If you aren’t on it already, you may want to jump on the Michigan bandwagon before it hits 88 mph and vanishes. The Wolverines are legit, notching another big win last night. This time, hard-charging and high-flying Iowa was the victim, as the Wolverines moved to 6-0 in the Big Ten. And, they are doing all of this without injured Mitch McGary, out with a back injury. Oh, and Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., also are gone. It’s incredible, really.
Big game tonight, Hoop Heads: Iowa at Michigan. And the Hawkeyes’ Roy Devyn Marble has some extra motivation. “I’m trying to knock a couple of teams off the bucket list,” said Marble, a senior and Michigan native who has never won at Michigan or Michigan State during his Iowa career. “I got both of them at home. I want to get them (on the road). It’s an important game because it’s the next one. Each game is important when you’re in the race to win a Big Ten championship.”
If Buckeyes fans aren’t feeling good today, we understand. That’s four losses in a row for Ohio State, which fell at Nebraska last night to a Cornhuskers’ squad that was 0-4 in the Big Ten. This is OSU’s longest losing skid since 2007-08.
There is so much to like about Iowa hoops. Where to start after witnessing its win over Minnesota? Let’s count the ways with this look at its remarkable depth. If Devyn Marble and Aaron White aren’t doing damage, guys like Josh Oglesby, Zach McCabe and Gabe Olaseni are. It’s quite impressive, really. Minnesota actually led Iowa on Sunday at halftime, 43-41. It lost, 94-73. Stunning.
The Ohio State tailspin continues, as the loss at Minnesota last night makes it three in a row for the Buckeyes. Weren’t they just ranked, like, No. 3 in the nation the other day? No one denies that this Ohio State team plays good defense. But the offense is struggling. More shooters are needed, among other things. And the turnovers need to be reduced. I’m looking at you, Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott.
Big win last night for Indiana over unbeaten Wisconsin. BIG win. This was the signature victory that had been lacking from the Hoosiers’ resume. It’s also a victory that may spark Indiana in what thus far has been a lackluster season. How big was the win for IU fans? They rushed the court. Seemed a bit excessive, but, what the heck.
Well, if you had any doubt if Iowa was legit, yesterday’s win at No. 3 Ohio State should quell that notion. This was the signature victory for the Hawkeyes under Fran McCaffery, who was coming off a one-game suspension for his double-technical/ejection last Sunday at Wisconsin. What a way to announce your return.
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What a barnburner last night at the Breslin Center, as Michigan State had to work overtime to beat Ohio State after blowing a 17-point second-half lead. Give Adreian Payne major props. He didn’t start as he dealt with a foot injury but fought through the pain and discomfort to notch 18 points and six rebounds in 32 minutes. Heroic. And how about that big 3-pointer he hit in the dying moments? So clutch.
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Time for today’s top Big Ten stories. Let’s start in cold and snowy Wisconsin, where the end to the Badgers’ football season has sent a chill down the spins of many fans. Wisconsin ended the season with consecutive losses to Penn State and South Carolina, as a season with BCS promise melted into a disappointing finish. Does a 9-4 record and bowl loss equal a successful season for Wisconsin?
Great win for Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, as the Spartans punctuated a 13-1 season with a dominating 24-20 triumph over Stanford in the 100th “Granddaddy of them All.” What’s next for the Spartans? A national championship run, of course. Hey, it could happen.
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News flash: The Ohio State defense has holes, but Urban Meyer thinks coordinator Luke Fickell can fill them. We shall see. A big Orange Bowl clash vs. Clemson and its high-flying offense looms on Friday. I am expecting a shootout. How can the Buckeye defense be fixed in a few weeks? Exactly. It can’t.
December in Pennsylvania has come to mean two things: 1. The holidays; 2. Bill O’Brien speculation. So, let’s start daily link there. David Jones of Pennlive.com takes a look at the annual O’Brien-to-the-NFL chatter.
Iowa’s senior trio of linebackers James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens has a chance to go out with a bang in the Outback Bowl vs. LSU. But let’s take a peak toward 2014 as we kick off daily links: Who will replace the three stalwarts?
Let’s start daily links here with Ohio State’s Braxton Miller winning the Silver Football from the Chicago Tribune as the Big Ten MVP. Not a big surprise but still impressive when you consider he missed almost three games with a knee injury. Had Miller posted big numbers in a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten title game, I think he would have been a Heisman finalist.
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USA Today has its All-American Team out. So, let’s start daily links there. Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard are the lone first-team choices from the Big Ten. Funny, wasn’t Wisconsin linebacker the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year? Borland was on the second team with Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien. Lewan? Really? He was one of the 10 best offensive linemen in America this season? Talk amongst yourself.