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.
The Big Ten season is halfway over—and the best is yet to come in a conference race that remains in flux. More clarity may come this week, which shapes up as one of the best yet of the season. In particular, this is a big week for Michigan State and Indiana. And matchup-wise, I can’t wait for the battle between the Big Ten’s top freshmen: Michigan’s Trey Burke and Indiana’s Cody Zeller. See my game rankings for this week’s action in this post.
This shapes up as one of the best weeks of the season with several marquee matchups. The teams most on the spot? It’s Michigan State and Indiana, which each has two big games. The Spartans play host to Michigan and travel to Illinois; the Hoosiers have two on the road: Michigan and archrival Purdue. But don’t forget about surging Wisconsin, either. The Badgers, winners of five straight and one game out of the Big Ten lead, travel to Penn State and host first-place Ohio State. Get ready for the week ahead in this post.
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.
A new class of future Big Ten football stars will sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, and BTN will air a live, 90-minute “Football Signing Day Special” at 4:30 PM ET that day to reveal which student-athletes will attend Big Ten universities.
BTN producers followed around popular broadcaster Gus Johnson during a recent trip to Chicago for Northwestern’s upset victory over Michigan State. From the time he got off the plane to the final whistle at Welsh-Ryan Arena, BTN cameras were there to offer a brief glimpse into the life of one of the nation’s busiest game-callers. Not only is the footage terrific, it’s informative. For example, did you know Gus has a locker room to use to get ready before the game, or that he prefers to steam his gameday attire in the shower? Watch Gus’ arrival into Chicago now and check out a clip of him preparing for the game and another calling the action in this post.