Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Terps hold off UConn, Michigan crushed by SMU

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Big Ten basketball roundup: Terps hold off UConn, Michigan crushed by SMU

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Monday, Dec. 7, 2015:

Iowa 90, Western Illinois 56

The Hawkeyes dropped 53 points in the first half, shooting 50 percent in the blowout. Jarrod Uthoff had a huge game with 27 points, making four 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds. Dom Uhl had 15 points off the bench, and Adam Woodbury scored 10 points. Iowa came away with 10 steals, Anthony Clemmons recording three swipes in his stat-heavy night, also scoring nine points, handing out six assists and blocking a shot.

Purdue 80, IUPUI 53

The Boilers kept their record perfect at 9-0 with a runaway win. Purdue allowed just 23 second-half points, out-shooting IUPUI, 51.9 percent to 32.8 percent on the night. The Boilers came away with 10 steals -- four from Kendall Stephens -- and blocked nine shots -- Isaac Haas swatting three. A.J. Hammons led the way with 14 points, Stephens had 13 with three made 3s, and Caleb Swanigan, Haas and Vince Edwards also scored in double figures.

[MORE BIG TEN: Spartans allow just 33 points to Binghamton in improving to 9-0]

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015:

Maryland 76, Connecticut 66

The Terps, behind Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone, led from start to finish, but things got dicey as the lead shrank late. Maryland was up by 15 with a little less than eight minutes to play, but a 16-4 UConn run made it just a three-point margin inside of three minutes. But immediately following the 3 that cut it to three, UConn head coach Kevin Ollie was hit with a game-changing technical when he threw some papers on the court.

Three Trimble free throws and a Rasheed Sulaimon layup later, breathing room was reestablished and the Terps held on. Trimble was exceptional with 25 points, 14 of them coming from the charity stripe, and Diamond Stone was strong, too, with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Southern Methodist 82, Michigan 58

Michigan was hammered, as SMU shot 57.4 percent from the field compared to an ugly 35 percent for the Wolverines. Michigan missed 26 3-point attempts, made just six of its 12 free-throw tries and lost the rebounding battle by 25. Caris LeVert made just one basket, going 1-for-13 from the floor, and the lone make came in the final five minutes of the game. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson each had 15 points, Robinson hitting five 3s.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini bounce back with win over Western Carolina]

South Dakota State 84, Minnesota 70

Shockingly, the Gophers finished with 70 points after scoring just 22 in the first 20 minutes, trailing the Jackrabbits, 45-22, at the break. SDSU shot nearly 50 percent from the field and hit 11 3-pointers on the night. Meanwhile, Minnesota shot just 36.8 percent from the field. Nate Mason scored 18 points, hitting three 3s, and Kevin Dorsey and Dupree McBrayer each were in double figures off the bench, McBrayer going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. For the Gophers, it wasn’t the second home loss to a team from South Dakota in four days.

Ohio State 74, Air Force 50

The Buckeyes out-shot the Falcons, 47.4 percent to 33.3 percent, in a comfortable win. Air Force scored only 16 first-half points and turned the ball over 18 times. Marc Loving had 18 points to lead Ohio State, part of a double-double with 10 rebounds. JaQuan Lyle had 12 points, and Jae’Sean Tate had 11. Trevor Thompson blocked four shots.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Terps gear right here]

Penn State 76, George Washington 66

The Lions missed 19 3-point attempts on the evening, scoring just 33 points in each half. And sending the Colonials to the free-throw line 28 times didn’t help much, either. Shep Garner scored 22 points to lead all scorers, and Brandon Taylor had 15. Payton Banks reached double figures with 10 points but was just 4-for-13 from the field, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range.

Rutgers 75, Central Connecticut 59

Both teams were under 30 points in the first half, but Rutgers nearly touched 50 in the second. The Knight shot 49.1 percent from the field, holding the visiting Blue Devils below 40 percent. The big edge came from the free-throw line, where Rutgers went 13-for-17. Corey Sanders had 18 points, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He also handed out six assists, grabbed five rebounds and came away with four steals. Bishop Daniels had 17 points off the bench, adding six rebounds and six assists.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

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USA TODAY

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 12 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (10-1)

Still the team with the best resume in the country, no one can compete with OU’s wins over TCU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, the latter two coming away from Norman. Baker Mayfield might not be a choir boy, but he’s the best player in the nation.

2. Miami (10-0)

You might think that being down 28-14 to Virginia in the second half was cringe-worthy, but the Canes made up for things by storming back with 30 unanswered points. Now they finally have to go away from South Florida for the first time since almost losing to North Carolina last month.

3. Alabama (11-0)

Tide gonna roll. But this Cupcake Weekend in the SEC has got to stop. While teams in other conferences are slugging it out against rivals, Bama gets to take a day off against Mercer? It’s just not fair. Also, Bama’s schedule is so soft, there’s no way it deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country.

4. Georgia (10-1)

The Dawgs should wrap an 11-1 regular season this weekend against Georgia Tech. But the SEC title game presents a kind of no-win scenario: undefeated Alabama or Auburn, who throttled Georgia earlier this month.

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

You didn’t need Wisconsin to do what it did to Iowa and Michigan to prove it had one of the best defenses in the country — but that sure didn’t help. Stockpiling national love with those two wins, a win in the Big Ten title game figures to make the Badgers a Playoff lock.

6. Clemson (10-1)

Why’d Kelly Bryant have to go and get hurt for that Syracuse game? The Tigers would be No. 1 and the undisputed best team in the country. Still, though, a win over Miami in the ACC title game ought to get the champs back into the Playoff.

7. Auburn (9-2)

Great job pounding Louisiana-Monroe, Tigers. You shall not escape the wrath over Cupcake Weekend in the SEC. That dumb game aside, Auburn and Alabama will meet in a titanic Iron Bowl this weekend with a trip to the SEC title game on the line — and perhaps a Playoff spot, as well.

8. Ohio State (9-2)

Not that pummeling Illinois is any big deal, but the Buckeyes are still alive in this thing and look like a team capable of making some Playoff noise. First, Ohio State has to win The Game and then the Big Ten title game to knock out undefeated Wisconsin.

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

Out of the Playoff chase thanks to that loss at Miami, Notre Dame squeaked by Navy this past weekend. Hope a New Year’s Six bowl game is enough for the Irish. We know it’s not enough for those ND fans. So maybe join a conference? Just saying.

10. TCU (9-2)

The Frogs can still make their mark on the Playoff race, even if they can’t get in themselves. The Big 12 title game will almost surely be TCU’s attempt at revenge on Oklahoma. Unfortunately, if revenge does come, it will probably cannibalize the conference’s Playoff hopes, too.

11. Penn State (9-2)

Why Penn State gave up 44 points to Nebraska, I do not know. What I do know is that probably no one cared because Penn State is going to go down as the most inconsequential 10-2 team of all-time. Such a bummer considering the preseason expectations for both the team and Saquon Barkley.

12. USC (10-2)

Yeah, I guess there’s still a way for USC to make the Playoff, but it’s hard to imagine that madness unfolding, even in the oft-mad college football. The Trojans get the winner of the Apple Cup in the Pac-12 title game.

13. UCF (10-0)

Finally we get our much-anticipated UCF-USF showdown this weekend. Make it count, Knights. This is probably gonna be Scott Frost’s last regular-season game in Orlando.

14. Washington (9-2)

It’s hard to say who has the edge in the Apple Cup, but certainly the stakes are high, with the winner going off to play USC in the Pac-12 title game. Can either team make the Playoff? Well, probably not, no.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Is this it for Mike Leach on The Palouse? He could be a hot candidate this offseason and leave for perceived greener pastures. Winning the Apple Cup would go a long way toward making that happen.

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

A win in the Egg Bowl means a 9-3 regular season for the Bulldogs with their three losses coming against three top-10 teams.

17. Oklahoma State (8-3)

Poor Okie State has been so good all year and had two losses to the two best teams in its conference, and then it went and lost to K-State for some ridiculous reason. The Mullet deserved better in 2017.

18. Northwestern (8-3)

The Cats are the fourth-best team in the Big Ten, simple as that, with wins over Michigan State and Iowa and conference losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. As commendable an effort as you’ll find in a highly competitive league. Plus, Fitz’s team is on a six-game win streak that could end up extending to eight.

19. Stanford (8-3)

Already with a win over Washington, Stanford could close the regular season with two wins over top-10 teams in its final three games. Also Bryce Love is back in the groove after back-to-back 100-yard games.

20. Memphis (9-1)

The Tigers have lost just one game all season, to the best Group of Five team out there. Heck of a season by Memphis.

21. Michigan State (8-3)

A 17-7 win over Maryland couldn't have been the most exciting way for anyone to spend their weekend. Sparty's had a mighty fine season, though, considering how badly things went in 2016.

22. LSU (8-3)

The SEC has seemingly gotten increasingly better as the year has progressed, with LSU and Mississippi State making for a solid-enough middle tier. But remember when LSU lost to Troy? That wasn’t good.

23. South Florida (9-1)

If not for that loss to Houston, USF’s showdown with UCF this weekend would be for Group of Five supremacy. Even without that, though, this should be a highly entertaining affair.

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

The Hokies have a chance to salvage their tumble at the close of the season with a win at Virginia. But given how well the Cavs played at Miami this past weekend, a VT win is no sure thing.

25. Iowa State (7-4)

I understand the math and all, but can't the Big 12 just suspend its rules and send Iowa State to the title game? We all want to see the OU-ISU rematch. Why are you preventing us from being happy, Big 12?