Big Ten Weekend in Review: Senior EditionPosted by Brendan Brody on March 11th, 2014
Throughout many campuses within the conference this weekend there were some sort of Senior Day festivities. In honor of this, and the fact that many seniors submitted some top-notch performances which lead to victories for their teams, the weekend in review will have a different format this time around. Before we get to some of these key performances, something else has to be discussed.
Biggest Win: Nebraska continued with their incredible streak of home performances with their victory over Wisconsin on Sunday night. The atmosphere was probably one of the best in all of college basketball this season, as the BTN announcers literally had an app at their disposal where they were periodically checking the decibel level throughout the telecast. Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway essentially got to the basket whenever they wanted, and they both finished up with 26 points. They also got some timely shooting from Walter Pitchford and Ray Gallegos and were able to get the signature win of the Tim Miles era. Most bracket predictions have the team solidly into the field and off of the bubble for now. A win against either Purdue or Ohio State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament would make it inevitable.
Best Senior Day Performance: Jordan Morgan: Morgan notched his first double-double of the season in his last game ever at Crisler Arena. He had 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field while adding 10 rebounds (5 of which were on the offensive backboard). This wasn’t a traditional long-range shooting clinic for the Wolverines, as they only hit 4-for-15 from deep. Morgan showed his importance should another cold shooting day come up for them in the postseason. His presence and toughness inside will be needed if the team needs to find other ways to score aside from just lighting it up from outside.
Other Senior Performances of Note: After seemingly spending about 13 years in Columbus, Aaron Craft also went out a winner after Ohio State held on for a close win over Michigan State, 69-67. His performance was the template of so many other ones in a Buckeye uniform. He scored 11 points, had 7 assists, and 4 steals. He barreled his way to the hoop for some layups into pressure, played pressure defense for all 40 minutes, and made two hustle/defensive plays in the games final minute to help seal things for Ohio State. After suffering through a horrible Senior Night himself, Drew Crawford decided to get some vengeance and ruin Purdue’s. Crawford put 27 points on the board in his final regular season game in a Northwestern uniform. He went for 19 in the second half, and was clutch at the free throw line (13-for-14) for the Wildcats. Northwestern ended up winning their fourth conference road game in a season that despite a 13-18 record, has to be looked at as a successful first year for Chris Collins.
Senior Performances Honorable Mention: Jon Ekey also ruined some Senior Day festivities, as he hit a back-breaking three-pointer with less than a second left on the clock against Iowa to break a tie and give Illinois another road win. He went 3-for-4 from three and provided some outside punch that would have been valuable when the Illini were in the midst of their swoon earlier in Big Ten play. Maverick Ahanmisi has not gotten off the bench very often for Minnesota, but he scored 13 of his 43 points this season to help the Gophers beat Penn State. With the emergence of Daquein McNeil as a fourth guard off the bench, Ahanmisi has lost a lot of playing time. He took advantage of his opportunity Sunday and provided a spark in his last game in The Barn.