America Mitch McGary. Michigan State. Injuries!

B1G Recap: Badgers win wild one, Illini end funk

That was a fun day of Big Ten basketball. No. 24 Wisconsin took down No. 8 Michigan State in the final seconds, and Illinois dropped Penn State to snap its eight-game slide. Catch up on all the scores, stats and video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] WISCONSIN 60, MICHIGAN STATE 58 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Traevon Jackson hit a pull-up jumper with 2.1 seconds left for Wisconsin, 10 seconds after Michigan State’s Adreian Payne tied it with a 3, and the Badgers beat the ninth-ranked Spartans

Review & preview: Track the latest ups & downs

It’s good to be Ohio State … at least for this week. The Buckeyes have risen from the dead, notching two big wins in the last week to breathe life into a season that had gone terribly bad. Here’s a look back at the last week—with a peek ahead, too. THREE STOCKS TO BUY 1. Ohio State. Just when it looked like the Buckeyes were circling the drain, they rise up. Very impressive. Ohio State had lost four in a row and five of six games, falling from 15-0 and No. 3 in the nation to out of the polls

Big Ten Geeks: Bringing the Payne

Michigan State welcomed back Adreian Payne in a blowout of Penn State. The big man played very well in 18 minutes off the bench, and the Spartans performed much better than the final margin suggests. Penn State made a big run in garbage time to turn a 25-point deficit into a 15-point loss, but it was done entirely on a lineup that included guys like Colby Wollenman, Keenan Wetzel, and Dan Chapman. Final 3:32 Points Possessions Efficiency Penn State 15 7 2.14 Michigan State 5 6 0.83 Before garbage time, Michigan State dominated at both ends. First 36:28 Points Possessions

Michigan State cruises to win over Penn State

(AP) Adreian Payne scored 12 points in his return from a foot injury, and No. 9 Michigan State kept pace atop the Big Ten with an 82-67 victory over Penn State on Thursday night. Payne hadn’t played since Jan. 7 because of a sprained foot, but although he didn’t start Thursday, he did play 18 minutes, going 5 of 9 from the field. The Spartans (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten) were still nowhere near full strength. Keith Appling, who has been dealing with a wrist problem, sat out, and Branden Dawson is still out because of a broken hand. Catch up

Ranking games: Two Iowa tests top the list

We begin to head down the backstretch of the season, as my friends at Big Ten Geeks pointed out earlier this week. If you are like me, getting a clean read on the season makes you as confused as ever. But, don’t worry. Things will begin to crystallize … I think. Here’s my ranking of this week’s men’s basketball games. 1. Michigan at Iowa, Sat., Feb. 8. This is the game of week, ladies and gentlemen. The Wolverines sit atop the Big Ten along with Michigan State, as each has one loss. The Hawkeyes have three losses. A defeat will

Audio: Listen to your Big Ten coach's teleconference

On Monday, the 12 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches joined the Big Ten teleconference to take questions from the media. We’ve posted the audio for each coach on the call here, and will do so every Monday throughout the basketball season. Listen to coach Tom Crean: Listen to coach Fran McCaffery: Listen to coach John Groce: Listen to coach Chris Collins: Listen to coach Patrick Chambers: Listen to coach Matt Painter: Michigan State Associate Head Coach Dwayne Stephens:  Listen to coach Bo Ryan: Listen to coach John Beilein: Listen to coach Thad Matta: Listen to coach Richard Pitino: Listen to

Big Ten Geeks: Halfway Home

We’re now at the official halfway point of the conference season, so it seems an appropriate time to glance at player stats. We’ve already thrown around some Big Ten POY discussion, but we have enough data now that we can start to look a little deeper. Courtesy of statsheet.com, the following table contains the conference-only numbers for players that meet the following criteria: minute percentage above 60 percent, possession percentage above 22 percent, offensive rating above 100. These are the best of the best, the efficient possession-consumers, at least during the first half of Big Ten play. Player Poss% Ortg

Crawford, Newbill, Vonleh claim Big Ten weekly honors

The Big Ten office released its latest Big Ten Men’s Basketball Players of the Week on Monday, and three players were honored. Northwestern’s Drew Crawford and Penn State’s D.J. Newbill shared Player of the Week, while Indiana’s Noah Vonleh claimed Freshman of the Week. Read more in this post. Co-Players of the Week: Drew Crawford, Northwestern, G/F, Sr. Averaged 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in Northwestern’s road sweep over #14/13 Wisconsin and Minnesota For the week, shot 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the field and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from three-point range Against the Badgers, poured in a