Roughly halfway through the nonconference basketball season, CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm decided to take another look at what the NCAA tourney bracket looks like. First impression: Jerry really likes the Big Ten. Nine teams make the field, more than any other conference, including Northwestern (No. 10), which eyes its first NCAA berth, and Indiana (No. 7), which hasn’t made the tourney since 2007-08. See all the Big Ten teams Palm included in this post.
It’s been a quiet week so far in Big Ten land, but we did get two interesting games last night. Let’s review the light slate, as well as a couple noteworthy performers to this point of the season.
Rodney Williams and Minnesota pulled away from Appalachian State on BTN Tuesday (recap), while Iowa lost at instate rival Northern Iowa (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard. You can also find halftime and final recap stories in this post. And all season long our contributing bloggers, The Big Ten Geeks, offer up their take on the nightly action, so be sure to check out their work. BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina also serves up his Big Ten power rankings every week.
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Nearly a month into the men’s hoops season, it’s clear the future of the Big Ten is in good hands. I say this because of the conference’s loaded sophomore class, one headlined by possible NBA departures Jared Sullinger and Tim Hardaway Jr.
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 at that time. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below.
The Big Ten Conference announced its latest Men’s Basketball Players of the Week for Nov. 28-Dec. 4. Three players were honored, including a player who has now been honored three times this season. See all the recipients in this post. Also, check out the women’s honorees.
Sometimes, it is how you lose. In the big picture, losing by 3 on Xavier’s home floor is no reason for Purdue fans to be upset. But that’s a tough sell in light of the fact that the Boilermakers enjoyed a 19-point lead with under 10 minutes to play. Matt Painter’s team dominated the first 30 minutes of the game on defense, forcing 20 turnovers. But over the final stretch, the Boilers forced two. Meanwhile, the Musketeers’ offense (especially Tu Holloway) came to life, and outscored Purdue 30-8 over the final quarter of the game. It should be noted that Robbie Hummel battled cramps throughout the game, and that certainly might have affected his performance down the stretch. But it’s no secret that Hummel isn’t the most durable player–even beyond his two ACL tears he’s missed games for smaller injuries. I don’t see why that would change this season, so Purdue should expect to be without its best player for at least stretches of games. What that means is that Matt Painter needs to find a second scorer to support Hummel while he’s healthy, and to lead the offense when he’s hurt.