Well, it’s that time again—time to highlight all of our correct predictions, and whitewash all of the things we got wrong! See our Big Ten Geeks Josh Reed and Mike Portscheller wrap up the regular season and hand out hardware in this post.
NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us, and the BTN.com team thought it would be fun to choose Big Ten participants for the annual Saturday night events and the All-Star Game. See our picks for who would compete in a mythical Big Ten Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest and the All-Star Game in this post.
The midseason John Wooden Award watch Top 25 list is out. This is a big deal, as the Wooden often is considered to be the premier national player of the year honor.
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Who is the mid-season Big Ten Men’s Basketball MVP? Our candidates for this poll: Keith Appling (#BTNAppling), Sam Dekker (#BTNDekker), Roy Devyn Marble (#BTNMarble), Nik Stauskas (#BTNStauskas), or Aaron Craft (#BTNCraft).
In case any doubters remained—Iowa is for real, as proven by its 10-point win in Columbus. Granted, this was probably more like a six- or eight-point win if Ohio State isn’t fouling desperately at the end. But that’s splitting hairs, especially because most teams in that position do the same thing.
The Big Ten office announced its latest Big Ten Players of the Week, and Iowa’s Devyn Marble (Player of the Week) and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh (Freshman of the Week) are the latest recipients. See what each players did this past week to earn the honor in this post.
The easy narrative for Wisconsin’s win over Iowa is that Fran McCaffrey was hit with a double technical foul when his team held a 2-point lead, and that those four points gave Wisconsin the lead, the momentum, and the margin of victory.
It was while watching a Purdue team fall to Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament last year that I assured my colleague, Tom Dienhart, that the Boilermakers were simply in a rebounding season. They would be back next year, I told him, and I had no reservations about that.
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It was a terrible shooting weekend for the title contenders. Collectively, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan were 14 for 76 from three this weekend. Two of those teams nonetheless found a way to win.
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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.
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The time is now for Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble. This is his Hawkeyes team. He must be a leader and he must show the way if the program is to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.
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Indiana was upset in overtime by Butler in the Crossroads Classic on Saturday. IU’s undoing was defense, especially in the second half.
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 action you’ll find, and it’s not close, but we’re still talking about a league that’s probably going to get 6 bids, with only a couple of standout teams. Does that sound much different than the past decade, when the Big Ten wasn’t measuring up to the likes of the ACC and the Big East?
This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012,” we found out how Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble has flourished while carrying a memorable last name in Iowa City. Also, we learned about Wisconsin’s Mike Bruesewitz’s hockey talents and saw how Purdue seniors Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson have battled through injuries this season. We also examined the amazing transformation of Michigan State’s Derrick Nix. Watch a clip from the show on Marble and see a couple bonus clips in this post.
It’s early in the conference season, but not so early that teams don’t have something they need to work on. To get them in shape, let’s hand out some homework assignments.
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games marked the end of non-conference play for many Big Ten members. With the holiday break looming, let’s run down who has been naughty and nice.