The Big Ten tournament is in the books and our beloved Buckeyes have won it all. On a roll to close the regular season the Bucks swept into Chicago and took care of Nebraska, Michigan State and Wisconsin to claim the crown. We’ll discuss all things hoops, it’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Another Big Ten tournament has come and gone. Many expected the 2013 version to be a knock down, drag out brawl. Did it live up to the hype and expectations?
The field is set for the men’s 2013 NCAA college basketball tournament. This afternoon we’ll take a look into the East regional that culminates March 30-31 in Washington, DC. If you’ve already filled it out, this will be your chance to review the work you did for our Tournament Challenge this year.
The East regional is topped by the Indiana Hoosiers followed by Miami (Fl), Marquette and Syracuse rounding out the top four seeds. Along with the Hoosiers, the Illinois Fighting Illini will also represent the Big Ten in the region.
The Favorite: Ranked as the top team in the region, the Hoosiers are the obvious favorite to win the region. Despite falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament semi-finals, they were considered by the selection committee as a lock for a number one seed. The Miami Hurricanes are the “sexy” pick by the national pundits to take the region. The ‘Canes are on a roll winning both their regular season conference championship and the ACC tournament. If anyone can take down the Hoosiers, “The U” may be the ones to do it.
Cinderella: While I don’t see a traditional “Cinderella” team, I do see a few that are in the middle of the pack that may very well make some noise.
While seeded 10th, the Colorado Buffaloes come into the tournament on the heels of their third consecutive 20 win season, the first time that has happened in school history. Though they fell in the second round of the PAC-12 tournament to Arizona, confidence is high amongst head coach Tad Boyle’s team that they can be a player in the East region. Read More
People like lists.
Whether they agree with them or not, people still enjoy reading lists.
Basketball is the ultimate team sport. But, at the same time, it is one that can be taken over by a single player. There have been some incredible individual performances over the past couple of seasons in the Big Ten and this year should bring more of the same.
The 2012-2013 season seems to have the Big Ten as strong as it’s ever been. Three teams (Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan) are all ranked in the top five in preseason polls.
On those great teams obviously are some outstanding players. So here are my top ten players in the Big Ten conference for this upcoming season.
10. Brandon Paul (SG, Illinois)
Those unforgettable individual performances from last season I mentioned earlier in this column? Yeah, Brandon Paul had one of those when he lit up Ohio State for 43 points. The senior guard averaged 14.7 points per game last year and is as solid of an all-around player as you will find in the Big Ten. This will be Paul’s senior season for the Illini and knowing they have a player of his caliber on the floor, you can never count the Illini out of any game.
9. Keith Appling (PG, Michigan State)
With Draymond Green finally departing from East Lansing, the Spartans become Appling’s team. Appling averaged 11.4 points and 3.9 assists per game last year, and with Green gone and it being his team this year, there should be a jump in those stats this year. Head coach Tom Izzo will have his Spartans right in the thick of things again this year in the Big Ten and Appling will be his best player.
8. Christian Watford (F, Indiana)
Watford may have already had his moment in his college career when he hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer last year to knock off No. 1 and eventual national champion Kentucky. You learned a lot about Watford’s game with that shot, though. He’s absolutely fearless and he’s got a smoothness to his game that is fun to watch. He averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game a year ago while shooting 43.7% from deep. Watford will no doubt be a key component to Indiana’s national title run.
7. Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG, Michigan)
Hardaway Jr. had somewhat of a disappointing sophomore season after an outstanding freshman campaign. But, that doesn’t take away from his talent. He’s a sensational all-around player who averaged 14.6 points per game a year ago. If Michigan wants to be an elite team this year, it will need more production out of the junior guard.
6. Trevor Mbakwe (F, Minnesota)
I had a difficult time trying to figure out where to rank Mbakwe as he comes back from tearing his ACL and only playing in seven games last year. In those seven games, Mbakwe averaged 14 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. If he is fully recovered, he is easily a candidate to be an All-American. He can be a dominating force in the paint, but once again, the question is his health. Read More
With basketball season rapidly approaching and a lot of information to digest from around the conference, I thought it was high time we here from bloggers representing them. We kick off a series in roundtables with our first five today and we are doing our very best to round up the rest of the B1G for you! We hope you enjoy the feature and give us plenty of feedback!
We’re doing our best attempt at giving everyone a good picture of each team with a variety of questions. I want to take this opportunity to thank our first four panelist; Covering Purdue and a great video guy that you can catch here exclusively to tBBC at times, WCBI TV’s own Robby Donoho and his latest video ; covering Spartan Nation is one of the best in that state up north in Hondo Carpenter; taking care of the Hoosiers for us from Crimson Quarry is John M. featured blogger for them and very well respected in the state just west of us; getting us straight with Bucky Badger will be Andy from Mad Town Badgers a great blog for Wisconsin; and finally but certainly not least, my old writing partner here at tBBC and current Buckeye Empire member Joe Dexter.
Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.. Spartan Nation. Keith Appling (G) is a key player back for the Spartans. He is Tom Izzo’s “guy” on this team and with that comes a lot of minutes. Not a natural point, that is the only spot he could play at the next level and Izzo is committed to him playing there.
Adreian Payne (C) is a native of Ohio and if you are a Buckeye fan, you would think he is all world. Against the Buckeyes he lives up to the hype he had coming out of high school. Against every other team, he is a key role player.
Derrick Nix (C) is the best of the MSU big men. Not as athletic as Payne, he can bang with anyone and take the ball and the game to the rim.
Branden Dawson (F/G) is listed by MSU as a G, but he is a SF. He is the real deal. Arguably, Dawson is the best player on the team. He suffered a late season injury, but he will for sure be 100% by conference play. They say before that, but MSU in my opinion has a history of rushing players back too fast. He is too valuable with too much basketball ahead of him to rush it. He is a complete player. Read More
The Indiana Hoosiers roll into town today, fresh off their first loss of the season at home against the Minnesota. Tip-Off this afternoon is set for 4:30 PM ET on CBS. We’ll have your liveblog as always during the game! To take a deeper look at Indiana, view our first game preview here.
It seems like just yesterday that Aaron Craft coughed up the basketball late, Sam Thompson mishandled a bounce pass on the baseline, and William Buford decided to attempt a running three down two late with plenty of time on the clock in the 4 point loss to the Hoosiers in the first meeting of these squads.
This time though, we see a team at the Schott that struggled on the road against Penn State. Then followed it up with a loss at Assembly Hall to a Minnesota team without it’s best player. Still, the Gophers are a gritty team that are coached well and do the little things right (I think I hit every cliche possible).
The Hoosiers continued pushing the basketball with their top notch transition offense, but it was their defense that broke down throughout the first and late in the second. Ryan Corazza breaks down the defensive faults of the Hoosiers in the latest Film Study over at Inside the Hall. If you watched, the first thing you’d pick up from this one was the lack of communication on that end of the floor. Guys were out of position, forgetting their assignment in the zone, and letting the Gophers get to the baseline.
So far in Big Ten play, Indiana is allowing more than 1 point per possession, which is not going to get the job done if they want to remain at the top of the conference. Their biggest issue though could be the lack of ability to get the glass, box out and grab a tough rebound. Currently, the Hoosiers are grabbing 35 boards per game.
Minnesota was able to turn the tide defensively, both inside and on the perimeter. Jordan Hulls was kept to just one three pointer and the team shot 22% from beyond the arc last time out.
College basketball hasn’t been friendly to Indiana Hoosier fans over the last few seasons. When it comes to hoops in Bloomington, there is no room for head coaches to breathe.
So when Tom Crean takes to the bench for the 4th year as the head Hoosier man, Indiana fans might be hoping that the Michigan native is on a short leash.
But with the top recruit of 2011 now on campus, and a very impressive 2012 class on it’s way, it looks like Crean is here to stay– for better or worse.
This afternoon we continue our preparation for the upcoming B1G season by previewing the one of the nations most beloved basketball schools. Ladies and Gentleman, The Indiana Hoosiers.