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Big Ten Geeks: Michigan provides another beauty

The Big Ten served up yet another “game of the year” candidate in Michigan’s extra period triumph over Ohio State. This game featured just about everything–impressive defensive plays, back-and-forth big shots down the stretch, and plenty of scoring. Truth be told, you probably couldn’t construct a team more liable to be involved in aesthetically pleasing games than 2012-13 Michigan.

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Big Ten Geeks: Defense and Deshaun

In a matchup of the Big Ten’s two best defenses, it was Ohio State that prevailed with a nine-point home victory over Wisconsin. Both of these teams rely on good old fashioned B1G defense: make you miss (without fouling), then secure the carom. Turnovers are optional.

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Big Ten Geeks: Spartans Outlast Badgers

Michigan State won a battle of attrition in frigid Madison, edging Wisconsin by a 49-47 score. The Spartans are now 5-0 in games decided by three points or less, and this win was especially fortunate. The Badgers did an excellent job on defense, forcing Michigan State to take an abnormally high proportion of two-point jumpers:

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Big Ten Geeks: Badgers Shock Indiana

Wisconsin now owns the most impressive result in all of college basketball after its five point win at Indiana. During the Badgers’ nonconference struggles, we Geeks wondered what was up with Wisconsin’s defense. While the Badgers were still stifling the offense of many a cupcake, they were getting lit up (in a relative sense) against tournament-level teams.

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Big Ten Geeks: Gophers make a statement

On Wednesday, Minnesota made a statement, beating Illinois by 17 points in Champaign. This was a strange one, as the Illini actually negated the Gophers’ huge on-paper advantage on the glass. Instead, it was a big discrepancy in shooting accuracy that told the story. Minnesota, normally a mediocre outside shooting team, hit nine of 15 from behind the arc, while Illinois made just three of its 24 three-point attempts. The Gopher defense certainly had a lot to do with the Illini’s struggles–there just weren’t all that many open looks–but it was also just one of those nights (see Andre Hollins’ banked-in three from nearly midcourt to beat the shot clock).

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Big Ten Geeks: Master of his Craft?

Ohio State picked up a solid road victory at Purdue last night, but the bigger story may be the point guard controversy simmering in Columbus.

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Big Ten Geeks: Digging deeper on Illinois' offense

The 2011-12 Illini would push their record to 15-3 with a win over Ohio State (you remember, the Brandon Paul game), and they climbed all the way to 22nd in the AP poll. What followed was a complete collapse–Illinois went 2-12 the rest of the way, and what had looked like a surefire at-large team ended up with no postseason appearance at all. Somehow, the Illini had covered the full range of possibilities we had covered in our 2011-12 season preview (hey, the Brandon Paul/Kemba Walker comparison doesn’t seem quite so insane now!). Could such a nosedive happen again?

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Big Ten Geeks: Michigan State and Turnovers

In our preseason Michigan State point/counterpoint, Josh and I debated how the Spartans would replace Draymond Green. Of major concern were not only Green’s offensive contributions but also his excellent defensive acumen. So, after 12 games, how does this Green-less squad compare to last season’s team?

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Big Ten Geeks: Digging into Indiana's defense

This week’s slate is extremely light, so rather than dwelling on the few results we do have (Minnesota handling North Dakota State in impressive fashion, Illinois struggling with yet another low major), let’s delve deeper into a subject that will play a major factor in the Big Ten race: Indiana’s defense.

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Big Ten Geeks: Contenders and Pretenders

Up until Saturday night, Illinois’ season has been described in strange terms. At that point, it was “surprising” that Illinois was undefeated. The Illini won the Maui Invitational, which was a very “prestigious” early-season tournament. This isn’t normally how one talks about an undefeated team that’s ranked in the top-15.

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Big Ten Geeks: Four weeks in & what do we know?

With the volume of competitive games slowing considerably this week, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we’ve seen in the first four weeks of the 2012-13 basketball season.

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Big Ten Geeks: Northwestern wins in Waco

It’s been a bit of a quiet week for Big Ten basketball, with most teams facing tune-up games against over-matched opponents. Let’s take a quick look at the games that weren’t complete blowouts.

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Big Ten Geeks: Longing for the Bubble

Purdue isn’t used to this. Under Matt Painter, only once have we seen the Boilermakers struggle, and that was in Painter’s understandably rebuidling 2005-06 season, which managed only a 9-19 record in the wake of Carl Landry’s knee injury that kept him off the court for the majority of the season. Since then, Purdue has won no fewer than 22 games a season. It didn’t matter if the team was relying on freshmen, whether it was short, or whether key players were lost to injuries. Painter somehow kept the whole thing going.

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Big Ten Geeks: The ACC Strikes Back

In a bit of a surprise, the ACC took four of six games last night to clinch a tie in this year’s Challenge. Let’s look at how they did it.

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Big Ten Geeks: Indiana's defense impresses

All in all, it was quite a good first night for the Big Ten in its Challenge with the ACC. Let’s take a quick look at the results.

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