Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Before a very important weekend of games, let’s take a quick look at where Big Ten teams currently rank in KenPom relative to where they were ranked in the preseason.
Gary Harris scored 25 points, grabbed three rebounds and handed out three assists as No. 13 Michigan State defeated Purdue 94-79 on Thursday in West Lafayette. Also, Terran Petteway led five Nebraska players in double digits with 26 points as Nebraska (15-10) defeated Penn State 80-67 in Lincoln.
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If there is a theme to this Big Ten season, it would be “expect the unexpected.” Down is up … up is down … in is out … out is in. You get the idea. Each week is like a roller-coaster, as upsets seemingly have become the norm. Heck, we even had one last night, with last-place Illinois winning at Minnesota.
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We’re in the home stretch of conference play, so it feels an appropriate time to check in on the play of the Big Ten’s freshmen. Who has the inside track on freshman of the year? What youngsters are doing more than you realized? Let’s find out.
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I long for the days when every Big Ten school played twice every season. It was a symmetrical schedule that crowned a true champ in a neat and tidy 18-game league schedule. The only thing missing was a bow on top.
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If Big Ten co-leader Michigan State wasn’t enough to get Purdue fans to Mackey Arena on Thursday night, the giveaway sure will be. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Glenn Robinson bobblehead. Best of all: Robinson, who will be honored at the game, has signed 13 of the bobbleheads.
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