Big Ten Morning Five: 02.27.12 EditionPosted by Ryan Terpstra on February 27th, 2012
- To win on the road in the Big Ten, someone is going to have to give a special performance. That’s exactly what Purdue got from sophomore Terone Johnson as the Boilermakers handed Michigan their first home loss of the season. Johnson dropped a career-high 22 points on the Wolverines, and was supported by Robbie Hummel and his 17 points. The Boilermakers have now won four out of their last five, and at 19-10, have probably wrapped up their case for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
- Michigan State hit plenty of milestones in its win Saturday over Nebraska. The Spartans are now guaranteed at least a share of the Big Ten crown after Michigan and Ohio State’s losses. Draymond Green also became only the third player in MSU history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds, joining Jumping Johnny Green and Greg Kelser. Besides those accomplishments, the Spartan defense was the star of the game as it held the Cornhuskers to only 34 total points. It was the fewest amount a Tom Izzo team had allowed since a win over Brown in 2006-07.
- Once again it is Bubble Watch time in Evanston, and Northwestern had its fans biting their nails in a 67-66 win over Penn State. John Shurna was sent to the line, and calmly knocked down two free throws to give the Wildcats an enormous win in that a loss could have been a death blow to their tournament chances. Now Northwestern embarks on a tough two-game stretch (vs. Ohio State, @ Iowa) to finish out the year and will hopefully do enough to make its first NCAA Tournament in program history. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi currently has Northwestern “in” the tournament, but the hopes of the Wildcats and their fans rest on their performance in those final two games.
- Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Just a couple of weeks ago, Ohio State was the toast of the Big Ten and many pundits were asking “who can beat the Buckeyes?” Michigan State answered that question in Columbus, then Michigan did it in Ann Arbor, and now Wisconsin has stolen a 63-60 victory in Value City Arena. Instead of worrying about a conference championship, now OSU has to be concerned about their seeding in the Big Ten Tournament and where they may end up in the NCAA Tournament as well. All is not well for the scarlet and gray as they try to right their ship before postseason play begins.
- And Bruce Weber thought HE had it bad. Frustrated Nebraska basketball booster Neal Hawks decided to vent his grievances regarding the program in a full-page advertisement in The World Herald sports section. He also took some time to support beleaguered head coach Doc Sadler. It hasn’t been a very fun season for Husker fans, but plenty of things need to be addressed before the program can move forward. Remedies such as spending more money and finding more support for the program from the fan base have been suggested. There is simply no easy transition when you enter one of (if not the) toughest conferences in college basketball.