With one of the most improbable comebacks you’ll see this season, Illinois shocked Indiana in Champaign. This was a game controlled by the Hoosiers most of the way, and Tom Crean’s squad held an eight point lead with 3:01 remaining. At that point, KenPom’s win probability, which factors in time, score, and team quality, gave the Illini just a 1.1 percent chance of coming back to win. With those teams, in that situation, you’d expect Indiana to win 99 out of 100 times.
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This has been a trying season for Penn State. You don’t have to remind D.J. Newbill who has overcome bigger things in his life, including a transfer and the loss of his mother. The 6-4 sophomore is doing his part to get the Nittany Lions on track. How tough has it been? Penn State is 0-10 in the Big Ten and 8-14 overall. Not having star point guard Tim Frazier has made matters challenging for Newbill and Penn State, as Frazier is out with a left Achilles tendon injury suffered just four games into the season.
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The denizens of Champaign-Urbana (Chambana to the hip natives) woke up this morning dreaming of the NCAA tourney. Why not? Illinois’ stunning 74-72 defeat of No. 1 Indiana last night has breathed life into what was listing team and set off a party on Green Street.
Tyler Griffey made an uncontested layup at the buzzer off a baseline inbounds pass and Illinois beat No. 1 Indiana 74-72 on Thursday night, the fifth straight week the nation’s top-ranked team has lost.
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Yes, the object in basketball is score. You need athletes, shooters, passers and rebounders. But good teams also possess toughness.
On Saturday night after the men’s basketball game between Michigan State and Purdue, BTN airs the next episode of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2013” around 9:30 p.m. ET.
Have you heard the story about the time former Michigan basketball player Zack Novak convinced everyone at a party that he was Denard Robinson? I recently spoke with Novak by phone to hear this story and others as the Michigan graduate now plays professional basketball in the Netherlands.