We’re only a few weeks away from Selection Sunday, and there’s only a handful of games left for teams to pick up signature wins. This weekend, some did, and some didn’t. Iowa picked up an important win over Minnesota on Saturday, rallying from an early 16-point deficit to an impressive 21-point win. And frankly, this game was over about midway through the second half. The turning point came when Fran McCaffrey deployed a zone defense, which flummoxed the Gopher attack. This isn’t the first time that Minnesota has looked confused against a zone—Northwestern sprung the upset against the Gophers by
Indiana reclaimed the top spot in the polls after it held off Michigan in Bloomington. The Hoosiers lit up the Wolverines’ defense to the tune of 1.17 points per possession, the highest mark allowed so far this season by John Beilein’s team. And the reality it that it could have been much worse, as careless turnovers were about the only thing that slowed down the IU offense. Michigan had the opposite problem—while it took care of the ball by only committing 8 turnovers in a 69 possession game, the Wolverines were atypically inaccurate on both twos (49 percent) and threes
On Saturday, Iowa defended its home court with a win over Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes raced out to a 30-10 lead before the Badgers finally got something going on offense, though I think that early start for Wisconsin overshadows what kind of game this really was. Both offenses scored over a point per possession, which is a good sign for this Iowa offense that had been struggling somewhat in conference play. Most of the problem can be traced to some awful outside shooting as Iowa has struggled to replace the shooting acumen of Matt Gatens. And Saturday was no different, as
Illinois’ weaknesses were exposed in a road loss against a mediocre Purdue team last night. The concerning thing isn’t so much that Illinois lost—Purdue isn’t a terrible team, just a terrible offensive team—it’s that it lost to Purdue despite hitting 10 three-pointers (38% from three on the night). Thus, it appears the “Illinois wins when it shoots well” maxim is incorrect. This team can shoot well, and still lose. The fact of the matter is that Illinois is a mediocre defensive team, and especially awful on the defensive glass. Purdue grabbed 44 percent of its misses—including four off of missed
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. See my All-Big Ten most improved teams in the photo gallery below. About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read
On this week’s episode of “The Journey,” our crew spotlighted the recent Big Ten battle for the top spot between Michigan State and Ohio State, which featured Big Ten Player of the Year candidates Draymond Green and Jared Sullinger. We also profiled Indiana’s Tom Crean and his marriage into a famous coaching family. Watch our segment on Crean and the Harbaugh’s now and see four bonus clips in this post. Here’s a bonus clip on Aaron Craft: Here are three Hearn bonus clips. Enjoy!
Reggie Hearn has come a long way since starting his Northwestern career as a walk-on. Averaging 11.9 points the last eight games, the junior has become a mainstay and a force in Bill Carmody’s lineup. It all started in the upset victory over Michigan State in January, and Hearn’s been a nice weapon ever since. In Wednesday’s game at Indiana, however, Hearn registered one of the best highlights of his career — an impressive drive and dunk. Watch Hearn’s highlight-reel jam now and see John Shurna’s creative and-1 in this post. And what about this fancy John Shurna And-1?