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Has news of the B1G’s decline been exaggerated?

Purdue and wisconsin look set to keep climbing the rankings, returning traditional names to the top of the B1G as Minnesota and Indiana start to sputter.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

#15 wisconsin 82, Penn State 55

The badgers doubled up Penn State in the second half, turning a three-point halftime lead into...a lot more, as Bronson Koenig turned in 20 points on 8/13 shooting. wisconsin also harried the Nittany Lions into 17 turnovers and emptied the bench in a laugher.

Aaron Yorke: Shep Garner made some three-pointers to keep Penn State in the game during the first half at Wisconsin. Then he went back to missing shots in the second half and the Lions couldn't keep up when the Badgers rediscovered their efficient offense. Mike Watkins was shut down for the second straight game. He's struggled against more experienced big men in conference play.

The good news is that the campaign only gets easier for Penn State after consecutive road games against Wisconsin and Purdue.

#20 Purdue 84, Michigan State 73

babaoreally: Purdue let Miles Bridges run wild, dug an early hole, but managed to close the gap by halftime and ended up with the win. Swaningan was great as always, and the guards really played well. Hitting threes, not turning it over, etc. Six players ended up in double figures, which usually equates to a win.

#22 Maryland 67, rutger 55

Heroic CJ Gettys became an instant fan favorite* as the Scarlet Knights fell on the road to Maryland, which slowly turned a 5-point halftime lead into a 17-pt rout over the first 10 minutes of the second half. Corey Sanders turned in a woefully inefficient 15 points and though, impressively, rutger turned in 22 offensive rebounds, that’s largely because they still cannot shoot.

Meanwhile, the Terps overcame 6 TOs by Justin Jackson and 5 by Melo Trimble, as the latter put together a strong 17-point showing to ease Maryland by at home.

ZuzuRU: I'm proud of Rutgers for showing major fight. As is the theme for the season, we desperately need a guy who can shoot threes and we need to improve our free throws. But this game was not nearly the thrashing that both sides expected. I can feel another in conference win coming.

DJ: This game was a little hard to watch because the referees made it so there was absolutely no flow to the game.  Maryland went ahead early but then struggled against Rutgers inside by trying to make too many passes in the lane, leading to too many turnovers.  The Terps went ahead at half thanks to two straight three's to end it after Kevin Huerter made two fabulous skip passes to find open shooters.  Maryland opened the second half on a quick run as well, which led to Rutgers burning two quick timeouts and having one to use the remainder of the half.  A bit of flow was established and Maryland took a 15 point lead behind Kevin Huerter's defense on Corey Sanders and racking up an 11/8/6 stat line while Melo Trimble had another 17 point night after he has seemingly found his three point shot again.

The best part of the night was trolling CJ Gettys late into the second half when he tried to call a play out by waving his hands over his head.  From that point on (I went to the game), anytime Gettys touched the ball the entire crowd would troll him with such, which honestly gave us something to do other than watch the constant stream of fouls being called.

Ohio State 78, Minnesota 72

We still have no OSU basketball writer, and I think WhiteSpeedReceiver is so busy rowing the boat he’s forgotten about the other snake-oil salesman in Minneapolis.

Marc Loving had 19, and Trevor Thompson joined in with 19 of his own while dominating Reggie Lynch on the inside. While the good news for the Gophers is that Nate Mason broke out of his shooting slump, dropping 21 points, Amir Coffey was largely stymied by the Buckeyes’ defense.

There are a lot of questions at the Barn these days, as the Gophers are slumping to a lower and lower seed every week. I don’t think that win over UT-Arlington has quite the same cache any more.

Illinois 76, Iowa 64

A recap, courtesy of Thump’n’Stew:

Thumpasaurus: Hey @stewmonkey13 so you watched at least some of it right? My impression was that this was a matter of Jok being hurt and Iowa being shit without him, coupled with unusually good point guard play, possibly stemming from starting a point guard.

Stewmonkey13: It was shitty basketball (all around), for the most part. Peter Jok was hurt. Our starting point guard (Jordan Bohannon) had the flu. Illinois got off to a hot start, and Iowa couldn't but a bucket (the game started 10-0).

After that it was a fairly even game of runs. I get that from Iowa. They are super young, haven't won a road game all season, Jok was hurt, Bohannon sick, just a recipe for disaster. But Illinois was also playing pretty awful, too. They just always had that 10 point cushion they established early in the game.

Thump: Last night does absolutely nothing to change my mind. NCAA tournament or bust. Only way he's getting there is if Tejon Lucas is the second coming of Deron Williams.

I'm not willing to discuss our path to the tournament unless we beat Wisconsin. John Groce has never done that. We won largely because Iowa decided it was THIS game.

Northwestern 73, Nebraska 61

Dererk Pardon grabbed a positively stupid 22 boards and chipped in with 19 points, and Northwestern pulled away from Nebraska. Despite shitty shooting from Bryant McIntosh (3/13 and it is officially a problem; I do not care if he had 9 dimes), some hot shooting (and lots of bricks) from Tai Webster, and a Tim Miles T in the second half meant this game went in fits and starts.

BRT: For most of the game, we saw the usual Huskers: short-handed but scrappily staying in it. But with about five minutes left in the game, things went severely sideways for Nebraska. Tim Miles drew a technical and suddenly the Huskers, who weren't enjoying a stellar offensive performance anyway, couldn't buy a basket.

For the most part, they weren't terrible looks--but nothing went through, and it got ugly. I'm not sure if the Huskers would win this with Ed Morrow (who continues to be day to day with his foot injury), but these (mostly) competitive games make his absence loom large.

The Huskers just can't quite get it done in conference play with the guys they currently have on hand, though it isn't for lack of effort. I hope they can find a few more wins this season, if only because Tai Webster sure deserves them.

MNW: Alright. The fun part of the schedule is out of the way, and now the rubber meets the road when Indiana comes to Welsh-Ryan on Sunday. But in the meantime, this was a lot of fun:

I genuinely have never seen this in a Northwestern uniform. There’s still not the outside shooting to make this happen, but man. It’s fun while it lasts.

Northwestern is now 17-4 (6-2), its best stretch of play in the Big Ten since the 1940s. There’s not a level of booze in the world that can steel me for this upcoming crumble.

Michigan 90, Indiana 60

Jesus. What the hell, Indiana? Shot over 50% from the field and three, but 16 TOs, allowing Michigan to shoot 63% from the field and 55% from deep, and just generally being outplayed at every facet of the game meant it was an easy night. Michigan has once again managed to play itself right back onto the good side of the bubble.

Graham Filler: Michigan scored 90 points. Indiana scored 60. Dancing.gif. Yahoo! Sports used the term Flawless, but let's also give credit to Indiana's defense, whose inability or lack of interest regarding contesting three point shots was a major determinant of this game's flow.

CfB: I was gonna watch some of tonight's game, but IU Twitter warned me that it was going real bad early, so I decided to skip it. Turns out, that was probably a good call, given that the team couldn't hold onto the ball and also couldn't really play defense. Those things tend to lead to not winning games.

In other news, with 5 of the top 8 teams falling this week (RING OUT A GODDAMN HOYA WITH AN M-U RAH-RAH), a couple 3-spots for the Big Ten look more and more imaginable in bracketology every day. All it takes is wisconsin and Purdue to keep holding serve through Big Ten play, and I think we’re looking back at concerns of the Big Ten’s demise and chuckling.

Seeds, if I were picking today:

  • wisconsin: 3
  • Purdue: 3
  • Maryland: 5
  • Indiana: 7
  • Michigan State: 9
  • Minnesota: 10
  • Michigan: 11*
  • Northwestern: First Four Out, because that’s my life.
  • Illinois: Next Four Out. Fuck Illinois.