Men's Basketball

All signs point to No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 8 Michigan State

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Tom Izzo One-on-One Interview

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There were many winners this week in the Big Ten. But none were bigger than Indiana and Michigan State, which notched impressive victories that solidified their place atop the standings. And, it sets up what should be a huge game on Tuesday, when the Hoosiers visit the Spartans in this week’s version of the “Game of the Year.”

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Big Ten Geeks: Boiling Over

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois exorcised some demons in a 20 point blowout of Purdue. The Fighting Illini seniors had never beaten the Boilermakers, but they changed that in emphatic fashion by attacking the offensive glass and limiting turnovers. In all, Illinois attempted 13 more field goals than Purdue, and those extra looks enabled John Groce’s team to score 1.20 points per trip despite 29 percent shooting on jumpers. It was Illinois’ best output since the win at Gonzaga, and it appears that the Illini of the season’s first month have returned.

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Today's links: Experts assess Big Ten teams

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Wow. I can’t find a juicier way to open daily links than with a string of recent quotes from Michigan State’s Derrick Nick. Here’s just one gem:  “I just feel like Michigan State is always the underdog and we don’t get the credit we deserve.” What? There’s plenty more like that right here. The Michigan State beat writers thank you, Derrick.

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Video: Tubby Smith dances after victory

After Minnesota downed No. 20 Wisconsin in overtime on Thursday night (and yes, there were many dunks), Minnesota coach Tubby Smith addressed his team in the locker room and then performed a most wonderful victory dance after announcing, “Today is a wonderful day, fellas. Valentine’s Day!” Watch the short but memorable clip here in this post.

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Survey says: Which coach works officials the best?

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Next time you watch a game, keep an eye on the sidelines. Watch the coaches jaw with the referees, calling them over and talking to them about a call or non-call. In the coaching biz, it’s called “working the officials,” and the Big Ten has some coaches who are masters at it.

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Iowa survives Penn State's late surge

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Iowa at Penn State - Men's Basketball Highlights

Devyn Marble scored 22 points and Melsahn Basabe blocked a potential game-tying layup with 21 seconds left to help Iowa hold off Penn State 74-72 on Thursday night. Iowa (16-9, 5-7 Big Ten) led by at least 10 twice in the game but couldn’t put away the league’s last-place team until late.

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