Josh: It’s time to reflect on another season of Big Ten hoops. I think the rest of college basketball has finally taken notice of something that’s been true for the past 18 months or so–the Big Ten is the best conference in college basketball. Still, you look at the conference today, you see two great teams, 3 pretty darn good teams, a team good enough to make the Dance, and then mediocrity. Heck, even a couple of pretty bad teams. I mean, it’s hard to say the conference underachieved, but here goes–the conference underachieved. Sure, this is still the best
This week on “The Journey,” you got to experience Senior Night with some of the Big Ten’s biggest stars, including Michigan seniors Zach Novak and Stu Douglass, Ohio State’s William Buford, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel and Iowa’s Matt Gatens. It was moving footage, to say the least. Watch a segment from Sunday night’s show now and catch three terrific bonus clips inside this post.
The Big Ten Conference released its Big Ten Men’s Basketball Players of the Week for Feb. 20-26 action on Monday. See the winners and what they did to earn the distinctions in this post. The women’s honors were released Monday, too. Co-Players of the Week: Matt Gatens, Iowa, G – Sr. – 6-5 – Iowa City, Iowa – West Averaged 27.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in two games last week Scored a career-high 33 points and added three rebounds and three assists against No. 16/15 Wisconsin, shooting 66.7 percent (12-18) from the field, making seven of 10 from three-point range
With Saturday’s win over Michigan, Purdue has seemingly punched its ticket to the Dance. At 9-7 in conference play, the Boilermakers are probably right where most expected them to finish this season–still solidly in the field of 68, but not a serious contender for the conference championship. But how they got to this point is very unexpected. Ever since the Baby Boilers arrived at West Lafayette, defense has been the calling card of this team: Year Points Per Possession B10 Rank Opponent Points Per Possession B10 Rank 07-08 1.06 4th 0.94 2nd
Another night, another set of at-large hopes dashed. On Wednesday evening, Minnesota hoped to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, at least for another few days, with a crucial home matchup against Michigan State. Things were looking up when the Gophers took a nine-point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining. Maybe Minnesota really would pull this off and get back onto the bubble. Maybe not. The Gophers made just two field goals over the final 10 minutes, with one of them being a meaningless three with two seconds left. The split of efficiencies completely changed over the final 16
Spanning the Big Ten globe while we wait for those red-hot Iowa Hawkeyes to cool off. I think Matt Gatens is still shooting three-pointers from somewhere near Keokuk. Swish—again. Light it up! Sweet-shooting Matt Gatens and the fans brought electricity back to Carver Hawkeye, writes Marc Hansen of the Des Moines Register. And as far as bobblehead nights go, this was one to remember, says Rick Brown of Des Moines Register. And a win over ranked Indiana? A win over ranked Wisconsin? Yep, this was the best week for Iowa basketball in a long time, writes Mike Hlas of the
Illinois picked up a much needed victory at Northwestern, but they sure didn’t make it easy on themselves. The Wildcats came out executing their offense to the tune of 1.13 points per possession in the first half, a very solid showing against a good Illini defense. John Shurna was at the forefront of the attack, putting up 17 first half points. Northwestern built a double digit lead before a late Illinois run made it closer at the half. In the second half, Illinois’ defense finally showed up. Northwestern managed just three points in the first nine minutes after the break,