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How tough is the Big Ten this season? A week ago, several people thought Michigan State might be the Big Ten’s top team. Today, following back-to-back losses, the Spartans land at No. 4 on my latest Power Rankings. Where does your team land? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box in this post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).
Any sober look at Iowa in the preseason would have put the team somewhere in the vicinity of the bubble. The team was coming off an 8-10 Big Ten campaign that, albeit one blessed with good fortune, portended good things to come with most of the roster returning this season.
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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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Terone Johnson scored 22 points to help Purdue defeat Northwestern 74-43 on Sunday night and snap a three-game losing streak. D.J. Byrd scored 13 points and Ronnie Johnson and Rapheal Davis added 10 each for the Boilermakers (13-14, 6-8 Big Ten), who shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded the Wildcats 48-23.
BTN will air a 30-minute special Black History Month presentation called “Football Pioneers” at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday Hosted by Howard Griffith, the show features interviews with former Northwestern head coach Dennis Green,who was just the second African-American head coach in Division I history. We also talk with Sidney Williams, a former Wisconsin quarterback who was Big Ten’s first African-American starting quarterback, and current Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell.
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Wisconsin held Northwestern to a paltry 0.74 points per possession in one of the most methodical blowouts you’ll ever see. The Wildcats were just consistently outclassed, as the Badgers steadily built their lead until it had swelled to the final 28-point margin. Northwestern’s lowly output helped Wisconsin nudge its in-conference defensive efficiency down to 0.901 points per trip.