Around The Big Ten (Basketball): Jan. 21
As another week of college basketball wraps up, the Big Ten continues to demonstrate that it is one of the best conferences in all of basketball.
In the Week 11 AP Top 25 Poll, the Big Ten retained its five teams inside the Top 25 and Iowa is currently sitting one spot outside the Top 25.
Three teams were able to jump up in the rankings including Purdue, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
The other two teams, Michigan State and Ohio State fell a few spots, but all five teams are now ranked inside the Top 20.
An updated bracket projection by Joe Lunardi places seven Big Ten teams firmly into the tournament with the lowest projected seed being No. 8.
This week was full of Top 25 matchups in the Big Ten, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest games from this week.
No. 4 Purdue (96) vs. No. 17 Illinois (88)
This battle between two of the top teams in the conference took two overtime periods to decide a winner.
Purdue struggled to begin its Big Ten schedule, starting 1-2, but since then had won games against Penn State and Nebraska.
The Boilermakers faced a difficult task in stopping 7-foot big man Kofi Cockburn, but he was held to just 10 points in the game.
Buckets from Illinois’ Andre Curbelo and Alfonso Plummer at the end of regulation and the first overtime period respectively, sent this game into a second overtime period.
In the second overtime, Sasha Stefanovic hit a three-pointer to begin the period and Purdue ran away with it from there.
The leading scorers in the game for Purdue were Stefanovic with 22, Jaden Ivey with 19 and Zach Edey with 20. Illinois was led by 24 points from Plummer and 20 from Curbelo.
The Boilermakers get a big conference win in this game while the Fighting Illini suffer their first conference loss.
Indiana (68) vs. No. 4 Purdue (65)
The Indiana Hoosiers were able to end the Boilermakers’ 3-game win streak and upset the No. 4 team in the nation
Purdue traveled to Bloomington with its eyes set on a fourth consecutive victory, but Indiana had other plans.
Led by Rob Phinisee, who scored 20 points, the Hoosiers held the lead in most of the second half until a Mason Gillis layup with 1:11 remaining in the half gave Purdue the lead.
Phinisee then came up big for the Hoosiers as he hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 18 seconds left in the game.
Two made free throws from Trayce Jackson-Davis and a missed three-pointer by Ivey at the buzzer gave the Hoosiers the upset win.
This was Indiana’s second Top 25 upset this season as it also knocked off Ohio State earlier this campaign.
Ivey led Purdue with 21 points, but could not push them to the victory in this contest.
Purdue drops to the middle of the pack in the Big Ten at 4-3 and Indiana sits just above them at 5-3.
No. 14 Michigan State @ No. 8 Wisconsin
This matchup of two Top 25 teams is also a battle between two of the top three teams in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin sits tied atop the conference with Illinois at 6-1 while Michigan State trails by only a half game and sits in third.
The Spartans are seeking a bounce-back win after dropping a tough loss to Northwestern in their last game.
The Badgers are looking to extend their 7-game winning streak and remain in the top spot in the Big Ten conference.
Johnny Davis has been the story all year for Wisconsin and the Wooden Award contender will look to carry the Badgers through Big Ten play and into the March Madness Tournament.
Thomas English is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Second-year / Broadcast Journalism
Thomas is a broadcast journalist from Shorewood, Illinois which is an hour South of Chicago. He is a second-year student at Penn State majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. His goal is to be an ESPN broadcaster who covers a variety of sports including professional and college level football and basketball and bring entertainment to people all over the world. His other goal is to spread his love of sports to all cultures through projects that allow children of all ethnicities to learn and play all kinds of sports. He is currently an active member of CommRadio, a student run radio station at Penn State. He plans to create his own sports podcast as well as doing play by play and analysis for Penn State sporting events in the future. In the future, he hopes to use his skills to entertain people all over the world!