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Dienhart: Intrastate battle headlines slate

The Big Ten features 11 men’s basketball games this week, including an interesting non-league contest that has Michigan playing at Arkansas. Will this week’s slate of games feature as many upsets, further jumbling the conference race? Here’s how I rank the games this week. 1. Michigan State at Michigan, Tuesday. How will the Spartans respond to the end of their 15-game winning streak? Like Michigan State, the Wolverines are coming off a road loss. This could be the road win that stamps the Spartans as the top Big Ten team. Or maybe not. 2. Wisconsin at Illinois, Sunday. Both teams

Dienhart: Big Ten Hoops Player Rankings

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s weekly Big Ten player rankings are in, with the same big men remaining at the head of the class. Those players, of course, are Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Michigan State’s Draymond Green and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger. But who is the Big Ten’s top guard? See Dienhart’s top 15 Big Ten players, plus his next 10, in this post. Also, get ready for Tuesday night’s slate of action with our Big Ten scoreboard. 1. Jared Sullinger, C, Ohio State, So. – A man among boys, Sullinger is a lethal combination of talent and effort who never

Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings

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. See Brent’s rankings in this post. The latest national polls are out, as well. Where does your team land? And check out all of the Big Ten statistical leaders. 1. Michigan State (15-3, 4-1) – This stat from

Dienhart: Let's look at the week ahead

Up is down. In is out. Black is white. Welcome to Big Ten basketball 2012, a season filled with twists and turns that have jumbled the race (standings). And the conference season isn’t even half over. This past week was filled with tumult that scrambled the league standings and made one thing perfectly clear: This is going to be a wild race for the Big Ten championship. Last week’s craziness began with Illinois shocking Ohio State behind Brandon Paul’s 43 points. Thursday saw Minnesota—winless in the Big Ten—dump Indiana. Then on Saturday, Michigan State had its 15-game winning streak end

Big Ten Geeks: At the turn

It’s certainly been an interesting start to the Big Ten season. Wisconsin looks vulnerable, Indiana looks much improved, and Minnesota is still fighting after losing its star. But what do that numbers say at the one-third mark? Below are the tempo free team statistics for the Big Ten. “PPP” refers to points per possession. Team    Offensive PPP       Defensive PPP       Efficiency Margin    Ohio State 1.12 0.87 0.25 Michigan State 1.15 0.98 0.17 Michigan 1.06 0.99 0.07 Purdue 1.06 1.04 0.02 Illinois 1.00 0.98 0.02 Wisconsin 0.99 0.97 0.02 Minnesota 1.02 1.05 -0.03 Northwestern 1.02 1.07

Can You Name that UW Post Move?

During Wisconsin’s game against Nebraska BTN took viewers inside a Wisconsin practice and focused on the various moves taught to the Badgers’ big men. What do former NBA greats Dominique Wilkins, Moses Malone, Jack Sikma, Kevin McHale and Bernard King all have in common? They have fundamental back-to-the-basket moves named after them at Wiscosnin. Watch the video to see each one. Then feel free to use these during your own Nerf basketball games at home, office, or dorm room. Find more “Did You See This?’ videos, see other Wisconsin’s Best videos, and subscribe to our free “Did You See This?”

Gophers, Buckeyes, Badgers post Sunday wins

Joe Coleman scored 23 points and grabbed five rebounds and Rodney Williams added 14 points and eight boards as they teamed up to lead Minnesota to an 80-66 victory  over Penn State on Sunday (box score). Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lift No. 5 Ohio State to an 80-63 win over No. 8 Indiana (box score). In the third game of the day Wisconsin beat Nebraska 50-45 (box score). Full video highlights inside this post. Jump inside for recaps and more links to our men’s scoreboard, too. On the women’s front, there were four

Dienhart: Who's Up & Down This Week

That was quite a week in Big Ten men’s basketball. When I wrote Monday about Wisconsin’s struggles, I didn’t imagine they’d shake it off at Purdue later in the week. Then I spoke with Jerry Palm and he told me the Big Ten had eight tourney teams as of right now – we’ll check back with him next week to see if that’s changed. The week got better when I attended the Illinois game and witnessed Brandon Paul’s amazing 43-point night. That will surely shake up my weekly Big Ten Player Rankings. Now it’s time for me to end the

Big Ten Geeks: A Bad Night for the Hoosier State

How do you break a Big Ten losing streak? Last night, the unlikely answer was to take a trip to snowy Indiana. Wisconsin and Minnesota got their seasons back on track with impressive wins in the Hoosier state. First, the Badgers used a return to shooting form and a bit of good fortune to snap Purdue’s 26-game home winning streak. Wisconsin’s offense was unstoppable in the early going, as the Badgers went uptempo (by their standards) and often took the first available open shot. The strategy worked, as Wisconsin made five of their first six attempts from deep and opened

Minnesota tops Indiana; Wisconsin drops Purdue

Minnesota survived a furious second-half comeback effort by Indiana in Bloomington to beat the Hoosiers 77-74 to win the Gophers’ first conference game of the season. Cody Zeller led Indiana with 23 points and eight rebounds. Have you seen our “Best of Gus Johnson” video calls yet? We’ve got some good ones from tonight. Earlier in another conference game, Ben Brust went 4-of-7 from the field and led five Wisconsin players in double digits with 13 points as the Badgers defeated Purdue 67-62. And we definitely be continued our ongoing feature “Did You See This?’ where BTN.com editors keep their