Unlike last week when Iowa made a big move up the league's efficiency rankings, there no really big movers in either direction this week. Both Wisconsin and Michigan State were knocked down a peg, but both are still the league's best and third best, respectively, in efficiency margin. Illinois and Maryland were the biggest gainers, but neither team made much of a move in the ranking
The hardest part of the job tonight is picking just three nominees for the Dick Van Dyke Appliance World "WOW!" Play of the Game. When you make 14 three-pointers and have numerous other highlights, it's a bit of a challenge, but I'll do my best. Rayvonte Rice led five Illini players in double figures with 19 points and seven rebounds, and
The second half got a bit sloppy and chippy at times, but the Illini were never threatened by Northwestern tonight, cruising to an 86-60 win to get back to .500 in the Big Ten. Rayvonte Rice was one of five Illini in double figures, with 19 points and seven rebounds. Let's take a look at a very efficient night for the Illini:
Two Illini seniors, Rice and Starks, made plenty of plays tonight. No one else really did, at least not on offense. Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill combined to shoot 4-22 from the field, which won't get the job done most nights, especially on the road. But, we do have some choices tonight for the Dick Van Dyke Appliance W
The Illini offense sputtered in the second half tonight, and the result is a 68-60 loss at Iowa that puts the Illini's backs firmly against the wall. Win their final three regular season games, and they should get an NCAA Tournament bid. If not, they'll need to win some games in the Big Ten tournament to have a chance. Here are the final efficiency stats, first for Illinois:
It's time for our weekly look at efficiency stats in the Big Ten. I've added a couple of columns to the chart this week, one for last week's efficiency margin, and one for the difference between last week and this week. The big movers on the plus side this week are Iowa and Northwestern. Rutgers, Penn State, and Nebraska all took steps back over the past seven days. Let'
Stat of the night: Illinois shoots just 28.8 percent from the field. The Illini had their chances late, but couldn't hit an open shot. There were a few options for the Dick Van Dyke Appliance World "WOW!" Play of the Game. All three came late, as the Illini were trying to claw their way out of a 52-41 deficit. First, is this defensive flurry from Rayvonte Rice.
Ouch. The Illini's shooting touch left them tonight, as Illinois shot just 28.8 percent from the field and 2-16 from three-point range in a 60-53 loss to Michigan State. A 21-28 performance from the free throw line (17-21 in the second half) kept Illinois in the game, but it wasn't enough. Here are the final efficiency stats for the Illini:
As Big Ten play hits the dog days of February, a few things are readily apparent when looking at the league's efficiency stats for conference games only. First, Wisconsin continues to be the Big Ten's best by a wide margin. Second, Maryland continues to work magic in close games, thus drastically outperforming their efficiency margin. Third, the league's pace of play continues
Wisconsin showed why they're the class of the Big Ten today at the Kohl Center, knocking off Illinois 68-49. The Illini showed some fight in today's game, but couldn't keep the Badgers off the offensive glass, and didn't make enough shots in the second half to stay close. There were some highlights for today's Dick Van Dyke Appliance World "WOW!" Play of the Game, including the shoo