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Big Ten Geeks: Four weeks in & what do we know?

With the volume of competitive games slowing considerably this week, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we’ve seen in the first four weeks of the 2012-13 basketball season. In bullet point format, here’s what I’ve found interesting so far: Jared Berggren is an NBA player. This statement could prove a bit premature, as Berggren has struggled with conference play in his career, but Wisconsin’s senior center has been off the charts. Berggren is shooting 65 percent on twos, 41 percent on threes, and 84 percent on free throws, all while dominating the offensive glass and rarely

Wisconsin blasts Nebraska Omaha, 86-40

Wisconsin guard Ben Brust scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Wisconsin over Nebraska-Omaha 86-40 on Tuesday night. Brust was one of five Badgers (6-3) in double figures. Ryan Evans had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Jared Berggren scored 13, Frank Kaminsky had 11 and Sam Dekker chipped in with 10. Justin Simmons led Nebraska-Omaha (2-8) with 12 points. Trailing just 6-5 early in the first half, it was largely downhill from there for the Mavericks. Wisconsin finished the half on a 36-7 run, punctuated by Traevon Jackson‘s steal and shot at the buzzer

Brust drops 22 as Badgers win 81-56

Wisconsin used first-half runs of 14-0 and 12-0 to take control and put together an 11-0 run early in the second half as it cruised past previously unbeaten California 81-56 on Sunday. Four Wisconsin players scored in double digits. Ben Brust led the Badgers (5-3) with a season-high 22 points. Jared Berggren had 18 points, Ryan Evans 13, and Sam Dekker added 10 points for the home team. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post. [ BOX | AP RECAP | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECT

Big Ten Geeks: The ACC Strikes Back

In a bit of a surprise, the ACC took four of six games last night to clinch a tie in this year’s Challenge. Let’s look at how they did it. Ohio State played an excellent first half at Cameron Indoor, but the Buckeyes’ defense let them down after the break as Duke pulled away. The change in Duke’s efficiency was startling: First Half Efficiency Second Half Efficiency Ohio State 1.04 1.03 Duke 0.77 1.39 This scalding second half can be explained with a basic stat: the Blue Devils made eight dunks or layups in the second half, after making only

Virginia tops Wisconsin, 60-54

Joe Harris scored 22 points to lead Virginia to a 60-54 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday at the Kohl Center in Madison. Akil Mitchell was 4 of 7 from the floor and chipped in 13 points for Virginia (5-2). The Cavaliers also got a solid contribution from Darion Atkins, who scored 12. Ben Brust scored 15 points for Wisconsin (4-3) in the game. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post. [ BOX | AP RECAP | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECT | RAPID RECAPS | B1G

Big Ten Geeks: Indiana's defense impresses

All in all, it was quite a good first night for the Big Ten in its Challenge with the ACC. Let’s take a quick look at the results. The night’s marquee game was Indiana vs. North Carolina, and the nation’s number one team did not disappoint. The Hoosiers were  a double-digit favorite, so the fact that they won was not a surprise, but the manner in which they won was mighty impressive. For much of the first half, it was a back-and-forth game, with neither team really playing their best. Indiana closed the half on a run to take a

Big Ten Geeks: Season Preview, Part Two

Back to our season preview. Part one can be found here. We left off with the question of whether Matt Painter is in for a rebuilding year at Purdue. Josh: I think Painter’s proven to be a master at squeezing everything he can from the roster, but there’s just not enough Big Ten-ready talent this year in West Lafayette. They’re still playing hard on defense (Jacob Lawson, in particular, is proving to be a very capable defender), but the offense is a mess. The backcourt can’t make a shot, and the team is relying on freshman Ronnie Johnson to run

Big Ten Geeks: What's up with Wisconsin?

In the wake of Wisconsin’s lopsided loss at the hands of Florida, I urged caution. It was early. Florida is really good, and they were playing at home. Surely, it wouldn’t be long before Bo Ryan had his team playing well enough to put any fears about the Badgers missing the NCAA Tournament to rest. But after Wisconsin lost to Creighton, and had to rely on a second-half comeback to beat a mediocre Arkansas team, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone in Madison for doing a bit of hand-wringing. If you wanted to go by resume-building, Creighton was an excellent chance to

Hoops roundup: Minnesota outlasts Stanford

It wasn’t just a Saturday full of Big Ten football. Four Big Ten men’s hoops teams were in action, as well. Minnesota and Wisconsin beat Stanford and Arkansas, respectively, with the former’s coming in overtime. Catch up on all the ction and stats in this post, plus get in-game updates. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post. [ SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECT | RAPID RECAPS | WATCH B1G DUNKS ] MINNESOTA 66, STANFORD 63: BOX | AP RECAP FINAL: Minnesota needed one final shot by

Berggren scores 27 but Badgers fall

Jared Berggren led No. 24 Wisconsin with 27 points and eight rebounds, but it was not enough as the Badgers fell to No. 12 Creighton 84-74 Friday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in the Las Vegas Invitational. Creighton (5-0) shot 47 percent from the field (27-of-58). The Bluejays were hot from long range, hitting 8-of-20 threes for a 40 percent night from beyond the arc. Creighton and Wisconsin (3-2) battled back and forth all game. The lead changed hands 18 times. Doug McDermott sparked the Bluejays, as he contributed 30 points and yanked down eight rebounds for Creighton in