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Illinois hasn’t been Big Ten’s ‘worst’ team in last month?

Christian Watford, Meyers Leonard

Indiana’s Christian Watford dunks against Illinois’ Meyers Leonard during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Illinois’ recent woes are no secret. The Illini have lost nine of their last 11 games and have won just once in February. Coach Bruce Weber is dealing with rumors that he’ll soon be fired and, until Sunday’s win at Iowa, it wasn’t clear if the players even listened to him anymore.

Yet, since Jan. 31 Illinois hasn’t been the league’s “worst” team.

That would be Ohio State.

I’ll explain.

The Buckeyes are 23-6 overall, but have stumbled a bit lately, going 4-3 in their last seven games. But in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency, no Big Ten team’s experienced a bigger drop in the last 29 days or so, according to this revealing post by Dan Hanner. (OSU did crush the Illini during their game in that span.)

Now, the Buckeyes also played the likes of Wisconsin (twice), Michigan State, Michigan and Purdue in that span, so some stumbling is expected. In fact, may as well just call it the price of playing in the Big Ten. But when you look at what Michigan State’s done (the Spartans’ have improved in that same span), it gives one some pause regarding the Buckeyes.

Go read Dan’s post. It’ll help you prep for your bracket.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.