Another week, another raft of games that will go a long way toward shaping the Big Ten race. And this much is becoming clearer: Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa are the teams to beat. Speaking of the Big Ten’s holy trinity, it’s a big week for Michigan. BIG week. Here’s a look at the week that’s on our doorstep.
There were four Big Ten women’s basketball games on the docket today. Indiana kicked off the action with an 83-78 victory over Minnesota, while Iowa followed with an 81-74 win over Ohio State. Currently playing: No. 16 Penn State vs. Michigan State; No. 18 Nebraska vs. No. 22 Purdue.
Saturday featured a quartet of Big Ten men’s hoops games. Northwestern kicked off the action with an upset win over Indiana at Assembly Hall. Michigan followed with an impressive road win over No. 3 Wisconsin, while Purdue edged out Penn State and Michigan State cruised to a win over Illinois. Michigan and Michigan State remain the only unbeaten teams in Big Ten play this season.
Toughness. It’s needed in any sport to be successful. And there are many definitions of toughness, which is displayed in various ways. Show me a successful team—and I’ll show you a tough team. Knowing that, I asked some writers who cover Big Ten hoops teams who they felt is the “toughest” player in the conference.
It’s time for my Big Ten basketball 3-Pointers, my look back at the week that was in the Big Ten—with a sneak peek at what’s to come. It has been a good week to be Minnesota and Indiana. It hasn’t been such a good week to be Ohio State and Illinois. And if you’re Richard Pitno’s jacket from Thursday night, you had a little bit of good and bad this week.
Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota picked up a huge resume win over Ohio State, 63-53 in 63 possessions. The story of this game was on the interior, where Elliott Eliason made his presence felt on both ends. The bearded big man went 6-for-8 on twos, leading a Gopher attack that scored a point per trip despite a bad night from the perimeter.
The BCS era is over, and to me that is a very good thing. The era ran 16 seasons stretching from 1998-2013. As a way to celebrate the end of the BCS and with an eye on the first college football playoff after next season, I present to you my 10 best Big Ten teams of the BCS era.