It’s no secret that Illinois’ Meyers Leonard is blessed with a lot of athleticism. The 7-foot-1 big man moves and leaps unlike most guys his size, and he displayed it once again Wednesday at Northwestern. Late in the first half – a frustrating one for Leonard and the Illini – the breakout sophomore jumped out of the gym on a one-handed slam. Look at how high he got up there. And listen to that rim rattle! As BTN color commentator Shon Morris put it: “I think that rim is going to file assault charges.” Watch the dunk now and see his game-sealing block in this post.
That was exciting! The season’s first BTN Super Wednesday doubleheader, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, came down to the final second in both games. In the first one, Meyers Leonard swatted away a shot to seal Illinois’ win over Northwestern (recap). And in the nightcap, Iowa denied Minnesota on the final possession (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and view our Super Wednesday schedule.
BTN’s first original series and its highest rated last year, he Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012 returns at 8 p.m. ET Sunday. The Emmy-nominated, documentary-style program takes viewers deep inside Big Ten basketball programs, spending consecutive days with different conference teams to follow the season’s most compelling storylines during the 10-week march toward the Big Ten Tournament.
Only a freshman, Trey Burke is playing like one of the nation’s elite point guards. And the nation is taking notice, evidenced by Burke being named a finalist for the annual Bob Cousy Award on Wednesday. The Wolverine averages 14 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, and he’s joined on the list by Big Ten rivals Aaron Craft, of Ohio State, and Jordan Taylor, of Wisconsin. See the complete list of finalists.
Wisconsin and Michigan State squared off last night in a game that will not help the Big Ten’s national image. Via a combination of slow pace, good defense, and missed shots that both teams would normally make, the Spartans and Badgers labored for points. It took Michigan State over 13 minutes of game time to break into double digits–and even then they were only down two points. Wisconsin’s shooting nightmare that began against Iowa persisted, and it truly looked like the first team to 50 would win.
In case you missed it, there was a thrilling and – depending on your allegiance – controversial finish to the Michigan State-Wisconsin men’s hoops game Tuesday night. Trailing by three in overtime, Ryan Evans banked in what looked like a game-tying 3-pointer just as the buzzer sounded. The officials reviewed the call for nearly five minutes, and they eventually waved the basket off, giving Michigan State the 63-60 victory. Watch the shot and all of its replays now.
Tim Hardaway’s son may star in Ann Arbor, but there’s a point guard in East Lansing who can cross it over well enough to make the elder Hardaway smile. Michigan State’ Keith Appling showed off his killer crossover in Tuesday’s thrilling victory at Wisconsin, and he didn’t need the usually required two hands, either. Appling used his left hand only to break ankles and drop jaws – although some people will argue it was a travel. To make the crossover even better, Appling parlayed the move into a driving layup. Watch the move and bucket now.