The New Orleans Saints’ official Twitter account (@Saints) released photos of the 2012 Final Four court and other scenes around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of this year’s Final Four. So, if you’re interested, get your first look at the court Ohio State will be playing on Saturday night. Spoiler alert: It’s in the same design as all the NCAA tourney courts, only it’s green — two shades of it — where those courts are black, and it features the Final Four logo at midcourt. See pictures in this post.
Let’s say you were running for Student Body President — how would you separate yourself from the competition, make yourself stand out? Whatever you came up with, Purdue’s Ishmael Aristide just topped you. The safety is going all “Old Spice” on Purdue’s campus to promote his presidency and QB Rob Henry’s vice presidency. Watch Aristide’s spot, plus Henry’s, in this post.
Former Maryland QB Danny O’Brien visited Penn State again Monday as the Nittany Lions opened spring practice and the Bill O’Brien era. Of much interest, O’Brien, who also was in State College, Pa., a week ago, donned a Penn State jacket. What does this mean for the transfer who’s also visited Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin? Perhaps nothing more than it was cool and O’Brien needed another layer. See a picture of O’Brien and a relevant tweet in this post.
March 26, 2005, forever will hold a special place in Illinois men’s basketball fans’ hearts. It was on this day, after all, that the top-ranked Illini pulled off one of the more memorable comebacks in NCAA tourney history (AP recap). Down 15 points with four minutes left in the Chicago Regional final against No. 3 seed Arizona, Illinois rallied all the way back to force overtime, where it carded an unforgettable 90-89 victory. Watch a video of the unbelievable comeback in this post.
Ohio State is back in the Final Four for the first since 2007, when it advanced to the national championship game and lost to Florida. The 2011-12 journey was an up-and-down one. Along the way, the Buckeyes were ranked as high as No. 2 and also struggled through a 2-3 funk in February. But they were at their best when it mattered most, winning eight of their last nine en route to making the Final Four. Now that Ohio State is off to New Orleans for the national semis, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina takes a look back at the key moments and plays that have the Buckeyes in this position.
Ohio State’s Lenzelle Smith Jr. took a shot to the face in Saturday night’s Elite Eight win over Syracuse (AP recap), and the eye looks a lot worse than one that required only three stitches. See a picture of Smith’s swollen eye, courtesy of @OSUADAthComm, plus photos of the injury, in this post.
We’re off to the semifinals of BTN.com’s Big Ten football uniform bracket, and the upsets continue. No. 5 Iowa stunned No. 2 Penn State and Cinderella No. 9 Purdue is one win away from playing for it all after downing No. 10 Illinois. Also, No. 1 Michigan drilled No. 6 Michigan State to advance to the title matchup, by virtue of amassing the most quarterfinal votes.
The MLB season opens Wednesday, so it’s time to find out which Big Ten products are on MLB active rosters. See the entire list in this post. Forgetting a name? Send it in as a comment at the bottom.
For the first time since 1999 and the third time since the field expanded in 1985, the Big Ten has four teams in the Sweet 16. Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin all made it through the first weekend of the tournament, meaning each is two wins away from the Final Four, four from claiming the national title. The competition only gets stiffer the rest of the way, of course, so it’s important to consider what these teams did against elite foes. See how the Big Ten’s remaining teams fared this season vs. the Sweet 16 field in this post.
The votes are in, and we’ve reached the second round of BTN.com’s 2012 Big Ten football uniform bracket. Much like the NCAA tourney, there were a couple early upsets, including No. 10 Illinois taking down No. 3 Ohio State. Not to be outdone, No. 9 Purdue also stunned No. 4 Nebraska. Check out all the first-round decisions. Also, cast your Round 2 votes in this post.
The word bracket overtakes our vocabulary every March — much to the delight of sports fans across the nation. Brackets don’t begin and end with the NCAA tournament, though. Every year around this time, people create brackets for pretty much everything, including coolest name. Here, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina decided to put together a Big Ten football uniform bracket. Cast your votes in this post.
The NCAA tournament officially tipped off Tuesday night, as did the NIT, which has BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina’s attention divided between the tourney and the future. It’s very early to entertain the 2012-13 season, admittedly, but there are important questions Big Ten teams will address, as soon as the coming days or weeks.
The goal of Big Ten football teams every season is simple: Play in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin and Bret Bielema have had the honor of playing in the “Granddady of Them All” each of the past two seasons. While neither visit to Pasadena yielded a win, the lure of the rose is impossible to resist. As you can see from this photo, Bielema and his better half, Jennifer Hielsberg, incorporated his favorite flower into their wedding cake following Saturday’s private ceremony. Look at all those roses!
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The NCAA tourney tips Tuesday night, meaning it’s time to release my final 2012 Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below.
For the sixth consecutive season, Purdue is back in the NCAA tournament, this time as a No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. The Boilermakers take on WCC tourney champ and No. 7 seed Saint Mary’s at 7:27 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Omaha, Neb., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Gaels. A little sampling: Did you know a former Northwestern big man is a reserve for the Gaels? Meet Saint Mary’s in this post.
Fresh off claiming a share of the Big Ten regular season title, along with Michigan State and Ohio State, Michigan earned the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region. The Wolverines face No. 13 Ohio at 7:20 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Nashville, Ten., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Bobcats. A little sampling: Did you know a former Ohio State assistant is the head guy at Ohio? Meet the Bobcats in this post.
Following a share of the Big Ten regular season crown and a trip to the Big Ten tourney finals, where it lost to Michigan State, Ohio State received a No. 2 seed in the East Region. The Buckeyes will face MAAC champion Loyola (Md.) at 9:50 pm. ET Thursday night. Before the game tips off in Pittsburgh, Pa., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Greyhounds. A little sampling: Did you know a pair of former Wake Forest coaches served as Loyola head coaches? Meet the Greyhounds in this post.
Indiana, in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008, drew a No. 4 seed in the South Region and will play No. 13 seed New Mexico State at 9:45 p.m. ET Thursday. Before the game tips off in Portland, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the WAC tournament champs. A little sampling: Did you know one of the Aggies assistants led Kentucky to the 1996 NCAA national championship? Meet New Mexico State in this post
Wisconsin, playing in its 14th straight NCAA tournament, earned the No. 4 seed in the East Region. The Badgers will play Big Sky champ Montana at 2:10 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon. Before the game tips off in Albuquerque, N.M., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Grizzlies. A little sampling: Did you know a former Wisconsin guard who won two Big Ten titles is a Montana assistant? Meet Montana in this post.
Michigan State, fresh off a share of the Big Ten regular season crown and the Big Ten tourney title, drew the No. 1 seed in the West Region, the Big Ten’s lone top seed. The Spartans will play No. 16 Long Island at 9:20 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Columbus, Ohio, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Northeast Conference champs. A little sampling: Did you know the Blackbirds have never won an NCAA tournament game? Meet Long Island in this post.
The 15th edition of the Big Ten tourney was a resounding success, drawing the highest four-day attendance in the event’s history in Indianapolis. Even better, the title game featured two of the conference’s regular-season champs and came down to the final seconds. Michigan State was the last team standing. Throughout the tourney’s 11 games, BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina watched for the best highlights and compiled a top 10 list. See Yarina’s latest Hardwood Highlights in this post. Don’t agree? Write you top play in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Also, keep up with all the best highlights from across the Big Ten with our Did You See This? feature.
It’s Day 3 at the 2012 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, which means we’re down to the semifinals. What’s going on around the tourney aside from the exciting games? BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina is in Indianapolis for the Big Ten tourney, and he’s filed another notebook. From emotional coaches to school-specific grub to familiar faces in attendance to a hole in the basket support, you can find it all in this post.
What’s going on around the Big Ten tournament? You know, aside from the exciting games? BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina is in Indianapolis for the 15th annual Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and he filed a notebook. From food to spottings to uniforms, you’ll find it in this post.
Playing their first Big Ten tourney game, Doc Sadler and Nebraska busted out new uniforms Thursday night against Purdue. I call the uniforms new, but they look very old; in fact, the numbers almost look like they were ironed on before the game. The “NEBRASKA” font on the front of the jersey is pretty cool, though. No word on whether this is a new uniform, a one-time thing or a sudden alternate uniform. See a picture of the uniforms in this post.
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Now that the Big Ten regular season has come to a close, it’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 Big Ten plays from the past week? Watch them and vote for your top play. The latest national polls are out, as well.