Freshly minted No. 1 Michigan State struggled early but managed to put away Portland, 82-67, Monday night at the Breslin Center. Keith Appling scored 25 points and Adreian Payne added 19 to pace the Spartans, who 45 percent from 3-point land. Get all the stats, recap and video highlights in this post.
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We’ve seen every Big Ten men’s basketball team play at least three games, so it’s time for BTN analyst and former Flyin’ Illini Stephen Bardo to unveil his first 2013-14 Big Ten Power Rankings.
No major shakeups. Stanford’s loss at USC means Oregon is now slated to play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. But UCLA just as easily could be the foe. The Buckeyes cling to BCS title game hopes, resting at No. 3 in the current standings.
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Just two weeks are left in the regular season, and things are heating up down the stretch. Among the hot button issues: Who is the second-best team in the Big Ten? Michigan State or Wisconsin? Read about that, and more, in my weekly mailbag. Keep those cards and letters coming.
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Michigan State received 51 of 70 first-place votes and now sits atop of the AP Top 25. Michigan State (3-0) hasn’t been No. 1 since Jan. 1, 2001 – a few months after winning the most recent of its two NCAA titles – and took over No. 1 after holding on for a 78-74 win over then No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday in Chicago. Michigan State plays visiting Portland tonight (game preview) at 7 p.m. on BTN/BTN2Go.
The BCS race is getting a bit interesting, as Baylor has narrowed the gap—and I mean REALLY narrowed the gap as in .001 narrow—behind Ohio State.