Derrick Walton Jr. continued his torrid play, Northwestern carded the biggest win in program history, and the Big Ten race is heating up. Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's best of the week that was.
The season has rounded the halfway point. There have been surprises, disappointments … and whole bunch of fun games with lots to look forward to. Here is a midseason report as we race to the finish line.
And then there was one: Wisconsin stands alone atop the Big Ten with a 9-1 mark, knocking off Illinois and Indiana this week to run its winning streak to seven games. Wisconsin sits alone in first place after Maryland saw its seven-game winning streak end on Saturday with a home loss to Purdue.
Let me be the first to apologize to Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan. Also, no offense to Iowa’s Peter Jok. And, I hope Maryland’s Melo Trimble understands. But as the calendar is about to flip to February, there is no Big Ten player more valuable, versatile and dynamic than Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ.
Another week, another chance for Wisconsin and Maryland to assert their dominance in the Big Ten. And it’s becoming more apparent that Northwestern is a legit NCAA team, as the Wildcats have ripped off six wins in a row. Can NU win the Big Ten?
It begins tonight with a game at Michigan State, a desperate team that is 4-3 in the Big Ten (12-8 overall) and has lost three of its last four games. That’s followed by a trip to Nebraska, a visit from Northwestern, and games at Maryland and at Indiana.
Some great, fun games this week, including a few that included game-winning shots in the final moments. Amid those thrilling finishes, it’s becoming clearer that Wisconsin and Maryland are the teams to beat as each is 5-1 in league action.
When the season dawned, many felt Indiana, the defending league champ, Purdue and Wisconsin were the Big Ten favorites. But one thing is becoming more clear: Maryland may be the team to beat. Really. Who could have seen this coming?
If you still are having trouble making sense of the Big Ten, don’t feel bad. You aren’t alone. The conference continues to be difficult to figure out. This week, we saw a hot Minnesota squad ranked for the first time since 2013 lose twice.
Say “hello” to the Pacific Pro Football. What is that, you say? It’s a new professional league that will launch in 2018. Its intent: To develop players, not compete with the NFL. The great Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! detailed the fledgling league.