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Doc's Big Ten College Hoops Review by Max
The first weekend of action of Big Ten play produced only one major surprise. For the most part, the chalk cruised, covering four of the six games played. The only upset came in Bloomington, where the Hoosiers finally played up to their potential. The following will recap last week's action and preview the weekend ahead for Big Ten basketball teams in action.
The No. 1 team struggled early before putting the game away early in the second half. Illinois trailed 33-39 at the half, but by the midway point of the second half, the Illini had a comfortable 11-point lead. Dee Brown was the main culprit in the Boilers misery. He scored all 14 of his points in the second half and was one of the four players that scored at least eight points.
Purdue played their best first half of the season and kept the home crowd in the game throughout. Then they realized that they were a team that could not score, and came falling back into reality. A 23-6 run by the Illini to open the second half spelled the end for the Boilers. Illinois will travel to Evanston next week and Purdue will have a home game against their in-state rival.
The only upset in the conference came Saturday night in Bloomington, as the Badgers failed to show up. For Wisconsin, this was dejavu all over again as this game was very similar to its contest against Marquette. In both games, the Badgers got down big early and could never recover. The lead in this game stayed around eight to twelve points for its entirety. Bracey Wright had an outstanding game, scoring 30 points along with four rebounds. The Badgers had no answer for him and we at Doc's Sports were delighted with the result.
We used this game as our first six-unit selection of the season and the game was never in doubt. The Badgers will struggle on the road this season and look for us to go against them again, in situations where they are a favorite. The Badgers have a home date with Michigan State on Sunday and this will be the first match-up of the season between the big three in the conference.
After a great showing in the non-conference season, the Hawkeyes have taken two steps back including a loss in Columbus last Saturday. Iowa is now 0-2 in conference play and needs to regroup quickly in order to keep their hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid alive. I fully believe that Steve Alford's future is on the line and anything less then a tournament bid will result in his firing.
Thad Matta picked up his first career Big Ten win in this contest as the Bucks dominated the game winning 81-69. State was up 15 points at halftime and cruised to a victory behind Terence Dial's 22 points. Iowa will be at home this week squaring off against Minnesota. Must win, enough said! The Bucks will travel to Baton Rouge for a rare non-conference game in January. This would be a game that I would stay away from.
Doc's Sports has yet to lose a top play on Saturday and that trend will continue this week, as we will be releasing our, "Underdog Game of the Year." This homer will be as good as money in the bank. Be sure to check back latter this week, for a preview of an upcoming west coast game.