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.
Fran McCaffery has a lot more on his mind than Iowa’s first NCAA tourney game since 2006. The Hawkeyes open the NCAA tourney Wednesday night vs. Tennessee, but, in the hours leading up to tip, McCaffery will have traveled to Dayton, Ohio, back to Iowa City, and to Dayton again. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] Sometimes, father duties call, and that’s exactly the case for McCaffery, whose son, Patrick, 13, is having surgery Wednesday to remove a thyroid tumor, just hours before Iowa’s first-round game. McCaffery, however, has worked out a schedule to allow himself to
This is fun. CBSSports.com ranked the playing careers of the NCAA tournament coaches. No. 1 is no surprise at all: Tulsa coach Danny Manning. But, there are some surprises. For example, former Indiana star and current UCLA coach Steve Alford is just No. 5. Anyway, Iowa’s Fran McCaffery paces the six Big Ten coaches. See a Big Ten-centric breakdown of the site’s ranking in this post. [ MORE: View BTN.com’s All-BigTen assistant pickup team ] Big Ten coaches No. 21 Fran McCaffery, Iowa. McCaffery (aka “White Magic” according to his official bio) played one season as a part-time starting point
NCAA tourney predictions are all over the internet today. But few are as comprehensive as fivethirtyeight.com‘s forecaster that calculates the chance each team has of reaching each round. The site reached its results by “taking into account a composite of power rankings, pre-season rankings, the team’s placement on the NCAA’s 68-team S-curve, player injuries and geography. The site’s favorite to win it all? That would be Louisville (15 percent chance), the No. 4 seed in the Midwest. No, that is not a typo. Big Ten tourney champ Michigan State is the sixth-most likely team to win it all (6 percent),
The Big Ten is home to some of the nation’s elite basketball players and coaches. The conference also boasts an impressive who’s who of players-turned-assistants. From a familiar Big Ten name, Dane Fife, to a familiar national name, Chris Quinn, the Big Ten could field a very competitive pickup game featuring assistants. View my All-Big Ten assistant team in this post. G: Chris Quinn (Notre Dame), Northwestern – Director of player development Three-year starter and two-time captain 2006 first team All-Big East selection (17.7 points, 6.4 assists) Ranks 16th in school history in points (1,454) fifth in steals (155), sixth
For the first time since 1998, Nebraska is back in the NCAA tourney. The Huskers, who finished fourth in the Big Ten with an 11-7 record, earned the No. 11 seed in the West Region and will play No. 6 Baylor. Check out some of the team’s reaction to the big news from its watching party at Pinnacle Bank Arena in this post. [ MORE: View the official NCAA tourney bracket ] VIDEO: "I still have goosebumps. This is so cool!" – @Huskers' @CoachMiles, on NCAA bid. WATCH our interview – http://t.co/fU6HAWzo6d — Nebraska on BTN (@BTN_Nebraska) March 16, 2014
The Big Ten tourney has featured plenty of highlights and exciting finishes. Strangely, with all of the said intense finishes, trailing teams are 0-for-3 on potential game-winning or game-tying shots in the final seconds. What could have been, right? Regardless, the missed shots haven’t taken much away from an enjoyable tournament. Relive the three shots in this post. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten tourney coverage ] Semifinals: Aaron Craft has ball slip out of hands vs. No. 1 Michigan: ICYMI: Here's the finish to that exciting @umichbball win over @OhioStateHoops. WATCH – http://t.co/oLIQjZnEcl — Big Ten Network
Iowa’s struggles continued vs. Northwestern on Thursday night in the opening round of the Big Ten tourney, as the Hawkeyes lost for the sixth time in their last seven games. What’s wrong with Iowa? What do they need to fix or change before the NCAA tourney? I asked Iowa fans on Twitter for their answers, and they were quite entertaining. [ MORE: Read all of our Big Ten tournament coverage ] @BTNBrentYarina Find that piece of metal trim from Indiana and burn it. — Jamie Barth (@Sportsbarth) March 14, 2014 @BTNBrentYarina Dan Gable…. @hagertony — Jakeb Cochran (@jakebcochran) March 14,
It’s going to be tough to top the Senior Night that Nebraska put on Sunday night. Let’s see, there was the record crowd, the NCAA tourney hopeful team hosting No. 9 in the nation, the marriage proposal in pregame, the recognition of the Nebraska women’s team’s Big Ten tourney title, the upset and the court storming. Got all that? Yeah, Nebraska set the bar rather high. Relive the top moments in this post. [ MORE: See who made BTN.com’s All-Big Ten teams ] Mike Peltz proposes at end of Senior Night speech: VIDEO: @Huskers Mike Peltz just proposed to his