As I sit here watching the Ohio State vs. Wisconsin game, I figure it's only suitable to provide a look at the Big 10 this week!
Ohio State, Sag #1, kenpom offense #3, kenpom defense #2, 1st in conference at 11-0, 24-0
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Florida, Fla. St, Purdue, Minnesota
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: None
3P% - 40.4%, Reb. Margin = +5.2, FT 68.5%, FG 49.6%, Opp. FG 41.5% –
Led by J. Sullinger (6'9" freshman 18 ppg, 10.2 reb, 56.8% FG%) and Buford (6'5" junior, 13.6ppg, 44% 3p%) and 5th-year senior Lighty (6'5", 12.5 ppg, 40.7% 3p%), and Diebler (6'6" senior, 11.2 ppg, 48% 3p% ). Perhaps more importantly, backup? freshman PG Aaron Craft has been sensational (4.6 assists, 28minutes per game). This team has been #1 and is highly regarded, and its the team I follow, so I will be keeping my eye on them all season long. Having a top-5 NBA talent in Sullinger (who is a bona fide PF, with back-to-the-basket moves) along with all of these 3 -point shooters makes OSU extremely dangerous. They also have another big body in Lauderdale, so its not like Sullinger can be complely focused on.
Wisconsin, Sag #11, kenpom offense #1, kenpom defense #36, 2nd in conference at 8-3, 18-5
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Marquette, Boston College, Illinois (split), Purdue, Minnesota
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: UNLV, Notre Dame, Illinois (split), Mich St (split), Penn St
3P% - 37.7%, Reb. Margin = +3.9, FT 82.9% (that's amazing!), FG 44.6%, Opp. FG 40.8% –
Led by Jon Leuer (6'10" SENIOR, 19.4 ppg, 7.4 rebs, 44% 3point, 48% FG%) and Jordan Taylor (6'1" junior, 17.7 ppg, 4.7 assists, 41% 3p%). This Jon Leuer is awesome. The team doesn't rebound as great as most Wisconsin teams. What gives me some pause about this team are the losses to UNLV and Notre Dame, meaning they lost their toughest games out of conference.
Purdue, Sag #9, kenpom offense #20, kenpom defense #10, 2nd in conference at 8-3, 19-5
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Va. Tech, Alabama, Minnesota (split)
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Richmond, W. Va., Minnesota (split), Ohio St, Wisconsin
3P% - 38.4%, Reb. Margin = +2.6, FT 71.7%, FG 45.4%, Opp. FG 41.3% –
If only Robbie Hummel was healthy... the other senior stars on this team (6'10" senior - JaJuan Johnson - 20.6 ppg, 7.6 rebs, 50% FG%; 6'4" senior - E'Twaun Moore - 17.8 ppg, 5.6 rbs, 39% 3pt) are fantastic. This team could be dangerous in the tourney... but probably nothing more than a sweet 16 appearance.
Illinois, Sag #24, kenpom offense #27, kenpom defense #17, 4th in conference at 6-5, 16-8
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Maryland, UNC, Gonzaga, Wisconsin,
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Texas (in OT), Ill-Chicago!, Missouri, Penn St, Indiana, Northwestern
3P% - 40.4%, Reb. Margin = +2.1, FT 72.8%, FG 46.8%, Opp. FG 39.6% –
This team has been more Jekyl and Hyde then most. One atrocious loss (Ill-Chicago!), an awesome win (UNC), and a close call (Texas). I saw their star player against OSU (6'3" senior - G Demetri McCarney 14.8ppg, 6.6 assists, 3 TOs, 47.6% 3pt%) but he got outclassed by the freshman PG Craft and the OSU defense. Mike Davis (6'9" senior - 11.5ppg, 6.8 rebs, 52% FG%) also is the other main contributor then they have 4 guys between 8 and 9 ppg.
Michigan State, Sag #40, kenpom offense #49, kenpom defense #58, 5th in conference at 6-6, 14-10
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Washington, Wisconsin,
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: UConn, Duke, Syracuse, Texas, Penn St, IOWA!
3P% - 36.1%, Reb. Margin = +3.8, FT 68.9% , FG 44.0%, Opp. FG 42.9% –
PG Kore Luciuos has been kicked off the team. The team has gone from being ranked #2 in the nation at the start of the season (since they were returning everyone from last year's final 4 team), to being barely above .500 and in serious danger of not making the tourney. They are still led by Kalin Lucas (6'1" senior - 16.2 ppg, 3.5 assists, 40.7% 3p); Draymond Green (6'7" junior - 13.2 ppg, 8.5 rebs, 4.2 assists, 38.8% 3p); Durrell Summers (6'5" senior - 13.2 ppg, 4.3 rebs, 37.8% 3p%). I honestly don't know what to make of this team after all of the awful performances... in past years, Michigan State would snag a 10-seed and still make a run to the elite 8... then there wer other years they'd get bounced in the 1st round in that situation. Your guess is as good as mine on this.
Minnesota, Sag #35, kenpom offense #40, kenpom defense #72, 6th in conference at 5-7, 16-8
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: UNC, W. Va, Purdue (split)
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Virginia, Indian, Mich St,
3P% - 32.9%, Reb. Margin = +5.0, FT 64.9%, FG 46.1%, Opp. FG 39.7% –
What started as a promising season for Minnesota, has become unraveled due to injuries. Starting senior PG Al Nolen broke his foot and had surgery, and is just praying he returns for the tournament. His backup just happened to transfer earlier in the season... meaning freshmen are now manning the PG spot (and not playing well). The team is led by Hoffarber (6'4" senior - 14 ppg, 3.9 assists, 39.6% 3p); Mbakwe (6'8" junior - 13.2ppg, 10.6 rebs, 61% FG%); D. Joseph (6'4" junior - 11ppg, 38% 3p).
Penn State, Sag #73, kenpom offense #31, kenpom defense #129, 6th in conference at 5-7, 12-11
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Illinois, Wisconsin
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Ole Miss, Maine, Michigan (twice), Va. Tech, Maryland
3P% - 31.8%, Reb. Margin = +1.6, FT 72.4%, FG 43.0%, Opp. FG 44.0% –
I thought at the beginning of big 10 season they might have a chance to squeak out a bid. I know now from looking at their profile, it ain't going to hapen short of a miraculous run to end the season.
For the Big 10 to have 6 bids now, Minnesota needs to survive without their PG, and Michigan state needs to get some wins. For Penn State to grab an unreal SEVENTH bid, EVERYTHING would have to go right. I'd keep an eye on the inconsistent Illinois, and I'm not sure how far Wisconsin can actually go.