Something strange happened last night: There was no chaos in the Big Ten. No upsets. No unranked teams winning on the road vs. ranked teams. And, as you know, that’s not normal. So, instead of zaniness, we got a dose of predictable outcomes: Michigan State whipped Northwestern in East Lansing, and Wisconsin took care of business in the Kohl Center vs. Minnesota.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
For a night, Michigan products Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. are teammates again. Same goes for Burke and his former AAU bud Jared Sullinger. It all happens at 9 p.m. ET tonight at the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. That’s right, Burke, Hardaway Jr. and Sullinger, along with former Indiana star Victor Oladipo, are all on the same team in the annual freshman-sophomore All-State Weekend event.
There were two Big Ten men’s hoops games on Thursday night, and both had NCAA Tournament implications. No. 9 Michigan State cruised to an 85-70 victory over Northwestern in the early game, while No. 21 Wisconsin held off Minnesota, 78-70, in the second game of the evening.
Most of us can agree with the notion that five Big Ten schools appear headed for the NCAA tourney: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin. And there is one school that’s seemingly on the fringe: Minnesota. The Golden Gophers can spruce up their resume with a win tonight at Wisconsin. And, let’s be honest: Minnesota’s resume needs some polishing.
When it comes to college and pro success among recent Big Ten basketball players, it doesn’t get much better than Morris Peterson. Not only did the ex-Michigan State star claim Big Ten Player of the Year and All-America honors en route to the Spartans’ 2000 NCAA title, the Big Ten’s last crown, he enjoyed a successful 11-year NBA career.
Indiana’s strange and bizarre season took another unexpected and maddening turn last night with a home loss to last-place Penn State. How can this IU team beat top-10 squads like Wisconsin and Michigan in Bloomington, and then lose to the likes of the Nittany Lions and Northwestern at home? It’s safe to say, panic has set in for Indiana.