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Tom’s Take: Honors, stock watch, top performers, notes & quotes

The lid has been taken off Big Ten play, and five schools are off to 2-0 starts. Two of them aren’t a shock, as Maryland and Indiana are out of the gates quickly. But it’s a surprise to see Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa also 2-0 in Big Ten action.

Video: Ohio State survives Illinois' last-second heave

The Illinois-Ohio State men’s basketball game Sunday night featured an exciting finish. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, and the game wasn’t decided until the final shot. Trailing 74-73 after a Malcolm Hill 3-pointer with three seconds left, Illinois fouled Marc Loving, who hit the first free throw and missed the second. Hill grabbed the missed free throw, took a few dribbles and heaved a potential game-winner from the other side of the court. The shot looked like it was on line, but it went to the left the rim, meaning Ohio State survived, 75-73, and moved to 2-0

#BTNStandout: Purdue's Johnny Hill dunks over Iowa defenders

Purdue point guard Johnny Hill had one of those “are you kidding me” dunks against Iowa on Saturday night. Trailing 55-50 with just under five minutes remaining in the game, Hill drove the lane and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk over two Iowa defenders. The Mackey Arena crowd rose to their feet and erupted in cheer following the huge flush. Check it out in the video at the top of this post. This has to be up there with the best dunks we have seen this season. Congrats, Mr. Hill. You have officially earned the title of #BTNStandout!

Spartans present Tom Izzo with game ball following Saturday's win

There was a great scene in the visitor’s locker room following No. 1 Michigan State’s 69-61 road win over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. Injured Michigan State star Denzel Valentine presented Tom Izzo with the game ball, five days after the death of the coach’s father, Carl, 90. The Spartans lost the first game following Carl Izzo’s death, Tuesday night at Iowa, their first loss the season. The presentation would have happened in Iowa City had the Spartans won, but Valentine and the Spartans didn’t have to wait too much longer to recognize their coach. “It was tough to come up

Rick Mount honored at halftime of Purdue-Iowa game

There are good players. There are great players. And then there is Purdue basketball legend Rick Mount. The Boilermakers’ all-time leading scorer was honored at halftime of Saturday’s Purdue vs. Iowa men’s basketball game on BTN. Take a look at the full video at the top of this post. Mount left Purdue as the Big Ten’s all-time scoring leader with 2,323 points through only three varsity seasons. That record was later broken and is currently held by former Indiana standout Calbert Cheaney. The Boilermaker legend led Purdue to a 56-20 overall record during his career. Enjoy, Purdue fans!

#BTNStandout: Zak Showalter hits all eight shots vs. Rutgers

Zak Showalter had the kind of day players dream about Saturday afternoon. [ MORE: AP: Showalter, Wisconsin down Rutgers, 79-57 ] The Wisconsin junior and former walk-on scored a career-high 21 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-4 from downtown, in an easy win vs. Rutgers. That’s right, he didn’t miss a single shot en route to becoming the first Big Ten player since 2013 (Indiana’s Will Sheehey) to have a perfect day from the field with at least eight shot attempts. Showalter also played some defense, rising for another highlight-reel block. Watch every one of Showalter’s

#BingeOnBTN: Catch up on all of Saturday's Big Ten hoops games

There were six Big Ten men’s basketball games on Saturday, five of which were on BTN/BTN2Go. [ MORE: Catch up on all of today’s games on our Big Ten scoreboard ] Iowa highlighted the slate with an incredible 70-63 comeback win over Purdue. In other Big Ten action: Michigan rolled Penn State, 79-56, to move to 2-0 in Big Ten play, Wisconsin dropped Rutgers, 79-57, to hand Greg Gard his first Big Ten victory, No. 1 Michigan State picked up an impressive 69-61 win at Minnesota, Indiana topped Nebraska, 79-69, and Maryland cruised by Northwestern, 72-59. See the day’s full

Michigan star Caris LeVert to miss Big Ten home opener vs. Penn State

Michigan star guard Caris LeVert will miss Saturday’s game vs. Penn State due to a lower left leg injury, the team announced a couple hours before today’s noon ET tip. [ MORE: Watch Penn State at Michigan on BTN2Go ] “Caris will miss today’s game and his future status will be determined on a day-to-day basis,” Michigan coach John Beilein said in a team release. “We hope to know more this upcoming week as he continues with his treatment.” LeVert, a preseason All-Big Ten honoree, is averaging 17.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season; he registered his first

#BingeOnBTN: Jon Crispin previews Saturday's BTN games

Big Ten fans will get their football fix New Year’s Day, and they’ll get their basketball fix Saturday. BTN/BTN2Go will air five of the day’s six games, as part of a 10-hour marathon, starting with Penn State at Michigan (noon ET) and ending with Maryland at Northwestern (8 ET). View the full scoreboard. We asked BTN analyst Jon Crispin to tell us why each team in the five-game marathon can win, and you can read his thoughts below. PENN STATE at MICHIGAN (NOON ET) Penn State will win if … it can limit Michigan to 60 points or fewer by

Ohio State's Daniel Giddens throws down two huge dunks

Ohio State freshman big man Daniel Giddens put on a dunk show in the first half of the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener against Minnesota on Wednesday night. [ MORE: Check out other #BTNStandout performances ] The first highlight-reel dunk from Giddens came early on in the first half with Ohio State holding onto a 13-4 lead over the Gophers. JaQuan Lyle threw a picture-perfect alley-oop pass that Giddens grabbed and threw down a thunderous two-handed reverse dunk. Check it out in the video below. As good as Giddens’ first dunk was, his second one was arguably even more impressive. This