The final week of the Big Ten men’s basketball season is in the books, meaning it’s time to run down the best plays from Feb. 27-March 4 action. What a final week it was, too, as we finished with three teams tied atop the Big Ten standings. There were also several highlight plays, but which ones found a spot on BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina’s latest 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. Also, keep up with all the best highlights from across
Draymond Green for Big Ten MVP? It’s an easy pick, says Terry Foster of the Detroit News. Who can argue with that? Green is the only player in the Big Ten who is averaging a double-double. And his leadership is unmatched, as he has led the Spartans to at least a share of Tom Izzo’s seventh league championship. Is there any way Michigan State will lose at home to Ohio State on Senior Day on Sunday? I will be shocked if it happens. Read more of my newsy links for Friday. And remember? I do this every weekday. Illinois’ NCAA
I took my usual spin around the Internet this morning and found my five conversation starters for Thursday. Click inside for a look at those stories, my take on each, and more links to the Big ten stories you need to read today. Tina Akouris of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Illini are in damage-control mode vs. Michigan tonight. I also think Illinois has a great opportunity at its feet to still earn an at-large spot in the NCAA tourney. Really. If the Illini (17-12 overall; 6-10 Big Ten) can beat Michigan in Champaign, then win at Wisconsin on Sunday
The Big Ten is in the final week of the regular season. Teams are battling to enhance their postseason resumes, jockeying for seeding in the Big Ten tourney, which starts March 8 in Indianapolis. And schools also have their eye on the NCAA tourney. I caught up with CBSSports.com NCAA bracketologist Jerry Palm to get his read on where the Big Ten schools sit in his latest bracket projections. Click inside to listen to our conversation this morning. Among other things, we discuss the likelihood of a Big Ten team earning a No. 1 seed, Northwestern’s bubblicious existence and if
Draymond Green showed just how good he is in a loss to the Hoosiers, but he also proved that no one is good enough to beat Indiana at home by himself. Green racked up 29 points on 17 shots while his Michigan State teammates poured in 26 points on 34 shots. Against IU at Assembly Hall, that’s tough to overcome. The home/road splits for this team in conference play are stunning: Points Per Possession Opponent Points Per Possession Efficiency Margin Home 1.19 1.06 +0.13 Road 1.03 1.10 -0.07 That impressive home efficiency has allowed
No. 20 Indiana snapped No. 5 Michigan State’s seven-game winning streak (recap) and No. 15 Wisconsin clinched a bye in next week’s Big Ten tourney by rallying past archrival Minnesota (recap) on Tuesday night. Catch up on all the action on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. Like highlights? Bookmark our Did You See This? feature, where we archive some of the best Big Ten highlights, including these dunks from the Michigan State-Indiana game. Coming up on our Super Wednesday doubleheader, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings: Penn State vs. Purdue (6:30 ET) and No.
Throughout the 2011-12 Big Ten men’s basketball season, we’re spotlighting Gus Johnson’s best calls. The popular play-by-play announcer is calling men’s hoops for BTN all winter long, and we’ll clip and post his best calls and archive them here. Feel free to bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Andre Hollins’ driving bucket and get all of the announcer’s best calls from Tuesday’s Minnesota-Wisconsin game in this post. Johnson: “And one!”
Entering the final week of the season, Draymond Green’s reign as the Big Ten’s top player isn’t threatened as he’s on course to take home the league’s Player of the Year honors (announced next Monday). Why not? Green is the lone player who averages a double-double. And his leadership is off the charts, as Green already has led the Spartans to a share of the Big Ten title. But what has happened to Jared Sullinger, who is in the worst funk of the season? As Sullinger has slipped, the Buckeyes have faded from Big Ten contention. Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, Penn
While the Ohio State at Michigan State game has lost luster with the Buckeyes’ defeat at home to Wisconsin on Sunday, it still looms as the most attractive game of the week. Also, it’s a big week for Wisconsin, which wants to finish fourth to earn a bye in the Big Ten tourney. Purdue and Indiana are giving chase, but the Badgers own the tiebreaker over both and only need to win one of their final two to guarantee a bye. And can Northwestern finish fast to build its NCAA resume? 1. Ohio State at Michigan State, Sunday, March 4.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 Big Ten plays from the past week? Watch them and vote for your top play. The latest national polls are out, as well. 1. Michigan State (24-5, 13-3) – Winners of