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Big Ten basketball fans, today is your day.
After 18 weeks, most of them exciting, the men’s title chase comes down to the final game. With kudos to the visionary schedule makers, all of the final games that mean something in the standings are today.
The warm-up, Illinois at Ohio State, noon. If the Buckeyes win, they’re still in the chase.
The game most of us will be watching, Indiana at Michigan, 4 p.m. The world will be watching.
And if that doesn’t settle it, Northwestern at Michigan State, 6 p.m.
Indiana, ranked first in the country for a good part of the season, can make it easy with a win at Ann Arbor. That would give the Hoosiers the outright title. But as good as Indiana has been this year, at 13-4 in the conference and 25-5 overall, nothing is easy. You don’t have to remind the Hoosier faithful that this is not the team’s first chance to finish alone at the top with a victory.
If Indiana falters today, there’s a possibility of a four-way tie for the championship: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Seeding in the Big Ten Tournament, which begins this week in Chicago, depends on tiebreakers.
You probably know what the first few tiebreakers are. It starts with record in head-to-head competition among the tied teams; 2-0 is the best here, better than 1-0.
It also includes winning percentage among all Division I (large-school) opponents. So unless your team has played Little Sisters of the Poor, it looks at the full-season win-loss record.
And if somehow that isn’t enough, there would be a coin flip, although I don’t know how four teams can participate in a coin flip.
If that doesn’t do it, here are six more possibilities:
Take your best shot
We know the basketball players in the Big Ten title chase will be looking to take their best shots today. I want to remind our readers of the opportunity they, too, have to take their best shot.
“Take your best shot” happens to be the theme of our daily Page 2 feature, where we publish the best or most interesting photos that readers send to us. Sometimes we get backed up, and it seems to take weeks until your shot — or photo — gets published. Other times of the year, like during the winter when people aren’t out as much, the photo entries slow to a trickle. Folks, it’s that time of year.
Nature photos seem to be your favorites. That’s fine with us; send them in. Winter, summer, it doesn’t matter.
How about quirky pets? Sure, why not?
What about human-interest photos? Let’s say there’s a basketball game going on — see above — and your photo captures the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. I’d publish that.
Here’s the how-to.
Email your photo as an attachment to email@example.com. Include your name, where you’re from and some information about the photograph.
But before you send it along, make sure it is a full-sized photograph, 200 dpi (dots per inch) or 2,000 pixels on its longest side. In other words, don’t press the “reduce for email” button when about to send the email.
Share it just as it comes out of your camera as a JPEG. I will look forward to seeing it, and I’m certain our readers will, too.
Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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