THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE. Considered the nation's best basketball conference is currently 18-3 after almost a week of play. The latest Ken Pomery rankings have three B1G teams in the Top 5 and four in the Top 10. Here's a look at how we arrived at this record and what to look for moving forward.
MICHIGAN (3-0). The Wolverines are 3-0 after opening the season with Slippery Rock. They played Monday against IUPUI and again Tuesday against Cleveland State in the preseason NIT. Slippery Rock was no match and the Wolverines hit 100 led by Tim Hardaway's 25 points. Michigan followed up their opener with two more wins with a 30 point margin of victory or better. After three games, Trey Burke and Hardaway are both averaging 18.3 and 17.3 points per game. Freshman Glenn Robinson III is averaging 13.3 points on 65.2% shooting. Up next for Michigan is Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden.
ILLINOIS (2-0). Illinois opened the season last Friday against Colgate. The Illini won that contest by 20, 75-55. Monday, Illinois improved to 2-0 by beating St. Francis 89-64. Brandon Paul is averaging 17 points per game and 5.5 assists in Illinois' first two. Tyler Griffey recorded 17 points gainst St. Francis and is averaging 13.5 points per game thus far. Up next for Illinois is Hawai'i this Saturday afternoon.
INDIANA (2-0). It's been a couple of cupcakes for the nation's #1 rated team. The Hoosiers opened the season with Bryant (not Kobe) and started strong with a 97-54 win. Monday, Indiana took North Dakota to the woodshed. Cody Zeller's 22 points paved the way for the 87-61 win. Zeller is averaging 20 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in two blowouts. Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell distributed an average of five assists per game. Indiana takes on Sam Houston tonight. The Hoosiers are a 31.5 point favorite.
MINNESOTA (2-0). The Gophers, those pinko commie bastards, opened the season beating American. They followed up that 72-36 win with some #MACtion Monday night against Toledo. The Gophers routed the Rockets 82-56. After two games, guard Austin Hollins is the teams leading scorer at 16.5 ppg. Center Elliot Eliason is averaging 5.5 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. The Gophers next take on Tennessee State tonight. Minnesota is favored by 15.
NEBRASKETBALL (1-0). Hey! Nebraska opened the season with a win! They beat Southern 66-55 on Sunday. It was Tim Miles' debut as the new coach of the Huskers. Forward Brandon Ubel had 21 points, 12 rebounds and one block in the victory. Nebraska will take on a 2-0 Valparaiso team tonight. Nebraska is a five point underdog at home.
NORTHWESTERN (1-0). Texas Southern was no match for the Wildcats. Attendees would have no doubt pulled out their books in the second half of that 79-49 blowout. jNW was led by Drew Crawford's 20 points. All of those 20 came in the first half as the Cats built a 29 point lead. Northwestern will host the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils tonight.
OHIO STATE (1-0). The Buckeyes got all dressed up to play but had their first game postponed due to condensation on the basketball floor. Ohio State and Marquette were to play on an aircraft carrier in the "Carrier Classic." That experiment may be all but over now. OSU did get win number one Sunday versus Albany. The Buckeyes got 20 points from Aaron Craft and another 18 from Lenzelle Smith Jr. to win 82-60. Ohio State will again play Saturday afternoon against (0-2) Rhode Island.
PENN ST (1-0). Penn State opened the season last Friday against St. Francis (Pa.) and pulled out a win. Tim Frazier recorded 23 points and added six assists in the 65-58 victory. The Nittany Lions tip-off tonight in the Puerto Rico Classic against #11 ranked North Carolina State. The Wolfpack is favored to win by 12.
WISCONSIN (1-1). Bucky opened the season witha 40 point win over Southeast Louisiana. Practically ever Badger earned playing time against this cupcake. The bench had 34 points. Last night, Wisconsin didn't fare so well in a match-up with #10 Florida. It was tight for awhile in the first half but Florida's hot shooting helped them pull away. One-time Hawkeye commit Ben Brust is averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists per game. Forward Jared Berggren leads the Badgers with 19 points per game. Wisconsin will take on Cornell next on Sunday evening.
MICHIGAN STATE (1-1). Sparty opened their season in Germany taking on UCONN in a military base aircraft hangar. MSU was down early but battled back against the Huskies. UCONN ultimately won the game 66-62. The Spartans then flew back to Michigan but then quickly caught a flight to Atlanta. They faced Kansas in the Champions Classic and won 67-64. Guard Keith Appling has been outstanding thus far, averaging 18 points and 3.5 assists per game. Centers Derek Nix and Adreian Payne are getting it done inside. Nix has grabbed 9.5 boards per and Payne 2.5 blocks. Michigan State will take some time off from traveling, they'll take on Texas Southern on Sunday.
PURDUE (1-1). The Boilers opened their season against Bucknell. The Bison are no cupcake as they are currently ranked #52 by Ken Pomeroy. Purdue found that out the hard way by losing last Friday night 70-65 in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers would bounce back in their second game of the season versus Hofstra. Purdue won 83-54 despite recording 20 turnovers. Purdue is favored by 2.5 tonight against Villanova. Tip-off is set for 8:30 pm (CST).