Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 12, 2014

Big win for Michigan last night, wading into Ohio State and prevailing. This was a Wolverines team that was slumping, having lost two of three games. And the Buckeyes were rolling, ripping off three victories in a row. No matter, Michigan won to stay atop the Big Ten. Has this team had a more impressive win all season? Nope.

In case you are wondering, that?s three road wins over Top 25 teams for Michigan, which outscored the Buckeyes, 33-17 over the last 12 minutes last night. Impressive, huh? Yep.


We also may have seen the birth of the Wolverines? next great point guard in Derrick Walton, Jr., who notched a double-double. This wasn't a points and assists double-double, either, as Walton did it with points and rebounds. Brandan Quinn of offers video analysis of Michigan?s big win.


Is a reason why Ohio State seemingly can?t get over the hump this season because of a lack of NBA talent? Doug Lesmerises of thinks Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana and Wisconsin all have more NBA talent than Ohio State. And, he?s correct.


Yes, Michigan State?s Gary Harris is struggling. But he is looking forward, not back. He?s coming off a 3-of-20 shooting effort in a loss at Wisconsin and is averaging just 12.3 points in the last four games while hitting only 7-of-30 shots from three-point land. Still, Harris is a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate. He?s had that kind of season. But he?ll need to pick up the pace if he wants to lead MSU to the Big Ten title.


Michigan?s win last night at OSU may have put it in the driver?s seat in the conference chase. Still, the Big Ten crown may come down to Feb. 23, when Michigan State visits Michigan. And, that just might be when the Spartans-who figure to be without Keith Appling (wrist) this week–finally have a full complement of players after seemingly having at least one key player out most of the season.


Speaking of league player of the year contenders, how about Iowa?s Roy Devyn Marble? He is the only Big Ten player who has scored in double-figures in every conference game this season.

Marble is No. 2 in scoring in Big Ten action with a 17.8 average. Indiana?s Yogi Ferrell-who leads in scoring–and Nebraska?s Terran Petteway each have been held to single-digits once in Big Ten action this season.


Can Nebraska make the postseason? The push begins now.

Why the optimism? Here is why: Nebraska (12-10 overall; 4-6 Big Ten) plays five of its last eight regular-season games at home - where the Cornhuskers are 10-1 - and only two of its remaining foes have winning records in league action. Nebraska hasn?t won more than eight conference games since 1998-99. And it hasn?t been to the postseason since making the NIT three seasons ago. This is gonna be interesting.


Nice story on the Pitinos here. Father Rick?s advice to son Richard: Stay at Minnesota. In fact, Papa Pitino says "It's a perfect place for (Richard) to become something special like Bo Ryan." Oh, and if you were wondering why Pitino?s youngest son wore that chicken costume at a recent Gophers game, it?s explained in that link, too.


Pat Chambers? On the hot seat? At Penn State? C?mon. Get serious, people. Jeez.


Bet you didn?t know that Illinois coach John Groce likes 80s music. Or that his fav tune from that era is ?Come on Eileen? by Dexys Midnight Runners, their one hit. What does this have to do with anything? Well, Groce doesn?t want freshmen Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill to be one-hit wonders after their breakouts at Penn State on Sunday. Pretty cute, huh?


My take: It?s true. I did the calculations.

My take: Who saw this coming? I didn?t.

My take: My thoughts exactly.

My take: Lots of poor shots.

My take: Very impressive.

My take: Big Ten Coach of the Year? Maybe?

My take: Hard to do.

My take: I hope it happens.

My take: Not bad. I think this is a reachable goal.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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