Big Ten Men's Basketball: Tough to Watch

Rob WunschCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2008

The Big Ten Conference has always been known for its physical play and defensive, low scoring games.

This past week in the Big Ten has been no exception—physical play and scoring droughts put many viewers to sleep.

Ohio State traveled to Penn State on Tuesday night and played a non-typical first half.  The score was tied at 34 and the tempo of the game was fast paced.  In the second half Penn State went over 10 minutes without scoring a point.

Ohio State went on to win the game 68-56.  The Lions only shot 35 percent from the field for the game.

Wednesday night, Iowa slugged it out with Purdue.  Purdue won the game 51-50 on a free throw with 1.4 seconds left in the game.

Iowa had 19 turnovers in the game and Purdue added in 12 turnovers of their own.  Needless to say, both teams didn't seem to want the game so the zebra's gave it to Purdue with the last second foul call.

Michigan State and Illinois also played on Wednesday night. Michigan State beat Illinois 51-41.

In the first nine minutes of this game the score was 10-3, advantage MSU.  That's right: Illinois only had three points in the first 11 minutes.

Illinois actually got hot at the end of the half and took the lead 24-20.  Illinois had 16 turnovers and Michigan State added 18 of their own.

Needless to say, this game was uglier then the Iowa/Purdue game.

Minnesota and Michigan squared off on Thursday night in Ann Arbor.  This game actually had some offense; however, Michigan really never got closer then six points late in first half.

Minnesota got hot and cruised to a 77-65 victory.

The showcase game of the week was Indiana (17-3, 6-1) at Wisconsin (17-3, 7-1).  The game was shown on the ESPN prime-time slot on Thursday night.

I just hope the rest of the country wasn’t watching.

Indiana scored 12 points in the first 16 minutes of the first half and trailed 25-12.  At the half Wisconsin had the lead, 30-20.

Indiana did manage to make it somewhat competitive in the second half.  Indiana trailed 48-43 with seven minutes left in the game.  Indiana would only score six points the rest of the game, losing badly 62-49.

The two top teams in the Big Ten conference shot 33 and 34 percent from the field.

Don’t expect the weekend games to wake up the viewers.  The top teams in the Big Ten all have matchups against the bottom tier of the conference.