Big Ten fans are very familiar with Sam Thompson soaring into the air for a highlight-reel inbound alley-oop. After all, the Ohio State junior has done it countless times over the course of his career. In Tuesday night’s win at No. 13 Iowa, however, it was Amir Williams channeling his inner Sam Thompson. Watch Williams elevate for the alley-oop in this post.
Now that all but one team (Nebraska) has officially reached the halfway point of the conference hoops season, it’s time unveil the first installment of my weekly Big Ten Player of the Year tracker. Michigan State’s Gary Harris tops my first list. Agree? Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post.
When you’re inevitably checking out your Big Ten football team’s signing class tomorrow, don’t gloss over the one- and two-star players. The rating system is an inexact science, and these lower-profile players could just turn out to be, say, Russell Wilson. Out of high school, the freshly minted Super Bowl-winning quarterback was a two-star recruit. He played nothing like a two-star recruit at North Carolina State or Wisconsin, and he plays nothing like a third-round NFL draft pick.
We begin to head down the backstretch of the season, as my friends at Big Ten Geeks pointed out earlier this week. If you are like me, getting a clean read on the season makes you as confused as ever. But, don’t worry. Things will begin to crystallize … I think. Here’s my ranking of this week’s men’s basketball games.
From the good news, bad news department: Several Big Ten schools are projected to make the NIT, college hoops’ version of the Belk Bowl, Little Caesar’s Bowl, Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl … well you get the idea … all rolled into one gloriously meaningless event.
Here’s something everyone should be able to agree on: At the midway point of the Big Ten season, the conference title race is down to three teams. The teams are Michigan (8-1), Michigan State (8-1) and Iowa (6-3). The rest of the Big Ten is competing for fourth place and a first-round bye in the Big Ten tourney. Who’s going to win? That’s a tough question, but I’ve broken out the remaining schedule for each contender to try to make sense of it all.