Last weekend was nothing short of great for Big Ten basketball. It started with Wisconsin's 65-62 upset of Michigan at the Kohl Center. It was all made possible, of course, by this simple shot by Ben Brust to force OT:
Rather be lucky and good than just good, right? Next up was Indiana downing the Buckeyes, 81-68, at Value City Arena in Columbus. Coming off a shocking loss to Illinois, 26 points by Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller scoring 24 was exactly what the Hoosiers needed to bounce back. Speaking of Illinois, the Fighting Illini had ANOTHER victory over a ranked team, defeating Minnesota 57-53 at The Barn. Just a reminder: the Illini lost 7 of their first 9 conference games.
So is there any doubt that the Big 10 is the best basketball conference? It's like SEC football minus oversigning, medical hardships and our players can actually read and write! Here's a look at Big 10 teams in the polls:
(AP 1, Coaches 2): Indiana
While the media likes the Hoosiers as #1, the Coaches disagree. Losing to Illinois might cause some confusion.
(AP 4, Coaches 5): Michigan
Much like Indiana, losing to Wisconsin causes some confusion among voters. Well, that's not exactly fair: Wisconsin is actually good.
(AP 8, Coaches 8): Michigan State
In 2013 the Spartans have only lost to Indiana. Seems like they should be ranked higher, no?
(AP 13, Coaches 14): Ohio State
Aside from beating #2 Michigan back on January 13th, the Buckeyes have lost to every ranked opponent they've played this season.
(AP 20, Coaches 19): Wisconsin
No team is more confusing than Wisconsin. They can beat #12 Illinois, #2 Indiana and #11 Ohio State. They can also lose to Virginia, Marquette and Iowa.
Briefly switching to football, the Big 10 will increase its conference schedule from eight games to 9 or 10 soon after Maryland and Rutgers join. Per tWWL:
The league's athletic directors and football coaches met Monday in Park Ridge, Ill., and all future scheduling discussions will focus on models featuring nine or 10 league games, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN.com. There was "no support" for staying with the current eight-game league schedule model.
Delany said the new schedule format likely would go into place for the 2016 or 2017 season. Maryland and Rutgers will join the Big Ten for the 2014 season.
The next topic to discuss is night games. We'll tackle that soon enough. On to the links.
- IlliniHQ's final thoughts on Fighting Illini signing day.
- Cody Zeller takes charge, and Hoosiers are better for it in victory for Ohio State. Pat Forde.
- James Patton joins the Hoosiers coaching staff as recruiting/special teams coordinator. Peegs.com.
- NCAA tournament projections: Iowa in or out? The Cedar Rapids Gazette.
- John Beilein doesn't hate Sparty but he sure does want to beat them. MLive.
- Michigan v. Michigan State preview: something new. Maize n Brew.
- Gary Harris notices heightened intensity in East Lansing. MLive.
- Travis Tice is out for tonight's game against Michigan. MLive.
- Sad Gophers are sad after losing to Illinois. The Daily Gopher.
- Husker Mike thinks the 9 or 10 game conference schedule is a bad idea. I didn't know the new guy had a say in things.
- Northwestern should be down a couple players against Ohio State on Thursday. SoP.
- How can a Michigan commit reconcile his love for Ohio State? LGHL.
- Class of 2013: Welcome, Curtis Cothran. BSD.
- Purdue football hires a new tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Hammer and Rails.
- How far Ben Brust has come since last season. Bucky's 5th Quarter.