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Dienhart: Let's look at the week ahead

With Michigan State’s huge—and surprisingly convincing–win at Ohio State on Saturday, the Big Ten title chase has become a jumbled four-team race (standings). The Spartans and Buckeyes are tied at the top with 9-3 league marks, while the Wolverines are one half-game behind, at 9-4, and the Badgers are one game behind, at 8-4.

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Weekly Q&A: Listen to your Big Ten Coach

The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.

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Counting 'em down: Watch top plays

Another week of Big Ten basketball is in the books, and that means it’s time to run down the best plays from Feb. 6-12 action. There were plenty of highlights this past week, but which ones have a spot on BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina’s Hardwood Highlights? See Brent’s top 10 plays in this post. Don’t agree? Cast your vote for the top play at the bottom of this post. See last week’s plays and keep up with all the best highlights from across the Big Ten with our Did You See This? feature.

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Michigan downs Illinois; Purdue sweeps NU

No. 25 Michigan beat reeling Illinois (recap) and Purdue topped Northwestern (recap) in Big Ten men’s hoops action Sunday. Gus Johnson was on the call for the Wildcats-Boilermakers game, and we posted his best calls here. Catch up on both games with our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. Throughout the season, BTN.com editors watch for the best highlights and post them in our Did You See This? feature.

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Big Ten Geeks: Beast Mode

Prior to his breakout performance against Ohio State, Adreian Payne had scored double figures in exactly two Big Ten games as a Spartan. And although his offense was certainly a big reason for Michigan State’s victory, his defense probably deserves more credit. Payne did something that few ever will–make Jared Sullinger look like a bad basketball player. The Ohio State big man was frustrated all game long, and although he had 17 points and 16 rebounds, it came at a cost of 10 turnovers (not to mention 4 fouls).

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