The Jimmy V Classic doubleheader at Madison Square Garden annually provides soe outstanding basketball, with all of it being for a good cause. Tuesday night was no exception, and in the second half of the doubleheader Marquette and Washington put forth a thrilling display of basketball.
The game between #3 Duke and #2 Ohio State was a matchup expected to be a barnburner throughout. But in runs to begin and end the first half, the Buckeyes made a case to their fans and a national television audience that they should be mentioned in the same breath as Kentucky and North Carolina when talking about early favorites to win the national title. Thad Matta's team opened the game on an 11-0 run and finished the half with an 11-2 run on their way to the 85-63 win at Value City Arena, and four of their five starters finished in double figures.
The game between Duke and Kansas more than lived up to the pregame expectations on Wednesday night, but it was an unsung hero who stepped to the forefront late. Tyler Thornton, essentially a defensive substitute when Austin Rivers picked up his fourth foul, knocked down a pair of critical three pointers late to catapult the Blue Devils to the 68-61 win. Duke earned their fifth Maui Invitational title and moved to 15-0 all-time in the prestigious early season event.
As part of our 5-Year Ranking series, here's how the Big Ten teams stack up according to conference wins. The makeup of the Big Ten is quite different from most of the other power-conferences. The also-rans in the Big Ten have fared much better than other league also-rans, while the middle teams are much more mediocre. With one or two surprises, the final league standings will probably look pretty similar to the 5-year standings.
We'll track coaching changes as they occur. If there's any missing on here, or if you have contract info to add (including salaries), please mention it in the comments section.
Latest 8/20: UIC tabs Wisconsin assistant to replace Collins
Was: Jeff Lebo
Is: Tony Barbee (UTEP)
Was: Al Skinner
Is: Steve Donahue (Cornell)
Was: Oliver Purnell
Is: Brad Brownell (Wright State)
With four clear-cut big-dancers, the Big Ten oozes front-end quality. But with lower-seeded teams providing late season scares to perennial powers – see Michigan State barely escaping Penn State in East Lansing last week - look for some drama to unfold this Thursday thru Sunday in Indianapolis.
Betting odds are a great guide to college basketball entertainment. Unlike fans, who often ride the wave of media predictions, betting lines tend to be a bit more focused and can give you an objective picture of how teams matchup (though lines too can get caught up in the wave of human emotion).