CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — January is about to melt into February. Winter has set in, but spring isn’t that far out of sight. And neither is the NCAA tourney. Wisconsin knows that. So does Illinois. That’s what made today’s game so huge, as a topsy-turvy Big Ten races was about to take another step toward perhaps making some sense. Or, maybe not.
No. 13 Indiana took down Penn State (recap), Wisconsin held off No. 25 Illinois (recap | Dienhart column) and Minnesota dropped Northwestern (recap) in a BTN tripleheader Sunday. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. Also, did you see Rodney Williams’ acrobatic And-one play and his impressive slam dunk? Watch them here.
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Ten of the 12 Big Ten women’s basketball teams were in action Sunday, including No. 12 Ohio State, which took down Illinois 96-84. Samantha Prahalis scored 28 points in the victory to move the Buckeyes one-half game behind Purdue for the Big Ten lead. Track all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and find stats, video and recaps in this post.
After a long break in which it moved into first place, Illinois saw its offense lay an egg in a losing effort at Penn State. It was clear that, despite the rousing win over Ohio State, this is still the same Illinois team we’ve watched all season. Let’s again roll out what we’ll have to start calling the Illini table:
While I wait for some Big Ten team – any Big Ten team – to take charge of this way-crazy, makes-no-sense Big Ten race, it’s time for this week’s 3-pointers from a cornfield somewhere outside Decatur, Illinois, on I-72.
With Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern well in hand late in the second half, Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans provided quite the highlight with a powerful alley-oop. On a night when the Badgers did a majority of their damage from downtown (12 of 23; 52 percent), it was Evans and his zero 3-pointers who carried the load. The junior scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the easy 77-57 victory at the Kohl Center. And then there was that late alley-oop. Also, let’s not forget Jordan Taylor’s perfect pass to make it all possible. Watch it now.
During an early break in the Northwestern-Wisconsin men’s basketball game Wednesday night, Teddy Greenstein, of the Chicago Tribune, presented Badgers star running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball with the Silver Football, awarded annually to the Big Ten’s MVP. Ball is the eighth Badger to win the prestigious award, voted on by the league’s coaches, and the first since Ron Dayne (1999). The junior running back totaled 2,229 yards, including a nation’s best 1,923 on the ground, and a Big Ten record 39 touchdowns. Watch the entire presentation now.