UnconsciousThursday night while Wonk was on a plane to Chicago, Illinois beat Purdue 84-50 in Champaign. Dee Brown scored 27 points and made 8-of-10 three's. As of this morning Brown is sixth in the nation in three-point FG percentage (.488) and his Big Ten-leading PPWS now stands at 1.43. Oh, yes, he was also on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.Not a bad few days.In today's less Wonk-ish venues.... There are four games today and, of course, it's senior day/night at each home venue....Wisconsin hosts Purdue today in Madison. Profile of the outgoing Badger senior class (Mike Wilkinson, Zach Morley, Clayton Hanson, Sharif Chambliss, and Andreas Helmigk) here. Profile of Helmigk here. Profile of senior Boilermaker guard Brandon McKnight here.Indiana hosts Northwestern today in Bloomington. The Hoosiers must win this game to preserve an outside shot at making the tournament. They should have no trouble doing so: the Wildcats haven't won in Bloomington since 1968 and are 1-6 on the road in conference play this season. (Wonk will say it again: how in the world did Minnesota lose at home to Northwestern?) Mike Davis says his team isn't looking past today's game: "We aren't the kind of basketball team that can take any opponent lightly, and if anyone is looking past Northwestern I would say they're crazy."
Michigan hosts Iowa today in Ann Arbor and Hawkeye Hoops blogger Ryan will be on the scene! We'll look forward to his Sunday recap. Meantime....Coverage of Steve Alford's post-Pierce lineup shuffles here....Hawkeye forward Greg Brunner is neck-and-neck with Penn State's Aaron Johnson for the conference rebounding title....Iowa appears to be on the verge of becoming the first Big Ten team ever to participate in four consecutive NIT's....Profile of outgoing Wolverine senior J.C. Mathis here.Pierre Pierce update: the trial date for the former Hawkeye guard has been set for May 10. Will Jeff Toobin be available?Michigan State hosts Penn State tonight in East Lansing. Profile of outgoing Spartan seniors Alan Anderson, Chris Hill, and Kelvin Torbert here....Penn State coach EdDechellis says he thinks his team's never recovered from close home losses to Buffalo and Texas A&M in December and January.Ohio State hosts Illinois tomorrow in Columbus. The Illini are 29-0 and attempting to become the first Big Ten team to record an undefeated regular season since Indiana did it on their way to a national championship in 1976. Multiple memes incoming, sir! Illinois says they're not looking past Ohio State, they remember last year's close finish in Columbus, etc., etc. Terence Dials is a beast, etc., etc. Last year St. Joseph's was 27-0 until they were defeated soundly by a certain Xavier team coached by...(zoinks!) Thad Matta! The Buckeye coach specializes in this! (Oh, and in case we hadn't heard, this is Ohio State's tournament.)...Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey wonders if Bill Self now regrets leaving Illinois. Oracular Illini observer Mark Tupper says simply, "The players don't seem to be awed one bit by what they're on the brink of accomplishing, but I am."Wonk back! Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me! Last word on the Indiana-Wisconsin game Wonk has received and posted many emails this week from disgruntled Indiana fans complaining about the officiating in the final minutes of the Hoosiers' 62-60 loss to Wisconsin in Madison Tuesday night. Now for an opposing view....Hi, Wonk,I don't think Indiana fans should complain too much about officiating. I saw the end of the Indiana-Michigan State game and the calls could not have gone better for Indiana if they had written the script themselves. You know what they say...those who live by the sword, die by the sword.And having done a little (very little) officiating myself, I can tell you, no one becomes an official to be appreciated. They do it because they love the game in the purest way and they're not going to "give" anything to either team.Eric W.Thanks, Eric!