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2011-2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball

 
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Big Ten Basketball Weekly Recap


 

Scores

Tuesday, January 3

Ohio State 71, Nebraska 40

Michigan State 63, Wisconsin 60 (OT)

Wednesday, January 4

Illinois 57, Northwestern 56

Iowa 64, Minnesota 62

Thursday, January 5

Indiana 73, Michigan 71

Penn State 65, Purdue 45

Saturday, January 7

Ohio State 76, Iowa 47

Illinois 59, Nebraska 54

Sunday, January 8

Michigan 59, Wisconsin 41

Indiana 88, Penn State 82

Purdue 79, Minnesota 66

The past week of basketball in the Big Ten witnessed the continuation of a story that's hard to believe: The Wisconsin Badgers are falling off the face of the earth, for all intents and purposes - at least this season.

The team that lost at home to Marquette in early December and then fell at home to Iowa on New Year's Eve had a chance to regroup on its home floor and re-establish itself as an NCAA Tournament team. Wisconsin was actually still comfortably placed within a would-be NCAA bracket as the week began, but now, after losing two more games, it's reasonable and even legitimate to think of the Badgers as a fence-sitting team, a member of Bubble Nation.

 

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Yes, Wisconsin lost a second consecutive home game by dropping a three-point decision to Michigan State this past Tuesday. The Badgers were consistently outplayed by the Spartans, who gave coach Tom Izzo a long-awaited win at the Kohl Center in Madison. Wisconsin had denied Izzo on so many occasions in the past, and before the Michigan State boss eventually hung up his whistle, he wanted to say that he could conquer the toughest home court in the Big Ten. Well, he finally did so... because Kohl has lost its fire this season in a spin-out-of-control year for Wisconsin hoops. The Badgers originally appeared to have tied the game on a banked-in wing three at the buzzer, but a replay review - which showed that the clock above the basket and the clock on the video display in front of Kohl Center suites were not synchronized - correctly ruled that the shot had not been released by the time the clock expired. The clock above the basket is the one that governs reviews, and the red light behind the backboard had turned on before the ball left the fingertips of the Wisconsin shooter. The Badgers walked off the court in defeat, and after losing again this past Sunday versus Michigan - scoring only 41 points in 40 minutes - they're groping for answers at the offensive end of the floor. Coach Bo Ryan is facing his toughest task in a full decade. It's hard to understand why and how point guard Jordan Taylor has plummeted after delivering a monster season a year ago.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Illinois won a couple of ugly defensive grinders, failing to score 60 points but succeeding in advancing up the ladder in the conference standings. Penn State stunned Purdue in a decisive Thursday blowout, although the Nittany Lions' win was given minimal publicity due to the hiring of Bill O'Brien as PSU's new head football coach.

Indiana beat Michigan in what was the highest-profile game of the week. The Hoosiers once again fended off a ranked team at home, re-establishing Assembly Hall as one of the toughest places to play in the league.

Tougher than the Kohl Center, that's for sure.

 

 

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer

 

 

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