The Illini will be featured seven times throughout the winter.
Nov. 7, 2007
Chicago, Ill. -
Intense rivalries, improbable buzzer-beaters and impossible comebacks. These are the ingredients of some of the most exciting moments in Big Ten history.
Throughout the winter, basketball fans will have the opportunity to re-live 36 epic match-ups on the Big Ten Network series, "THE BIG TEN'S GREATEST GAMES." The series will highlight some of the best moments in the rich histories of all 11 Big Ten basketball programs.
Series producers have interviewed many legendary players and coaches from those games along with those who were on hand to cover the event. Their insight and memories will be integrated into each episode.
Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said the "Greatest Games" series honors the legacy of the conference's past, and will be a consistent presence year-round.
"As a fan, you never forget your team's most emotional wins or heartbreaking losses. We know fans will enjoy watching these games," Silverman said.
The series premieres at 6 p.m. ET Thursday with the 1989 Michigan-Duke match-up. In that game, Sean Higgins led the Wolverines with a career-high 32 points as Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson and Michigan defeated Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Duke, 113-108 in overtime.
Earlier this fall, the Big Ten Network became the first new network in cable or satellite television history to reach 30 million homes in its first 30 days. The network is available through DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-Verse, Insight Communications, WideOpenWest, RCN, Service Electric and more than 150 other cable operators.
The following 36 classic games will air during the course of the basketball season.
Thursday, November 8th
Duke at Michigan - 12/9/1989
During this battle of Final Four-caliber teams, Michigan took command early, but the Blue Devils fought back in the second half, with the teams exchanging the lead multiple times during the final minutes of play. When Duke's Greg Koubek's tip at the buzzer forced overtime, the Wolverines were more than ready. Sean Higgins scored a then-career-high 32 points (including seven in overtime) and Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson and the Wolverines bested Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley, 113-108.
Wednesday, November 14th
Connecticut vs. Iowa (Great Alaskan Shootout) - 11/24/1995
Tenth-ranked Iowa upset sixth-ranked Connecticut 101-95 at the Great Alaskan Shootout. UConn started strong, but the Hawkeyes stayed focused and kept the Huskies within reach. Iowa guard Chris Kingsbury, who scored a team-high 30 points in this game, made a spectacular three-pointer with one minute remaining to tie the game at 84. Ray Allen's last-chance jumper with three seconds left banked off the glass, sending the game into overtime. The Hawkeyes dominated the extra session, advancing to the tournament championship against Duke.
Friday, November 16th
Michigan State at North Carolina - 12/1/1999
Without the injured Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson scored a career-high 31 points, leading the eighth-ranked Spartans to an 86-76 victory against second-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill, ending the Tar Heels' 55-game non-conference winning streak.
Wednesday, November 21st
Minnesota vs. Georgetown - 3/31/1993
In this defensive battle, the Gophers took an early lead, but the Hoyas battled back, and held the Gophers scoreless over the final minutes. With less than one second left, Georgetown's Lonnie Harrell attempted a pass to Othella Harrington for a tip-in that would have clinched a Hoyas victory. Minnesota star and NIT Tournament MVP Voshon Leonard had other plans, however, and picked off the pass to seal the 62-61 victory.
Tuesday, November 27th
Ohio State at LSU - 12/31/2005
LSU's defensive strategy was to shut down the Ohio State guards, leaving center Terence Dials to carry the Buckeyes on the offensive end. Even with 24 points, Dials alone couldn't stop the Tigers and Glen `Big Baby' Davis (who scored 25 points) from taking a comfortable 76-66 lead with just a few minutes left to play. With the game seemingly out of reach, the Buckeyes nailed four consecutive three-pointers, including the game-winner from senior Matt Sylvester with only five seconds left, to upset the Tigers 78-76.
Georgia Tech at Illinois - 1/22/1989
After a troublesome first half, great plays by Lowell Hamilton and Stephen Bardo brought the Champaign-Urbana crowd of 16,000 to their feet, and brought the Illini new life. In the closing moments of a fantastic 19-point performance, guard Kendall Gill fractured his foot and the Illini were unable to clinch the victory in regulation. Illinois battled through the adversity and hung on to beat Georgia Tech 103-92 in double overtime. The Illini became the country's last unbeaten team and earned their first-ever #1 ranking.
Tuesday, December 4th
Kentucky at Indiana - 12/18/1990
Indiana coach Bob Knight used a little tough love to motivate Calbert Cheaney, who scored a dismal four points in the first half, and apparently the tactic worked. Cheaney scored 19 in the second half as the Hoosiers rallied from a halftime deficit. A three-pointer by Kentucky's Jamal Mashburn tied the game at 82 with 55 seconds to go, but foul trouble plagued Kentucky and gave Indiana the edge, as 10 of the Hoosier's final 18 points came from the foul line. Indiana eventually hung on to defeat the Wildcats 87-84.
Purdue vs. Duke (Great Alaska Shootout) - 11/29/2003
The Boilermakers' Kenneth Lowe scored 22 points and David Teague's career-high 19 helped Purdue upset second-ranked Duke 78-68 to win the Great Alaskan Shootout. Duke rallied in the second half, after a steal and dunk by Luol Deng narrowed the margin to 49-47, but the Boilermakers hung on down the stretch, sealing the victory when Teague hit a late three-pointer.
Tuesday, December 11th
Pittsburgh at Wisconsin - 12/16/2006
Alando Tucker and Brian Butch put on a shooting display as the seventh-ranked Badgers defeated the second-ranked Panthers 89-75, snapping Pittsburgh's 21-game non-conference winning streak. Tucker had 32 points and 10 rebounds and Butch added a career-high 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds. The Panthers, led by center Aaron Gray, fell behind in the second half and couldn't make up the deficit, despite having five double-digit scorers in the game.
Wednesday, December 12th
LSU at Illinois - 12/22/1990
The Illini and Tigers battled fiercely throughout most of the game, which saw 14 ties and 17 lead changes. LSU's Shaquille O'Neal was a force inside with 28 points and 12 rebounds while Andy Kaufman led Illinois with 25 points and nine rebounds. The Illini made key free throws down the stretch to take a 102-96 victory.
Tuesday, December 18th
Indiana at Northwestern - 1/11/1988
Playing without three of its starters, Northwestern ended a six-game losing streak with an upset of defending national champion Indiana, 66-64. The Wildcats shot a perfect 21-for-21 from the free-throw line. Shon Morris led the Wildcats, scoring 10 points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out four assists and making many other key plays that didn't show up in the boxscore. Morris and his teammates seemingly dove after every loose ball, leading Bobby Knight to comment, "they just completely outplayed us."
Iowa at Michigan State - 1/28/1993
Just 10 days after the sudden, tragic death of Chris Street, Iowa beat the Spartans at home 96-90 in overtime. The Hawkeyes were led by seniors Val Barnes (29 points) and Acie Earl (27 points). Earl proudly shaved Street's trademark number 40 into the back of his head. Iowa trailed by 15 with just three minutes remaining in regulation when they went on a tear, as Earl and Barnes combined to score 19 of Iowa's final 21 points in regulation. In overtime the Hawkeyes went 14-for-18 from the line, and afterward dedicated the win to their fallen teammate.
Wednesday, December 26th
Minnesota at Illinois - 3/9/1996
In Lou Henson's farewell game, his Illini started out strong, but couldn't maintain the momentum against the Gophers who came to Champaign on a seven-game winning streak and looking for an NCAA Tournament bid. Minnesota overcame a 10-point deficit with nine minutes left, and when Illinois guard Kiwane Garris missed a layup with only seconds left, Minnesota hung on for a 67-66 victory.
Michigan at Ohio State - 1/18/1988
After a jumper by Glen Rice tied it at 68 with 14 seconds remaining, the Buckeyes' Curtis Wilson spotted Grady Mateen under the basket for an easy dunk. Michigan's Terry Mills' attempted a three-pointer at the buzzer for the win, but it banked off the rim, allowing Ohio State to narrowly escape with a 70-68 victory, ending Michigan's 13-game winning streak.
Wednesday, January 2nd
Iowa at Indiana - 3/1/2003
Playing through injury and sickness, Iowa took Indiana into overtime before eventually falling 91-88. Bracey Wright scored 21 points and sank the game-winning 3-pointer, and Jared Reiner had a career-high 25 points and 17 rebounds in the victory.
Michigan State at Minnesota - 2/13/1999
In this battle of two ranked teams with NCAA Tournament hopes, Michigan State staged a tremendous comeback in the second half, despite 29 points from the Gophers' Quincy Lewis. Mateen Cleaves drove the length of the court and hit a layup with one second remaining on the clock, cementing Michigan State's rally for an 84-82 victory that left the Gophers squarely on the bubble for an NCAA Tournament bid.
Tuesday, January 8th
Indiana at Purdue - 1/18/1994
Having been swept the previous year by their intrastate rival, Purdue looked to make a statement, and did just that. Down the stretch the lead changed hands several times, and when regulation came to an end, the game was all knotted up. In the end, the Boilermakers hung on to defeat eighth-ranked Indiana 83-76 and move into a four-way tie for first in the Big Ten.
Indiana at Illinois - 3/1/1987
On Senior Night, Illinois led by as many as 10 in the second before Indiana rallied and had an opportunity to win on the final possession. Following a timeout, the Hoosiers worked the clock down to seven seconds when Steve Alford missed what would have been a game-winning three-pointer. After a missed free throw by the Illini's Steve Bardo, Alford heaved a desperation shot from mid-court that just missed, giving Illinois the 69-67 victory.
Tuesday, January 15th
Michigan State at Ohio State - 3/3/1991
Second-ranked Ohio State had reeled off eight straight victories since it last faced Michigan State and the Buckeyes were looking for revenge on their home court. With one second left and the game tied at 64, the Buckeyes' Jamaal Brown drew a foul. He drained the second free throw to give Ohio State a 65-64 victory and a share of the Big Ten title.
Minnesota at Wisconsin - 1/22/1990
In an epic installment to this storied rivalry, Wisconsin took control of the game early and led 57-36 with just 12 minutes left to play. The Gophers slowly chipped away, outscoring the Badgers 30-9 over the next seven minutes, tying the game at 66. However, with less than one second left, Wisconsin's Kurt Portmann found Patrick Tompkins under the basket for a layup, giving the Badgers a 77-75 win.
Tuesday, January 22nd
Minnesota at Ohio State - 2/2/1983
In a game that saw the lead change hands multiple times, one overtime just wasn't enough. In the final seconds of the first overtime, Minnesota's Tommy Davis sank two free throws to force a second extra session, where the Gophers finally pulled away, defeating the Buckeyes 89-80, and vaulting to the top of the Big Ten standings.
Illinois at Northwestern - 1/14/2004
Forward Davor Duvancic scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Wildcats to victory over the 25th-ranked Illini, 70-60. Illinois led Northwestern 38-29 at halftime, but a strong defensive effort from the Wildcats held the Illini to only 38 percent shooting from the floor. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Northwestern fans poured onto the court, celebrating the first win over their intrastate rivals in 10 years.
Tuesday, January 29th
Penn State at Michigan State - 1/3/2001
Michigan State's 22-game winning streak was in serious jeopardy as Penn State led midway in the second half. The infectious energy of senior duo Charlie Bell and Andre Hutson (who each recorded career-highs in points during the game) propelled the Spartans to a 25-4 run which helped Michigan State come back to win, 98-73. The win extended the Spartans' home winning streak to 37 games.
Minnesota at Wisconsin - 3/8/1997
Throughout this heated rivalry second-ranked Minnesota and Wisconsin fought to take control of the game. In the final moments, Wisconsin's Ty Calderwood confidently sank a pair of free throws, giving the Badgers the 66-65 win. The loss also snapped Minnesota's 12-game win streak. Calderwood led Wisconsin with 19 points while Bobby Jackson paced Minnesota with 17 points.
Tuesday, February 5th
Michigan State at Purdue - 2/8/2000
Trailing by 10 with 13 minutes left in the game, Purdue was down but certainly not out. After a time out, Purdue went on a 10-0 run, quickly evening the score. Morris Peterson was held in check, managing just five points. When Purdue's Jaraan Cornell sank a 3-pointer with less than four minutes remaining, Purdue went on a 9-2 run that put the Spartans away. With the 70-67 victory, the Boilermakers bumped Michigan State out of the top spot in the Big Ten.
Indiana at Ohio State - 2/17/1991
In a game that saw the lead change hands 16 times in the second half, neither team could manage a lead of more than six points. Indiana freshman phenom Damon Bailey scored 32 points without committing a single turnover while Ohio State forward and current Big Ten Network analyst Jim Jackson racked up 30 points, 11 rebounds and a game-winning assist. However, it was Treg Lee who sank the winning shot for the Buckeyes, lifting them to a 97-95 victory.
Tuesday, February 12th
Iowa at Michigan - 1/19/1985
In a thrilling game in Ann Arbor, the Iowa Hawkeyes took the top-ranked Wolverines to three overtimes. With less than one minute remaining in the third overtime, Iowa's Al Lorenzen tipped in a shot to tie the score at 67. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Michigan's Roy Tarpley, who scored 21 points in the game, put back a missed shot, giving Michigan a 69-67 victory.
Indiana at Wisconsin - 2/16/1987
The Badgers took the second-ranked Hoosiers to triple-overtime before finally falling 86-85. Although Indiana's Steve Alford broke the school's all-time scoring record (2,192 points), he missed some opportunities to win the game in the first two overtimes. Instead, it was the Hoosiers' Dean Garrett who scored the game-winning basket with just four seconds left.
Tuesday, February 19th
Wisconsin at Ohio State - 2/25/2007
In an intense defensive struggle, second-ranked Ohio State upset No. 1 Wisconsin 49-48. Freshman Mike Conley showed tremendous grace under pressure, as his last second shot rolled around the front of the rim for an agonizing moment before falling in, giving Ohio State back-to-back Big Ten titles for the first time since 1962.
Purdue at Indiana - 2/23/1985
In what some believed to be an attempt to energize his struggling team, Indiana coach Bob Knight received three technical fouls, including one for throwing a chair across the court. Knight's frustration was sparked by consecutive foul calls against his players just five minutes into the game with Indiana trailing 11-6. Despite Knight and the Hoosiers' efforts, however, they still fell to the Boilermakers, 72-63.
Tuesday, February 26th
Minnesota at Iowa - 1/18/2006
The Gophers and Hawkeyes took their defensive battle into triple-overtime before Iowa finally pulled away with a 76-72 victory. Erek Hansen led Iowa with a career-high 20 points, including two free throws that tied the game with less than a minute left in regulation and two more free throws to send it into double overtime.
Purdue at Michigan - 2/18/1991
With both teams trying to position themselves for an NCAA Tournament berth, Purdue and Michigan battled back and forth through regulation and two overtimes. Purdue was led by Craig Riley, who scored a career-high 23 points, and Jimmy Oliver, who added 20. Michigan's Demetrius Calip put in 32 points, while Purdue's Matt Painter, Chuckie White and Oliver all made key three-point plays down the stretch, propelling Purdue to an 83-77 victory.
Tuesday, March 4th
Iowa at Northwestern - 2/8/2006
Northwestern was looking for a marquee win when they took on 18th-ranked Iowa, but the Wildcats got off to a slow start. Midway through the second half Northwestern made its move, behind the solid play of Vedran Vukusic, who chipped in 26 points. Vukusic converted a traditional three-point play late in the game and the Wildcats hung on to secure the 51-48 victory.
Indiana at Minnesota - 2/9/2000
When Minnesota star John-Blair Bickerstaff was carried from the court on a stretcher after a foul by Indiana's A.J. Guyton, sophomore Joe Przybilla stepped in and scored a career-high 33 points, including the game-winner with only four seconds left, leading Minnesota to a 77-75 victory.
Tuesday, March 11th
Illinois at Indiana - 3/5/1989
The two Big Ten powerhouses went back and forth for most of the game before some last-second heroics turned this game into one for the ages. Indiana's Jay Edwards hit an unthinkable shot tying the game at 67 with two seconds left. Illinois quickly called a time out to set up the final play. Nick Anderson came off a pair of screens, caught a perfect pass and drilled a 30-footer as the buzzer sounded, giving the Illini a 70-67 victory.
Illinois at Penn State - 1/31/2001
In a game that saw 10 lead changes, Penn State and sixth-ranked Illinois needed overtime to determine the outcome. After leaving with an injury in the first half, the Lions' Titus Ivory made a triumphant return at the beginning of the second half and scored a game-high 27 points. Illinois' Frank Williams hit a shot in the closing seconds to send the game into overtime, but foul-plagued Illini couldn't keep up with the Lions as Penn State upset Illinois, 98-95.
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The Big Ten Network is dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions. The Big Ten Network provides unprecedented access to an extensive schedule of conference sports events and shows; original programs in academics, the arts and sciences; campus activities; and associated personalities. Sports programming includes live coverage of more major men's and women's events than ever before, along with news, highlights and analysis, all complemented by hours of university-produced campus programming. The network is available to all cable and satellite carriers and television distributors nationwide, with most programs offered in stunning high-definition television (HDTV). The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks. For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit BigTenNetwork.com