Wisconsin junior Sam Dekker scored a career-high 23 points while leading Wisconsin to an impressive 79-72 victory over North Carolina in a Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday night in Los Angeles. Here’s BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s rapid reaction. The star: Sam Dekker played like a man possessed on this day, hitting 10-of-15 shots for a game- and career-high 23 points. Wait, it gets better: Dekker also had a game-high 10 rebounds. That helped the Badgers have a 35-28 edge on the glass, which helped negate North Carolina’s 61.5 percent (8-of-13) shooting from 3-point land. The stat: 23, free throws
This is a great time of year, with March Madness in full swing and spring football rolling. So, it’s a good time to reach into my mail bag. Here we go! Do you think Michigan State can win the national title? – Richard Cobb You have to like the Spartans’ chances to at least reach the Final Four for the first time since 2010. Tom Izzo’s team is playing well, winning six of its last seven games. And the lone loss was an overtime defeat to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship tilt. Michigan State is deep and motivated. If
Wisconsin hopes to take another step toward returning to the Final Four for a second season in a row tonight when the No. 1 Badgers take on No. 4 North Carolina in a West Region Sweet 16 matchup in Los Angeles that tips at 7:47 p.m. ET. The keys to a Wisconsin win? Here you go. 1. Added depth. Traevon Jackson says he will play, a first since being out with a foot injury suffered Jan. 11 in a loss at Rutgers. The senior point man says he has no limitations. We shall see. The Badgers lack depth. So, bringing
We have another “man bites dog story” with news of Michigan center Jack Miller giving up football because of his long-term health concerns. Good for Miller for considering his future. Wonder how many more stories like this we’ll hear the next 2-4 years? *** This was something Ohio State fans didn’t want to hear: Braxton Miller may have committed an NCAA violation with a potential endorsement photo he posted on his Instagram account. Miller posted a photo of himself with a local trainer he has been working with next to nutritional products. Miller also had links on his Instagram page
Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock won’t be back with the Hawkeyes. The 6-3, 208-pound senior will be immediately eligible wherever he lands after he graduates in the spring. Speculation surrounding Rudock transferring had been growing since Kirk Ferentz announced that C.J. Beathard would be the No. 1 quarterback when spring drills opened. Rudock will have one season of eligibility left, and there are rumors that he has already visited Michigan. With Rudock gone, the backup quarterback spot will become a situation to watch. Redshirt freshman Tyler Wiegers is slated to be the No. 2 man. Behind him would be incoming freshmen
BTN.com senior editor Tom Dienhart writes that Wisconsin "has been one of the most remarkable athletic department rebirths in college sports history over the last 25 years."
In case you didn’t already have an inkling of Tom Izzo’s greatness in March, this story should seal the deal for you: He’s the best coach in modern NCAA tourney history. Period. And, it’s not even close. The story on FiveThirtyEight.com has some great numbers and data to back up the premise of Izzo’s March greatness. You should be impressed and feel the urge to get a “Tom Izzo Is Awesome” tattoo after reading it. *** There’s this: Yogi Ferrell recently said “Thank you” to Indiana fans on Instagram. Talk amongst yourselves. *** The gang at InsideNU.com recently discussed who
Just reaching the Final Four is a big accomplishment, given the rigors, perils and cruelty of the one-and-done NCAA tourney format. It's unforgiving. One bad night ... and you're gone.
Ballots for the Naismith Player and Coach of the Year went out recently. And, per usual, there are some difficult choices. The options for Player of the Year are: Kentucky junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor The Coach of the Year choices are: Virginia’s Tony Bennett Kentucky’s John Calipari Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan Villanova’s Jay Wright I gave my Player of the Year vote to Kaminsky. Yes, cases can be made for the other options, but Kaminsky is the centerpiece on one of the best teams in
Iowa did about all it could do, didn’t it? Don’t you think the Hawkeyes reached expectations? I do. And so does Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. In the NCAA tourney, Iowa lost to a better team, and it came as far in the postseason as most experts suggested. So, let’s proclaim this season was an unqualified success. “We lost two games in a row, we lost an overtime game in the Big Ten (to Northwestern), and you would have thought we lost 20 in a row,” said Iowa’s Fran McCaffery. “It takes tremendous confidence and belief in one