Friday, February 2, 2007

Around the Big Ten

What other schools are saying about this weekend's match-ups in men's hoops:

Purdue at Penn St.


From The Exponent - Purdue (3-5 Conference, 14-8 Overall) is still searching for its first road win of the season and they have an excellent chance to get it in State College this weekend against Penn St. The Boilermakers are looking to rebound from their first home loss of the year against Ohio St. on Tuesday. This game will obviously be very different, but still Coach Painter is worried about match-up problems with Penn St.'s Geary Claxton and Jamelle Conley. He wants to make sure his team keeps them off the glass, a problem they had in their last meeting in West Lafayette.

Penn St.

From The Daily Collegian - Penn St. (1-6 Conference, 10-10 Overall) is looking for a win, any win right now. They've lost six straight games to six different opponents, including fellow cellar dweller Minnesota last weekend. The skid has pretty much ruined the Nittany Lions' pre-season goal of making the NCAA tournament. Penn St.'s woes continue on both the defensive and offensive ends, with an average margin of defeat of 13.6 points during the losing streak.

Analysis: Can't defend, can't score, can't win. That's basically the long and the short of it.

Purdue - 78

Penn St. - 60

Game Time - 11:07 CT
Television - ESPN Full Court

Northwestern at Wisconsin


From The Daily Northwestern - Northwestern (1-7 Conference, 11-10 Overall) isn't looking good coming into this game. This is a young Northwestern squad that played them tough at home, but on the road it's going to be a different story. The Wildcats have not won a road game against a ranked opponent since January 6, 1999.

From The Badger Herald - Wisconsin (7-1 Conference, 21-2 Overall) is staying positive after their first Big Ten loss of the year. They're already planning their next 17 game winning streak (that would be 8 regular season, 3 Big Ten Tournament, 6 NCAA games) and I would have to agree they are poised to make that run. They struggled against the Wildcats zone early in Evanston, but were able to figure it out to win that game.

Analysis - The Badgers are going to handle the zone at home against the young Wildcats.

Penn St. - 48

Wisconsin - 70

Game Time - 1 p.m. CT
Television - ESPN Full Court

Indiana at Iowa


From The Indiana Daily Student - Indiana (6-2 Conference, 16-5 Overall) has really put it together as of late. Except for a cold shooting night in Champaign, they've been red hot in nearly all facets of the game. One weakness is a possible over-reliance on the three as well as defensive breakdowns. But this is a team that doesn't give up and a coach that is known for his enthusiasm (on the court and with a cell phone).


From The Daily Iowan - The Hawkeyes ( 4-4 Conference, 12-10 Overall) are coming off a big comeback win on the road at Michigan. Adam Huluska remains the league's leading scorer and is looking to lead his team to a huge conference victory at home. Iowa currently sits in a tie for fourth place in conference and is looking to prove itself as that possible fourth team to get a bid from the Big Ten.

Analysis: Iowa needs this victory on its home court, and quite honestly, the rampant homerism of the Indiana student paper annoys me. I'm looking for Iowa in an upset here.

Indiana - 62

Iowa - 67

Game Time - 1:05 CT
Television - ESPN

Ohio St. at Michigan St.

Ohio St.

From The Latern - Ohio St. (7-1 Conference, 19-3 Overall) became the first team to win at Purdue this season on Tuesday and with the Wisconsin loss found themselves in a tie atop the Big Ten standings. Now the Buckeyes get ready for the Spartans for the second weekend in a row. This time around they're hoping for the same ending result with a different second half. The Buckeyes watched a huge second half lead dwindle to two in the final seconds in Columbus, with Drew Neitzel going off to outscore the Buckeyes in the second half. Defense will be the key for Ohio St., as they are 1-3 this season when their opponent scores more than 70.

Michigan St.

From The State News - The Spartans (4-4 Conference, 17-6 Overall) are ready for some revenge at home against the Buckeyes. The team will be focusing on the boards where they hold a + 9.5 rebound margin on the season (third in the nation). The team is going to have to help out Drew Neitzel, who tried to do it on his own in the last four minutes of the game in Champaign. Look for Goran Suton and/or Marquise Gray to step up in the game for the Spartans if they are going to win.

Analysis - Oden is going to be dominate down-low, that's pretty much a given. It's all going to come down to the perimeter play of the two teams. I think Ohio St. will hold the edge there and pull it out.

Ohio St. - 76

Michigan St. - 63

Game Time - 3 CT
Television - CBS

Big Ten Scoreboard (Sports Illustrated)

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