This shapes up as one of the best weeks of the season with several marquee matchups. The teams most on the spot? It’s Michigan State and Indiana, which each has two big games. The Spartans play host to Michigan and travel to Illinois; the Hoosiers have two on the road: Michigan and archrival Purdue. But don’t forget about surging Wisconsin, either. The Badgers, winners of five straight and one game out of the Big Ten lead, travel to Penn State and host first-place Ohio State. Get ready for the week ahead in this post.
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.
With about 10 seconds remaining, Northwestern had succeeded in holding Purdue’s Robbie Hummel, Ryne Smith, and Lewis Jackson to a combined 17 points. That trio spearheads the Boilermaker offense, which has stalled at times this season when one of those three is having an off night. And in Purdue’s final possession, with the game tied, Northwestern played some of its best defense of the season, forcing Robbie Hummel into a contested mid-range jumper from the baseline.
A new class of future Big Ten football stars will sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, and BTN will air a live, 90-minute “Football Signing Day Special” at 4:30 PM ET that day to reveal which student-athletes will attend Big Ten universities.
BTN producers followed around popular broadcaster Gus Johnson during a recent trip to Chicago for Northwestern’s upset victory over Michigan State. From the time he got off the plane to the final whistle at Welsh-Ryan Arena, BTN cameras were there to offer a brief glimpse into the life of one of the nation’s busiest game-callers. Not only is the footage terrific, it’s informative. For example, did you know Gus has a locker room to use to get ready before the game, or that he prefers to steam his gameday attire in the shower? Watch Gus’ arrival into Chicago now and check out a clip of him preparing for the game and another calling the action in this post.
This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012,” we found out how Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble has flourished while carrying a memorable last name in Iowa City. Also, we learned about Wisconsin’s Mike Bruesewitz’s hockey talents and saw how Purdue seniors Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson have battled through injuries this season. We also examined the amazing transformation of Michigan State’s Derrick Nix. Watch a clip from the show on Marble and see a couple bonus clips in this post.
It’s been a struggle from the field much of the season for Purdue senior Robbie Hummel. Entering Saturday’s game at Northwestern, the senior forward was shooting a career-low 39 percent and hadn’t hit 50 percent of his shots in any game since Nov. 29. Hummel was under 50 percent again Saturday (5 of 11; 45 percent), but he was money when it mattered most. With the score tied and less than 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Hummel made something out of nothing, hitting an impressive driving leaner to send Purdue past Northwestern. Watch the game-winning shot now.