It’s that time of the year again folks! With the football season now a week away, it’s time to take you deep into the heart of Midwest football as we preview the Big Ten Conference.
Despite last year’s play resulting in a three way tie for the conference crown, this upcoming season in the Big Ten could be one of the toughest through and through for competing teams. Gone are the days of best records, three way ties, and
BCS controversy. Welcomed are a brand new institution in Nebraska that brings great competition to the conference, two new divisions with the worst names in college football, and a championship game that propels the winner into the best bowl game the conference has to offer.
Today Eric (Legends) and I (Leaders) break down the conference by division to get you ready for Ohio State’s upcoming opponents, and some great games on the schedule for 2011.
As the sun came up today, it was the dawn of the first day of “real” conference basketball tournaments! That’s right, folks, it is finally Day 1 of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament!
Each day this week, we will offer a brief rundown of the day’s matchups. It’s just a little something for you to whet your appetite with while you wait for the Buckeyes to take the hardwood.
Make absolutely certain you don’t take any of these predictions to your favorite betting locale. If you do, we’re not responsible for the results – unless you win.
The Big Ten tournament, as a whole has been a particularly unpredictable beast. Teams at the bottom of the seeding, knowing that their fates on in their own hands and their season is coming to a premature end, tend to play beyond themselves. It is not unusual for a team that plays in the first round to make it to the Championship game, though that’s also not particularly common either.
For our rundown of today’s games, Read More
Welcome to your Minnesota LiveBlog! Today’s game is the rematch of the game played a month ago in Columbus that ended in a 67-64 Ohio State victory. This time around, Minnesota is holding the home court cards but is missing out on their Senior point guard, Al Nolen.
For the preview of this game, click here.
The game tips at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, LiveBlog starts at 1:30. See you all here! Go Bucks!
Ohio State travels to the Twin Cities to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers tomorrow night, hoping to continue their unbeaten streak. This is, of course, the second meeting between these two teams. The first saw Ohio State squeak by the Gophers by three as a last second Minnesota three pointer bounced out. We’ll focus on what has transpired with the Gophers since the Bucks last saw them, so check out the preview of the first game for more.
The Gophers have played a total of 6 games since facing off with the Buckeyes in Columbus (then ranked #2 in the country). Following their close loss to Ohio State, Minnesota picked up a win at home over Purdue by the same margin, improving their chances in the conference title race. Their subsequent wins over Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern had fans feeling good about the team as a whole.
But there was only one problem. Senior PG Al Nolen had been injured at Michigan. While playing defense late in the first half, Nolen rolled his foot badly. He was quoted as saying that it felt like he had been stabbed. Serious pain for a rolled foot – which turned out to be broken and required surgery. Nolen is not expected to be back until at least March, and hopes to have rehabbed enough to participate in the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota arrived at Columbus with a 1-2 record in the Big Ten, and hoping to get back to .500 with a big win over the Buckeyes. They very nearly got their wish, but it simply wasn’t to be as the last ditch three pointer fell short, giving Ohio State the 67-64 victory. David Lighty was the player of the game with 19 points, while Sullinger and Minnesota’s Mbakwe picked up double doubles with 12 rebounds and 15 and 16 points respectively.
Both teams established their man to man defense to start the game. Minnesota’s did not put them in position to box-out Sullinger on the offensive glass, but did give them the opportunity double team in in the paint. OSU’s defense gave Minnesota lots of trouble early on, producing a steal on the first possession and forcing the Gophers to use the entirity of the shot clock before taking a prayer of a basket.
Early on, the Bucks took advantage of the Gopher defense by driving the lane down the left side. While that wasn’t the only look the Buckeyes had, it seemed to be the most consistently available. Minnesota’s big men seemed unable to adjust quickly to the Buckeye’s motion offense. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Minnesota’s big men didn’t have a strategy of their own. The Gophers were able to grab two quick fouls in the paint, one each on Sullinger and Lauderdale, which was clearly designed to try to take away OSU’s inside presence early.