Archive for the 'Big Ten' Category

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, March 14

Monday, March 14th, 2016

The final weekend in Big Ten play has concluded, and the tournament brackets have been set. On Thursday, Penn State will play Wisconsin and Ohio State will play Michigan State. The winner of Penn State-Wisconsin will face Michigan and the other winner will play Minnesota.

Ohio State beat Michigan State 6-5 and then tied 101. The Gophers lost 4-3 to Wisconsin before winning 4-1.

Michigan needed to win to beat out Penn State for the second seed, and they finished with weekend with a statement sweep. The Wolverines won 7-1 and 6-1 over Penn State. The sweep puts the Wolverines in a better position to win the Big Ten, although they don’t need to win to make the NCAA tournament.

Every other team has to win to make the NCAA tournament. Since Minnesota has the bye, they have the best chance at getting the automatic bid. The only way for the Gophers to make the tournament is through that championship.

(After the jump: Déjà vu, can there be an upset and watch out for Ohio State)

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Weekend Preview: Big Ten, March 11

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The last weekend of the Big Ten regular season means a final showdown between the Wolverines and Nittany Lions – a showdown that will determine who gets the second bye spot. It’s probably more important for the Nittany Lions, since they need a Big Ten tournament win. The Wolverines are almost a lock for an at-large bid.

The Gophers will face Wisconsin while Michigan State and Ohio State face off. There aren’t many Big Ten standing implications in these two matchups, but there are PairWise implications. While the Gophers are first in the Big Ten, they’re on the outside of the PairWise, as are the Nittany Lions.

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Three Things I Think: Big Ten, March 7

Monday, March 7th, 2016

After a really interesting weekend, the Big Ten standings haven’t changed – but it has made things more interesting. Michigan was swept by Ohio State. Yes, swept by Ohio State. Penn State split with Wisconsin and the Gophers also split with Michigan State.

The Gophers are first with 39 points, securing a first-round bye. The Wolverines are still second but are now just three points ahead of Penn State. The Badgers’ fate for last is sealed. So the interesting battle remains for second spot. The Wolverines probably don’t need a tournament win to make the NCAA tournament, while Penn State probably does.

With just three points separating both teams for that last bye spot, next weekend’s matchup between the two will be fun.

(After the jump: PairWise implications, Michigan takeaways, who’s getting that second spot)

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Weekend Preview: Big Ten, March 4

Friday, March 4th, 2016

The second-to-last weekend in Big Ten play features all six teams in action. The two biggest matchups will probably be between the Buckeyes and Wolverines and Wisconsin and Penn State. The Wolverines and Gophers are trying to hold onto their bye spots, while Penn State is trying to steal one.

I don’t think Minnesota will have any trouble beating Michigan State. Michigan, however, will have some trouble with Ohio State. And with Wisconsin’s it’s hard to tell – the weekend could be an easy sweep, or the Badgers could give the Nittany Lions trouble.

The Gophers have a seven-point lead over Penn State and Michigan has a six-point lead over the Wolverines.

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Three Things I Think: Big Ten, March 1

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

With four teams in action this weekend, the two Big Ten series were close. Now we transition into the part of the season where conference tournaments have started, meaning other teams’ seasons are starting to end. The Big Ten still has a couple weekends left before its tournament commences.

The Gophers and Wolverines met in Minnesota for the anticipated matchup of the top two Big Ten teams. The series ended in a split, with Michigan winning 6-2 on Thursday and Minnesota winning 3-2 the next night in overtime. The Badgers and Buckeyes played in a couple shootouts. The teams tied 4-4 on Friday and then Ohio State won 6-5.

After the results, Minnesota has a one-point lead over Michigan. Penn State is seven points out of first and six out of the bye.

(After the jump: Are there no big games left, who’s going to play spoiler and who’s in and who should be worried)

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Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Feb. 25

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

The last weekend of Big Ten play in February will see a showdown for first pace. The Gophers host Michigan, a rematch of a series split in Ann Arbor back in December. But this is also a battle to remain in a bye spot, because Penn State state isn’t far behind.

The Nittany Lions, along with the Spartans, are actually off this weekend while Ohio State and Wisconsin face play. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Feb. 23

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Another weekend in the Big Ten, another slate of odd results. Well, most were expected actually, since Michigan beat Ferris State 5-2 and Michigan State swept Wisconsin. But the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions split the series. Penn State won the first game 6-1 and then Ohio State win 7-4.

But series splits with complete score reversals seems to be the norm for the Big Ten this year.

Since the Gophers were off and the Wolverines had a non-conference opponent, there were only two series to draw from. But it hasn’t helped determine which of the top teams are better. Although with the win, Penn State moved three points behind Michigan and four points behind Minnesota.

The Gophers and Wolverines battle this week for the first spot in the conference.

(After the jump: Wisconsin is the worst team in the Big Ten, the bye is very important and something to remember about the Big Ten teams in the PWR)

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Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Feb. 19

Friday, February 19th, 2016

This weekend features five teams in action, with a little Big Ten break as the Wolverines face Ferris State. The Gophers are the lone team off this weekend, taking time off before battling Michigan for first place next weekend. Ohio State travels to Penn State while Wisconsin and Michigan State will battle to stay out of last place.

Since neither Michigan or Minnesota is playing in conference this weekend, the two won’t move in the conference standings. But Penn Sate, which is six points out of second, could reach Michigan in the standings with two regulation wins over Ohio State. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Feb. 15

Monday, February 15th, 2016

The weekend of Big Ten play provided a few surprises. All three series were close, and I think Michigan State and Wisconsin surprised with their play. Michigan defeated Wisconsin and then tied the Badgers while Penn State defeated Michigan State on Friday before skating to a 2-2 tie. The Gophers swept Ohio State again by a pair of one-goal games, including an overtime decision on Friday.

Minnesota holds the first spot in the Big Ten, one point ahead of Michigan. Penn State is six points behind the Wolverines while Ohio State still has 12 points. The Spartans are in fifth with 10 points and Wisconsin is still in the basement with seven. And I know I only talk about wins, losses and ties, but shootouts do factor into the Big Ten standings.

The PairWise was shaken up over the weekend, with some of college hockey’s best teams failing to win. Michigan is at sixth right now, Penn State is 14th and Minnesota is 16th.

It’s kind of hard to say if the Big Ten’s bottom teams are better than we thought they were/if they’re improving or if the Big Ten’s top teams aren’t as powerful as we thought they were.

(After the jump: What’s up with Wisconsin, the battle for first, Michigan State’s the dangerous team)

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Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Feb. 12

Friday, February 12th, 2016

All six teams are back in action this weekend. It features the top three teams playing the bottom three teams. Michigan will play Wisconsin, Penn State will play Michigan State and Minnesota will play Ohio State.

While the bottom three teams most likely can’t get a top two seed, the race is heating up for the top three times. And Michigan’s series is important for the PairWise, because a loss to the Spartans last weekend really hurt the Wolverines.

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