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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson call Drew Crawford’s powerful one-handed slam and get all of his best calls from Sunday night’s Northwestern-Purdue game in this post.
Purdue’s Matt Painter has been challenging his players to show more effort. Terone Johnson exhibited just the kind of hustle his coach is seeking Sunday night. On one particular play, Johnson went into the crowd to save a loose ball and suffered a pretty nasty spill in the process. After a few seconds on the ground, Johnson got up and found his way back on the court. Making the play even better, Johnson got the ball back, drove the lane and hit a teardrop. It was quite a sequence. Watch it here. If you’re thinking you’ve seen a Boiler make a similar play, you’re right. Dru Anthrop put on a balancing act there in December.