BTN highlights of the MSU-Northwestern game. Vintage Neitzel.
Beyond the Arc ponders whether the college basketball regular season is boring. College football has the do-or-die thing going every week. But by this point in a college football season, how many fans’ teams still have any remaining shot at a national championship? Is it thrilling to watch your 6-2 team try to improve its shot at the Capitol One bowl with a third of the season remaining?
Illinitalk takes his own program to task for its behavior Thursday night.
Are the 2007-08 Boilermakers like the 1997-98 Spartans? Scrappy teaming surprising the league under a third-year coach.
Purdue students REALLY want good seats for Tuesday’s game.
Mark Snyder got to play pretend NCAA tournament selection committee. Says he had to lobby hard for Purdue due to the perceived weakness of the Big Ten. Of course, that was before last night’s results.
Purdue, as you may be aware, picked up the biggest win of Big Ten play last night–beating Wisconsin in Madison 72-67. The way Wisconsin plays at home, in fact, this is one of the biggest Big Ten wins of the the last seven years. Prior to this game, Illinois was the only other Big Ten team to have won in Madison since Ryan took over the team in 2001.
Purdue built a double-digit lead on the strength of 3-point shooting, making 6 of 10 attempts in the first half. Freshman Robbie Hummel led the way 21 points on just 12 FG attempts.
Wisconsin finished just 3-18 on 3-pointers and turned the ball over an unbadgerlike 18 times, but managed to crawl back into the game on the strength of stellar free throw shooting (30-33) and offensive rebounding (19 of 35 opportunities = 54.3%). Too little too late, though, as Purdue held on to beat the Badgers for the second time this season.
Badgercentric went through the five stages of grief in recapping this loss.
As far as MSU’s slim title hopes go, this game was either:
A good thing, because it gives the previous favorite for the championship its second loss.
A bad thing, because it clearly establishes Purdue as a contender for the league crown.
The Boilermakers now lead the conference at 10-1, a half game ahead of IU, which slid by Ohio State this afternoon 59-53, avoiding a let down after the big win in Champaign Thursday night. Neither team looked sharp on offense, combining to make just 11 of 45 3-point attempts. D.J. White was the difference for Indiana; he scored 21 points on 10-15 FG shotting and pulled down 13 rebounds.
Inside the Hall has a visual of the game’s key play by White.
Here’s how Kenpom projects the final standings for the top five teams in the conference at this point:
Ohio State 12-6
It may be an exaggeration to say MSU needs to win both games this week (at Purdue and Indiana) to have a shot at the Big Ten crown, but it may be true–if only from the perspective of knocking down those two teams down a notch in the standings. Indiana’s only remaining road game against a top-tier opponent is the March 2 game against MSU. Purdue has two such games left: at Indiana and at Ohio State.
There’s a lot extra credit to be done if the Spartans are going to make up for the Iowa and Penn State losses before the end of the semester . . .