It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. This week’s rankings feature a new wrinkle, as I offer up my Big Ten MVP for all 12 teams now that we’ve reached the midpoint of the conference season. The stats that go along with each MVP includes conference games only.
Find out more about: Hoops Power Rankings
Wisconsin held off a late charge by Michigan to earn a 66-60 victory at the Kohl Center Monday night. The Wolverines used a 16-0 run to tie the game at 47, but the Badgers went 6-of-7 from the free throw line to hold on for their third consecutive Big Ten Conference victory. The win moves Wisconsin to 8-13 on the season (4-5 Big Ten), while Michigan falls to 16-6 (5-4 Big Ten). “(I’m) very proud of this group. We showed that we can persevere against a great team that shoots very well,” Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said.
The Big Ten season is halfway over—and the best is yet to come in a conference race that remains in flux. More clarity may come this week, which shapes up as one of the best yet of the season. In particular, this is a big week for Michigan State and Indiana. And matchup-wise, I can’t wait for the battle between the Big Ten’s top freshmen: Michigan’s Trey Burke and Indiana’s Cody Zeller. See my game rankings for this week’s action in this post.
Find out more about: Ranking the Games
This shapes up as one of the best weeks of the season with several marquee matchups. The teams most on the spot? It’s Michigan State and Indiana, which each has two big games. The Spartans play host to Michigan and travel to Illinois; the Hoosiers have two on the road: Michigan and archrival Purdue. But don’t forget about surging Wisconsin, either. The Badgers, winners of five straight and one game out of the Big Ten lead, travel to Penn State and host first-place Ohio State. Get ready for the week ahead in this post.
ESPN2 is running a contest on Facebook for the 2012 Dunk of the Year (you must like the page to vote), and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. are both nominees. Oladipo is in the mix for his one-handed throwdown in Indiana’s upset of No. 1 Kentucky, while Hardaway is in there for his driving, one-handed flush at Indiana. Both dunks were terrific. Go to the page and cast your vote for the Big Ten. According to the page, the Dunk of the Year will be featured March 26 during Dunks of the Year on ESPN2.
BTN will re-air Joe Paterno’s public memorial service, “A Memorial for Joe,” at 7 a.m. ET Tuesday. The event, which aired live on BTN last Thursday from a packed Bryce Jordan Center, featured videos of Paterno throughout his legendary Penn State career and 13 speakers. The entire memorial is about 2 hours and 45 minutes, so plan accordingly if using a DVR. Regardless of what program your provider lists at 7 a.m. Tuesday, rest assure the memorial will air. Remember, you can also watch the full memorial here, any time, any day. Watch Jay Paterno’s speech now and catch other video in this post.
Find out more about: Joe Paterno