Three Big Ten teams are one weekend, or two wins, away from advancing to the 2014 Final Four at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The court is ready for the event, and there’s a great time-lapse video of its construction, courtesy of Connor Sports. See the court that Big Ten teams hope they will be playing on Saturday, April 5, and Monday, April 7, in this post. [ MORE: Nine Sweet 16 teams led by coach with Big Ten ties ] Here’s a look at the 2013 court, and the 2012 court. h/t: @rushthecourt About Brent Yarina BTN.com senior editor
As every college basketball fan knows, 16 teams remain in the NCAA tournament. Here’s something every fan probably doesn’t know: Nine of the teams are led by a head coach with ties to the Big Ten. Yes, nine of the remaining 16 head coaches have spent time on a Big Ten bench in some capacity. See the full list in this post. [ MORE: Ranking Big Ten’s top performances of NCAA opening weekend ] For some recent perspective, the last two Sweet 16s, both of which included four Big Ten teams, have featured six coaches with Big Ten ties. Steve
Check out what is on sale at a Foot Locker in Columbus, Ohio. Yes, that’s an Aaron Craft Nike alternate jersey, which is no surprise. But, take a closer look. It doesn’t take an English teacher to spot the spelling gaffe. @darrenrovell Jersey being sold at a Foot Locker on Ohio State's campus pic.twitter.com/r2k4VNPKra — Brett Spivack (@BrettSpivack) March 24, 2014 Prediction: Ohio State fans won’t soon be forming “O-I-H-O.” On an unrelated note, this throwback alternate is great, so much so that Nike and Ohio State should make it the Buckeyes’ primary look. h/t: LostLettermen About Brent Yarina BTN.com
One weekend of the NCAA tourney down, and the Big Ten has three teams in the Sweet 16. The teams: Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Before the Sweet 16 tips, it’s time to look back at the Big Ten’s top five performances of the first two rounds. Who takes the top spot? It has to be Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, who poured in a career-high 41 points in the Spartans’ NCAA opener. [ MORE: Dienhart: Could three Big Ten team make Final Four? ] 5. Wisconsin’s Traevon Jackson, vs. American. All of the Badgers got off to a slow start
The Iowa women’s basketball team wants Fran McCaffery’s son Patrick, 14, to know they’re thinking of him during his tough time. So, the Hawkeyes affixed “Team Pat” stickers to their flashy gold shoes for Sunday night’s NCAA tourney opener to support the younger McCaffery, who had a thyroid tumor removed last week that was malignant. [ MORE: Dienhart: McCaffery news hit us all hard ] Talk about a classy gesture. Well done, Hawkeyes! The team looked good on the court, too, downing Marist, 87-65, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In my office a few hours before our NCAA tip, feeling blessed. Team
Wisconsin fan? Duck Hunt fan? Even if you’re neither of those, it’s hard not to appreciate the art @BadgerMBB tweeted out prior to its Round of 32 game vs. Oregon on Saturday night. Oregon, of course, is the Ducks, so the Twitter handle got creative and made a Wisconsin-centric Duck Hunt graphic that has Bucky’s face on the dog’s face. Check out the graphic in this post. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] 13. Let's go hunting. #Badgers #Fieldof32 pic.twitter.com/bmr4plvvyA — Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014 The winner of the game will advance to play either
Wisconsin fans will appreciate a shirt for sale at a store across from the University Book Store. It’s a simple red shirt with “#KARMA” across the chest, an obvious dig at former coach Bret Bielema’s wife, Jen Bielema. Jen famously tweeted “#karma” after the Badgers lost early last season at Arizona State, the controversial game in which the officials let time expire on Wisconsin’s final drive in enemy territory. At the time, the Bielemas and Arkansas were feeling confident, with the Razorbacks jumping out to a 3-0 record in the coach’s first season since leaving Madison. Arkansas would go on
Fran McCaffery’s son, Patrick, 13, underwent surgery to remove a thyroid tumor Wednesday morning, and the coach said the surgery “went as planned.” After the surgery, McCaffery headed to Dayton, Ohio, for Iowa’s first NCAA tourney game since 2006. The Twitter world showed incredible support for Patrick, to the point that #teampat was trending nationally, and here is a (large) sampling of some of our favorite tweets. [ MORE: Tennessee fan board shows support for #teampat ] McCaffery released this statement early Wednesday afternoon: “Today’s surgery for my son Patrick went as planned. Doctors will continue tests in the coming
College basketball experts across the nation are picking Big Ten tourney champ Michigan State to win the NCAA tourney. The same goes for the President. As he’s done each of the past five years, Barack Obama filled out his NCAA bracket in a recent ESPN special, and he selected the Spartans to win it all. [ MORE: View Barack Obama’s full NCAA tourney bracket ] Obama has Michigan State topping No. 13 Delaware, No. 12 Harvard, No. 1 Virginia and No. 2 Villanova on its way to the Final Four. In the national semis, he has the Spartans dropping No.
It’s no secret, the Big Ten is serious about expanding its brand and footprint eastward. The additions of Maryland and Rutgers, both of which officially join the conference July 1, were proof of that. So, too, was the eight-year bowl agreement with New York Yankees and New Era Pinstripe Bowl – a set-up that includes a significant Big Ten branding presence in Yankee Stadium. We saw the first visual proof of the branding presence during the Yankees’ home exhibition game vs. Boston on Tuesday afternoon. Check it out: Check out the ad on the backstop at @Yankees spring training facility.