Eight NCAA bids. That’s how many Big Ten teams CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm has in the NCAA tournament. Of course, there’s still a lot of time left in the season until March Madness unfolds, and schools will be working madly to enhance their resumes. Between then and now, I will talk to Palm each Wednesday and upload the phone conversation right here. This week we discussed the Illini’s big win over Ohio State, the upcoming Indiana vs. Ohio State tilt, and how many No. 1 seeds the Big Ten theoretically has right now.
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With an amazing 43-point performance from Brandon Paul, Illinois shocked Ohio State in Champaign. Coming in, this looked like a game that the Illini might hope to keep close with their defense, but it seemed unlikely that Bruce Weber’s struggling offense would be able to scrape together enough points against the nation’s top defense. That analysis went out the window once Paul got rolling.
On a night when legendary Illinois coach Lou Henson was honored with a banner that was raised to the rafters of Assembly Hall, Illini guard Brandon Paul raised the roof on the place. Paul notched a career-high 43-point effort in propelling Illinois to a 79-74 victory over Ohio State in what could be a season-defining game for the Illini.
Find out more about: Brandon Paul
Illinois’ Brandon Paul had a night to remember Tuesday. The junior exploded for 43 points and eight 3-pointers, both career highs, in Illinois’ upset victory over No. 5 Ohio State. He also played his share of defense, with a career-high four blocks and two steals. Basically, he was a star on both ends of the floor. Never was that more evident than on a late sequence where he hit a fadeaway 3-pointer and stuffed preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Jared Sullinger on the ensuing play. Watch the sequence now. Also, check out another one of his blocks and the Twitter reaction to his big night in this post.
Brandon Paul’s career-high 43 points helped Illinois upset No. 5 Ohio State (recap) and No. 7 Michigan State stayed perfect in Big Ten play by throttling Iowa (recap) in Big Ten men’s action Tuesday. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, recaps and video in this post. Also, watch our Paul-centric highlight from Illinois’ upset win over No. 5 Ohio State now.
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Michigan State senior captain Draymond Green doesn’t do a lot of his work high above the rim. No, most of Green’s damage on the offensive end is done with jumpers and inside post moves. That wasn’t the case late in the first half of Michigan State’s game against Iowa on Tuesday night, however. With just under three minutes remaining before halftime, Green ran the floor and got high up to connect with Brandan Kearney on a terrific alley-oop. Watch the alley-oop now and be sure to check out Green’s face on the way back down the floor.
With every Big Ten basketball team having played anywhere between 15-17 games, we’ve reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-12 season. Pretty soon it will be March, and that means the Big Ten tourney and NCAA tourney aren’t that far off. OK, they’re still two months away, but the first couple of months sure didn’t take long. Find Brent Yarina’s midway Big Ten honors in this post.