With Wisconsin’s heartbreaking national semifinal loss to Kentucky late Saturday night, the Big Ten’s 2013-14 hoops season is officially complete. It was a great season, one that saw three Big Ten teams make the Elite Eight. Now, it’s time for my All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team.
Ohio State dropped a tight one against an in-state “Little Brother,” which had to make the loss all the more frustrating. There wasn’t anything especially unique about this loss—once again, Ohio State’s offense stalled out when it had to play in the half-court. The outside shooting was tepid (3 of 12 on 3s), and the ballhandling was suspect (the Buckeyes turned it over on 21 percent of their possessions; Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross each had five of their own). And on the 27 occasions when Ohio State had an opportunity to rebound one of its frequent misses, Thad Matta’s team came up with the ball just three times.
College basketball fans were treated to another outstanding day of the Big Ten tournament. In addition to some great games, we had plenty of exceptional individual performances on the hardwood. With four more games in the book and an exciting semifinal round set up for Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman provide their all-Friday team from Day Two of the tourney.
Wisconsin honored its three seniors, including Ben Brust, prior to Wednesday night’s home finale vs. Purdue. The senior class helped lead the Badgers to an 98-36 overall record and a 48-22 clip in Big Ten play. Watch Wisconsin’s ceremony in this post.
Ben Brust, along with Zach Bohannon, will play his final game at the Kohl Center on Wednesday night. The game tips off at 9 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go. Before Brust is honored during the pregame festivities, which you can watch on BTN2Go, I have compiled some of his top moments. Enjoy, Badgers fans!
Michigan clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title this weekend, as it took care of business against Minnesota at home while Michigan State was upset by Illinois in East Lansing.
Ben Brust played with a heavy heart during Wisconsin’s 75-71 win over Iowa on Sunday. Constant thoughts were running through the mind of the Badgers’ senior shooting guard. What could have been. What was. What isn’t anymore.
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The exhibition basketball season is upon us (view our streaming schedule). Soon enough, the games will start to count. With that in mind, I thought I’d offer up my All-Big Ten Underrated Team. See my five guys in this post. Who did I miss? Tweet it my way, @BTNBrentYarina.
The Big Ten is loaded with talented basketball players, so it’s only natural that some guys to go unnoticed or receive less respect than they deserve. That’s why I compiled my 2012-13 All-Big Ten Underrated Team. Who made the list? Find out in this post. Did I forget anyone? If so, leave it in the comment box at the bottom of the post.
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We all know who the superstars are in the Big Ten—Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Deshaun Thomas, Brandon Paul, Trevor Mbakwe. This year the list really could go on quite a bite. But who do I think have been some of the most underrated players this season in the conference? Glad you asked.
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Wisconsin picked up an overtime win over Michigan in a contest with plenty of late-game drama. Wisconsin and Michigan both found themselves with plenty of fouls to give at the end of regulation on Saturday, but neither team opted to hack to deprive the opponent of a desperation heave.
Right when Ben Brust’s buzzer-beater fell Saturday afternoon, it brought back memories of Evan Turner’s game-winner in the 2010 Big Ten tourney. Honestly, the two shots are that similar. Not just from the standpoint they both came against Michigan, either. Both also followed clutch shots by the Wolverines and were released from close to the same spot on the floor.
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When talking most improved player, the Big Ten boasts plenty of candidates. There are proven guys who have taken their game to another level, such as Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and there are previously unproven guys who have made the most of extra playing time, such as Ohio State’s Shannon Scott.
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Continuing the discussion of what each team could use this holiday season. Part one here.
Usually, it’s fans seeking out Ben Brust and getting all big-eyed in his presence. Recently, as part of an NCAA.com video feature, the tables turned for Brust, who got to meet Kevin Harvick, his favorite NASCAR driver. In the feature, Brust toured Harvick’s garage, which happens to include a basketball court, and the two played H-A-P-P-Y, their version of H-O-R-S-E. Watch the entertaining video here.
It’s another light week for college basketball with many students enduring finals, and the Big Ten is no different. Still, we got a few interesting games last night that are worth discussing, plus the quiet period provides us a nice chance to catch up on some individual player stats. Let’s jump right in.
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No doubt that after the Hoosiers’ dramatic win over top-ranked Kentucky that the talk centers on whether Tom Crean’s rebuilding job of the once-proud program is complete. There are certainly a lot of reasons to think so, even aside from the whole just-beat-the-best-team-in-the-country thing. For one, let’s take a look at the talent on the roster.
When it comes to the Big Ten’s biggest surprises this men’s hoops season, it doesn’t get much bigger than Wisconsin’s Ben Brust. The sophomore, who managed just 45 minutes last season, was averaging 11.9 points per game entering Wednesday night’s contest against Green Bay. And on Wednesday, Brust ended the first half with a terrific buzzer-beater. Not only did the shot beat the horn, it also was from a highly difficult angle, practically behind the backboard. Watch the shot now.
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.
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.
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s latest installment, for action from Nov. 21-27, in this post.