What a week it was in the nation’s best conference.
Indiana took over the dubious distinction of the fifth straight No. 1 team to fall in as many weeks when the Hoosiers were stunned at the buzzer by Illinois. While they did bounce back nicely in Columbus on Sunday, the Hoosiers weren’t the only team in the conference victimized by a buzzer-beating shot.
That would be the Michigan Wolverines, who looked ready to win in Madison before Wisconsin’s Ben Brust sank a game-tying heave from half court to force overtime. There was no way the basketball gods were letting the Badgers lose in the extra period after that shot.
The buzzer-beating headlines overshadowed what may have been the best game thus far in the college basketball regular season that didn’t go into five overtimes when Michigan knocked off rival Ohio State in just one extra period. It was a rough week for the Buckeyes, who also lost to Indiana.
Elsewhere, Illinois followed up the Indiana win with another important upset at Minnesota. The Illini look to be a tournament team for now, barring some unexpected losses.
The Gophers, on the other hand, have lost six of eight and need to turn things around.
The Spartans come last (but not least) on this slide for metaphorical reasons. As everyone talks about the Indianas and Michigans of the world, Tom Izzo’s team quietly sits atop the Big Ten standings with the Hoosiers.
Don’t be surprised if the league’s best coach takes the league’s toughest and perhaps most underrated team to yet another Final Four in March.