The calendar says February, and the sense of urgency builds for teams with NCAA dreams. Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana look like locks. But Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern? Work must be done down the home stretch.
A big night in the Big Ten on Thursday, with three games, so there’s lots to talk about. And there’s also this little basketball game on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, between Michigan State and Ohio State that’s creating a little bit of buzz. Let’s look at the Friday morning headlines.
Cody Zeller scored 22 points and grabbed four rebounds and Christian Watford added 18 points and five boards as they teamed up to lead No. 23 Indiana to an 84-71 victory over Illinois on Thursday at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Find Gus Johnson’s best calls of the night from Indiana and get results from all three Big Ten games on our BTN.com scoreboard.
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We archive Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season during the games Johnson calls for BTN, and you can watch them all here. Right now, watch Johnson’s best calls from Thursday’s Indiana-Illinois game, including some very nice shots and a celebrity (pssst! It’s Joe Buck) spotted in the crowd.
You know how the basketball floor at Minnesota’s Williams Arena is raised up? We’ve always sort of enjoyed that classic feel to the old arena, especially when coaches sit on the little stools above their team’s bench. We’ve also often wondered if teams especially prepare for playing on the elevated platform. Today Wisconsin’s athletic department posted a YouTube video showing how Bo Ryan prepares his squad for diving for a loose ball and falling gracefully off the raised court. Watch it in this post. Game starts at 7 p.m. ET.
You have your questions. And, as usual, I have my answers. Put them together and you have another BTN.com mailbag. Basketball is on the minds of many, which is why I rank my top Big Ten point guards in this mailbag. But interest in football never wanes so we talk about some recruiting, too. Heck, some spring practices will begin in less than a month, if you can believe it.
Is there a more electric player in the Big Ten than Minnesota’s Rodney Williams? Of course not. The 6-7, 200-pound junior forward from Minneapolis is a human highlight film, seemingly executing one jaw-dropping, make-your-heart pound dunk every game. Like, for instance, the 360-degree one in this post.