“Working” officials is an art form. Some coaches are masters at knowing just the right buttons to push over the course of a game to the point where—Who knows?—maybe they can get a key call in their favor. I asked several media members who cover the Big Ten which coach they felt was best at “working” officials.
The Big Ten officially released a breakdown of the 2014-15 men’s basketball matchups. This will be the first Big Ten hoops season for new members, Maryland and Rutgers. The 14 conference teams will play 18-game league games, playing five teams both home and away and eight teams once. Each team will play four of its single-play opponents at home and four on the road.
An interesting week in the Big Ten, as Michigan surged to the top of the conference as it looks for its outright conference championship since the 1985-86 season.
We’re fast approaching the end of the regular season, so that means it’s time to start considering an All-Big Ten most improved team. Who would make your 2013-14 team? Mine is headlined by a quartet of sophomores, including Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Nik Stauskas. See my full team, plus vote for your most improved player, in this post.
Minnesota propelled itself back into the field of 68 with a decisive win over Iowa at home. The Gopher defense has been much-maligned this season (this is the second-worst defense in the Big Ten), but that doesn’t matter when you shoot 58 percent from 3 and 63 percent on 2s.
There was more craziness in the Big Ten on Tuesday night. Minnesota upset No. 19 Iowa, 95-89, to improve its NCAA tourney resume and send the Hawkeyes to back-to-back losses for the first time this season. No. 14 Wisconsin rallied from a 10-point deficit to down Indiana, 69-58.