Illinois picked up a much needed home victory over Michigan State, and Illini fans would probably appreciate if the discussion ended right there. It was about as ugly as basketball can get, with turnovers and missed shots aplenty. The Spartans had more missed shots than points, and their 26.7 effective field goal percentage represented the program’s worst shooting night in at least 15 seasons (I only have eFG data back to 1997-98). To top it all off, conference player of the year contender Draymond Green, who hadn’t played anyway much due to foul trouble, left the game late with an apparent injury. Green has been diagnosed with a sprained left knee and is considered day-to-day, which is certainly better than many of the possible alternatives.
Illinois upset No. 10 Michigan State, 42-41, (recap) and No. 20 Wisconsin topped Penn State, 52-46, for its sixth consecutive win (recap) Tuesday night. Perhaps worse than the loss for the Spartans, Draymond Green left the game with a left knee injury (AP story), and he’ll undergo tests Wednesday. Catch up on all the action with our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post.
LeBron James’ ridiculous dunk against Chicago on Sunday and Blake Griffin’s silly slam against Oklahoma City on Monday got us thinking about the best dunks of the 2011-12 Big Ten season. Rodney Williams, Victor Oladipo and Sam Thompson’s highlights immediately come to mind, but there have been so many other memorable dunks. See my top 10 slams in this post. Did I forget a dunk? If so, click “other” on the poll or enter your selection in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Also, check out a collection of our dunk-centric highlights with our Did You See This? archive.
The race for top honors continues to be a battle between Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Michigan State’s Draymond Green. But the Big Ten also is marked by good point guard play, with players like Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, Michigan State’s Keith Appling, Michigan’s Trey Burke, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Purdue’s Lewis Jackson and Penn State’s Tim Frazier, among others, excelling.
With Wednesday’s Football Signing Day right around the corner, it’s time to focus on the areas of need for each Big Ten team. Should your team be eying offensive linemen? Wide receivers? Defensive backs? BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his top three recruiting needs for all 12 Big Ten teams in this post.
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. This week’s rankings feature a new wrinkle, as I offer up my Big Ten MVP for all 12 teams now that we’ve reached the midpoint of the conference season. The stats that go along with each MVP includes conference games only.
Wisconsin held off a late charge by Michigan to earn a 66-60 victory at the Kohl Center Monday night. The Wolverines used a 16-0 run to tie the game at 47, but the Badgers went 6-of-7 from the free throw line to hold on for their third consecutive Big Ten Conference victory. The win moves Wisconsin to 8-13 on the season (4-5 Big Ten), while Michigan falls to 16-6 (5-4 Big Ten). “(I’m) very proud of this group. We showed that we can persevere against a great team that shoots very well,” Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said.