You have questions, I have answers in this week’s Big Ten mailbag. A nice mix of football and basketball queries in this busy time of year. Should new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien be calling his own plays? What about Wisconsin and Matt Canada? Can Northwestern make the tourney? And what’s wrong with the Hoosiers?
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Two of tonight’s six women’s basketball games air on BTN/BTN2Go: No. 20 Nebraska at No. 10 Ohio State (6 p.m.) and No. 13 Purdue at Indiana (8 p.m.). The other games: No. 22 Penn State at Illinois, Wisconsin at Iowa, Michigan State at Minnesota, Michigan at Northwestern. Full scoreboard over here, latest standings right here, and full women’s stat leaders are here. Remember, if your TV provider offers BTN2Go, you can watch those games and the rest of our TV network programming live online and via your iPhone and iPad.
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With Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern well in hand late in the second half, Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans provided quite the highlight with a powerful alley-oop. On a night when the Badgers did a majority of their damage from downtown (12 of 23; 52 percent), it was Evans and his zero 3-pointers who carried the load. The junior scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the easy 77-57 victory at the Kohl Center. And then there was that late alley-oop. Also, let’s not forget Jordan Taylor’s perfect pass to make it all possible. Watch it now.
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Nebraska denying Indiana on the final possession now and get all of his best calls from Wednesday night in this post.
During an early break in the Northwestern-Wisconsin men’s basketball game Wednesday night, Teddy Greenstein, of the Chicago Tribune, presented Badgers star running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball with the Silver Football, awarded annually to the Big Ten’s MVP. Ball is the eighth Badger to win the prestigious award, voted on by the league’s coaches, and the first since Ron Dayne (1999). The junior running back totaled 2,229 yards, including a nation’s best 1,923 on the ground, and a Big Ten record 39 touchdowns. Watch the entire presentation now.
Each week, I visit with our friend CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm about how the Big Ten looks in his NCAA projections. This week, Palm has nine Big Ten teams in the Big Dance. That’s three-quarters of the conference, but no Big Ten teams are projected as No. 1 seeds. There’s lots of basketball to be played, of course, and the Big Ten is a strong league that figures to be well-represented. Click down into this post to listen to my conversation with Palm. And remember: You can go to CBSSports.com to check out Jerry’s updated bracket projections each week.
Find out more about: Jerry Palm