The 1988-89 Big Ten basketball season was one for the ages and the league was stacked with great teams and players. Indiana was a powerhouse and Illinois would wind up in the Final Four. As the Hoosiers and Illini prepare to play tonight, (8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go) look back at this incredible moment from their 1989 game at Indiana.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne is as long as any player in the Big Ten. That length really comes in handy when his teammates decide to loft a pass his way in the paint. Keith Appling knows that as well as any Spartan. The first-year Michigan State point guard found Payne open around the rim in the first half of Wednesday night’s game against Penn State, and the result was pretty obvious. Two easy points. Watch the Appling-to-Payne alley right here.
Blessed with unreal athleticism and great genes, Purdue’s Kelsey Barlow is no stranger to making his way onto the highlight shows. The junior has his frustrating moments, no doubt, but he can drop a lot of jaws if given the opportunity. Barlow did just that Tuesday night when he posterized preseason Big Ten player of the year Jared Sullinger in a narrow loss at No. 3 Ohio State. The dunk drew rave reviews from the ESPN crew, with Mike Tirico saying in amazement, “That is pretty special.” Indeed. Watch the dunk now and see Barlow’s other big slam in this post.
Purdue’s Jacob Lawson has experienced the highs and lows that come with being a freshman in the Big Ten. In Saturday night’s rivalry game against No. 20 Indiana, however, the young big man provided the highlight of his young career. It all started on the defensive end, too, as Lawson stole a pass intended for Cody Zeller, another freshman, and took it the length of the court for a powerful slam dunk. Watch Lawson’s play now and track the action from Mackey Arena.
Wisconsin big man Jared Berggren displayed his footwork and acrobatic ability against No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday. Early in the first half of Wisconsin’s 58-52 loss, Berggren backed his way into the lane against star Jared Sullinger, did a half spin and, with his back to the basket, flipped it in for two points. ESPN color analyst Dan Dakich thought there may have been a travel on the play, but either way, it was a nimble and impressive bucket for the big man. Watch the play now.
It was another action-packed week in the Big Ten as proven by the number of videos our readers watched on these very pages. With some amazing plays punctuating some fantastic finishes, we posted a number of clips since last Friday. Below in this post is the list of the five most-watched videos over the past seven days.
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In a conference that boasts Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke, sometimes Iowa’s Aaron White flies under the radar when it comes to the Big Ten’s top freshmen. A few more plays like the one White made in Wednesday’s win against Minnesota, and his name will be up there with Zeller and Burke. Watch White’s impressive And-1 off of a missed shot now and check out Devyn Marble posterize Minnesota’s 6-foot-11 center Ralph Sampson III in this post.
Our Auto-Owners Insurance Tip-off Show, with Dave Revsine, Jim Jackson and Gary Williams, was live at Crisler Center before No. 22 Michigan hosted No. 20 Indiana on Wednesday night. During the 30-minute show, we had a feature where Michigan senior Zack Novak gave us a tour of Michigan’s new facilities at Crisler Center, formerly Crisler Arena.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Tim Hardaway’s ridiculous alley-oop and get all of the announcer’s best calls from Wednesday’s Indiana-Michigan game.
Tuesday’s Michigan State-Illinois game was far from a thing of beauty. In the final minutes of the first half, in fact, ESPN play-by-play guy Mike Tirico begged, “This half NEEDS to end!” As inept as the offenses were in the 42-41 decision at Assembly Hall, there were a couple highlights: Meyers Leonard’s alley-oop and Brandon Paul’s poke.
Derek Elston averaged 2.6 points per game in Indiana’s first nine Big Ten games. On Sunday night against Iowa, the junior forward erupted for eight points in a 70-second span, hitting a 3-pointer, a deep jumper and another 3 on successive first-half possessions. The scoring spree not only marked Elston’s most points in a game since he totaled eight against Howard on Dec. 19, it also turned a tie game into an eight-point Indiana advantage. Oh, and for good measure, the junior blocked a shot to help create the final bucket of the outburst. Watch Elston’s rare explosion now and see Cody Zeller’s dunk-a-thon in this post.
BTN producers followed around popular broadcaster Gus Johnson during a recent trip to Chicago for Northwestern’s upset victory over Michigan State. From the time he got off the plane to the final whistle at Welsh-Ryan Arena, BTN cameras were there to offer a brief glimpse into the life of one of the nation’s busiest game-callers. Not only is the footage terrific, it’s informative. For example, did you know Gus has a locker room to use to get ready before the game, or that he prefers to steam his gameday attire in the shower? Watch Gus’ arrival into Chicago now and check out a clip of him preparing for the game and another calling the action in this post.
“Chip Armelin is suddenly Steve Nash.” That’s what our resident Big Ten Geeks (@bigtengeeks) tweeted Saturday night following the Minnesota guard’s fancy pass to set up a transition bucket against Illinois. The pass was worthy of the high praise, too. Not only did Armelin fake a behind-the-back pass, he threw the ball right through D.J. Richardson’s arms, hitting Oto Osenieks for an easy bucket. Speaking of the Gophers, Rodney Williams had another huge dunk Saturday, much to the delight of BTN announcer Tom Hart. Watch Armelin’s pass now and Williams’ dunk in this post.
It’s been a struggle from the field much of the season for Purdue senior Robbie Hummel. Entering Saturday’s game at Northwestern, the senior forward was shooting a career-low 39 percent and hadn’t hit 50 percent of his shots in any game since Nov. 29. Hummel was under 50 percent again Saturday (5 of 11; 45 percent), but he was money when it mattered most. With the score tied and less than 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Hummel made something out of nothing, hitting an impressive driving leaner to send Purdue past Northwestern. Watch the game-winning shot now.
Here’s something you don’t see every night, much less twice in the same night: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Minnesota’s Julian Welch both hit halfcourt shots on attempted alley-oop passes Wednesday. We kid you not. Craft did it first, as his pass to Sam Thompson went through the rim in Ohio State’s easy win over Penn State. Later, Welch, from just behind the midcourt line, threw a pass in Rodney Williams’ direction and into the bucket in Minnesota’s loss at Michigan State. Watch Craft’s shot here and check out Welch’s in this post.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Draymond Green hitting a jump shot and get all of the announcer’s best calls from Michigan State’s win over Minnesota on Wednesday (recap).
Most teams go an entire season, if not longer, without even attempting an alley-oop on an inbound pass. Then again, most teams don’t have an athlete quite like Ohio State’s Sam Thompson. Only a freshman, Thompson was on the receiving end of his second such play in Big Ten action alone Wednesday night. Which inbound alley-oop was better, though: Tonight’s or the one at Indiana on New Year’s Eve? Watch both incredible plays and vote on the best one in this post.
Minnesota’s Rodney Williams loves to show off his athleticism, and for good reason. The junior can jump out of the gym and is blessed with some of the best God-given abilities in the Big Ten. During Sunday afternoon’s game against Northwestern at The Barn, Williams displayed those skills on a few occasions, including a quick, powerful slam and an acrobatic and-one. Watch the latter now and the former in this post.
Michigan State was in command for most of the game against Purdue on Saturday, but late in the second half Branden Dawson threw down an impressive dunk, one of several in the game for the 6-foot-6 Spartans freshman forward. Dawson had a quality shooting game, nailing 6-of-7 shots from the field and scoring 14 points.
With Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern well in hand late in the second half, Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans provided quite the highlight with a powerful alley-oop. On a night when the Badgers did a majority of their damage from downtown (12 of 23; 52 percent), it was Evans and his zero 3-pointers who carried the load. The junior scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the easy 77-57 victory at the Kohl Center. And then there was that late alley-oop. Also, let’s not forget Jordan Taylor’s perfect pass to make it all possible. Watch it now.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Nebraska denying Indiana on the final possession now and get all of his best calls from Wednesday night in this post.
During an early break in the Northwestern-Wisconsin men’s basketball game Wednesday night, Teddy Greenstein, of the Chicago Tribune, presented Badgers star running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball with the Silver Football, awarded annually to the Big Ten’s MVP. Ball is the eighth Badger to win the prestigious award, voted on by the league’s coaches, and the first since Ron Dayne (1999). The junior running back totaled 2,229 yards, including a nation’s best 1,923 on the ground, and a Big Ten record 39 touchdowns. Watch the entire presentation now.
Tuesday night’s Michigan State-Michigan men’s basketball game was exactly what you would expect from a battle between heated instate rivals. The game, featuring two ranked foes, came down to the final possession at Crisler Center – the final second, to be more precise. In the end, the 19th-ranked Wolverines held off the ninth-ranked Spartans, 60-59, to tally their third consecutive victory in the series (recap). Watch the crazy and entertaining final 31.4 seconds now.