Sports editor Jim Rossow's weekly look around the league:
W L W L AS A BEER FOR UNOFFICIAL — COURTESY N-G’S DAVE BURLESON — THEY’D BE ...
Indiana 12 2 24 3 Budweiser: King of the league
Michigan State 11 3 22 5 Guinness: Stout
Wisconsin 10 4 18 8 Old Milwaukee: Nothing fancy
Michigan 9 4 22 4 Miller: Could still live high life in April
Ohio State 9 5 19 7 Landshark: Need to stay hungry to improve seeding
Illinois 7 7 20 8 Shock Top: Upset of Indiana got things brewing
Iowa 6 7 17 9 Sam Adams: Basketball revolution going down in Iowa City
Minnesota 6 8 18 9 Coors: Situation’s rocky
Purdue 5 7 12 13 Foster’s: Down Under .500
Northwestern 4 10 13 14 Keystone: Fans have bitter beer face
Nebraska 3 10 12 14 Natural Light: Too much of it makes you sick
Penn State 0 14 8 18 O’Doul’s: Not the least bit potent
Want to know which of this week’s games are worth a look? Here’s the scoop from sports editor JIM ROSSOW, who is no longer on the bubble after an 8-2 week:
Iowa at Nebraska, 1 p.m., no TV
The Huskers, who will move out of the Bob Devaney Sports Center after this season, opened the joint against the Hawkeyes in 1976. They lost that one, too.
Rossow’s pick: Iowa, 65-61
Illinois at No. 7 Michigan, noon, ESPN
Trey Burke needs 13 points to become the 47th Wolverine — but just the seventh sophomore — to reach 1,000.
Rossow’s pick: Michigan, 75-70
No. 4 Michigan State at No. 18 Ohio State,
3 p.m., WCIA (CBS)
How has Thad Matta kept football fans coming to basketball games since arriving in 2004? He’s 151-14 at Schottenstein Center, the most home wins of any Big Ten school in that span.
Rossow’s pick: Ohio State, 62-60
Northwestern at Purdue,
5 p.m., BTN
How the mighty have fallen: Boilermakers haven’t been ranked in almost two years (March 14, 2011). It’s not as bad as Northwestern, however, which has cracked the AP Top 25 once since 1969.
Rossow’s pick: Purdue, 54-51
No. 1 Indiana at Minnesota,
6 p.m., ESPN
Hoosiers are doing well off the court, too. They’re the only school to have two players named Academic All-American: Cody Zeller (first team), Jordan Hulls (third team). The last Hoosier to make the grade was Luke Recker in 1999.
Rossow’s pick: Indiana, 71-58
Nebraska at Wisconsin,
8 p.m., BTN
For the 13th consecutive season, Badgers will have a winning Big Ten record. Kansas (24 straight) is the only major-conference team that is enjoying a better run.
Rossow’s pick: Wisconsin, 48-41
No. 7 Michigan at Penn State,
5:30 p.m., BTN
In its latest mock NBA draft, CBSsports.com has three Wolverines going: sophomore Trey Burke (No. 9), freshman Glenn Robinson III (No. 26) and junior Tim Hardaway Jr. (No. 39).
Rossow’s pick: Michigan, 80-73
Purdue at Iowa,
7:30 p.m., BTN
We apologize for doubting Roy Devyn Marble during his midseason funk. In the current three-game win streak, he’s averaging 19.3 points on 50 percent shooting.
Rossow’s pick: Iowa, 75-68
No. 18 Ohio State at Northwestern
6 p.m., ESPN/2
Deshaun Thomas needs three rebounds to become the 24th Buckeye with 500 boards and 1,000 points — and the fifth coached by Thad Matta. The others: William Buford, Terence Dials, Evan Turner and David Lighty.
Rossow’s pick: Ohio State, 65-52
D.J. Richardson 1
Brandon Paul 2
Sam McLaurin 5
Tracy Abrams 4
Joseph Bertrand —
Rossow’s take: Only four Illini have played more minutes than Richardson (4,062): Dee Brown (4,698), Demetri McCamey (4,374), Bruce Douglas (4,373) and Cory Bradford (4,351).
BIG TEN MVP
STAR, SCHOOL PREVIOUS
Victor Oladipo, Indiana 1
Trey Burke, Michigan 2
Cody Zeller, Indiana 3
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State 4
Pick a senior, Illinois —
Rossow’s take: It’s not just about offense for Oladipo, who is on pace to break Indiana’s single-season record for steals. He has 64 and trails a pair of Illinois prep legends: Isiah Thomas (74) and Quinn Buckner (65).
FRESHMAN OF YEAR
ROOKIE, SCHOOL PREVIOUS
Gary Harris, Michigan State 1
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana 3
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin 2
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan 5
A.J. Hammons, Purdue 4
Rossow’s take: Only two Spartans rookies — Chris Hill (66) and Shawn Respert (60) — have more three-pointers than Harris (51).
COACH OF YEAR
BOSS, SCHOOL PREVIOUS
John Groce, Illinois 1
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin 3
Tom Crean, Indiana 4
Fran McCaffery, Iowa —
John Beilein, Michigan 5
Rossow’s take: McCaffery, 46-46 at Iowa, is three wins from 300 in his career.
SIXTH MAN OF YEAR
SUB, SCHOOL PREVIOUS
Will Sheehey, Indiana 2
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin 1
Darnell Valentine, Michigan St. —
Tyler Griffey, Illinois 3
Mitch McGary, Michigan 5
Rossow’s take: Michigan is trying to become the eighth team to land two players on the league’s All-Freshman Team. The others: Illinois in 2003 (James Augustine, Dee Brown), Michigan in 2004 (Dion Harris, Courtney Sims), Indiana in 2005 (Robert Vaden, D.J. White), Ohio State in 2007 (Mike Conley Jr., Greg Oden), Purdue in 2008 (Robbie Hummel, E’Twaun Moore), Ohio State in 2009 (William Buford, B.J. Mullens) and Ohio State in 2011 (Aaron Craft, Jared Sullinger).
BY THE NUMBERS
Most Big Ten tournament wins
COACH, SCHOOL TOTAL
Tom Izzo, Michigan St. (above) 18
Thad Matta, Ohio State 15
Steve Alford, Iowa 13
Bruce Weber, Illinois 12
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin 11
Rossow’s take: Thanks to Weber, Lon Kruger (6-2) and Bill Self (5-2), Illinois has more tourney wins (23) than any other team.
Teams in the NCAA field
Michigan State Lock
Ohio State Lock
Rossow’s take: Hawkeyes kicking themselves for losing four Big Ten games in which they had the lead with less than two minutes left.