Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: 64 reasons why the NCAA tourney is great

As if you needed any more reasons to celebrate the full-fledged start of the greatest spectacle in sports, here are 64 more—in no particular order—on why the NCAA Tournament is without peer. Why not 68? Because I don’t like the play-in games.

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Wisconsin adds power Alabama to 2015 slate

Strength of schedule figures to be a big component of the criteria used to determine who will play in the coming four-team playoff in 2014. To that end, Wisconsin’s 2015 slate will get a big boost from having a game with Alabama on its slate.

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NCAA Preview: Indiana ready to roll as No. 1

Indiana vs Wisconsin

Jim Delany Reacts to NCAA Tournament Selections

Tom Crean and the Hoosiers didn’t get the No. 1 spot in the Midwest—and the chance to play the second weekend of the tourney in Indianapolis that came along with it–but they are No. 1 in the East and open in nearby Dayton, Ohio. All in all, it’s not a terrible draw, especially when one looks at the loaded field in the Midwest. However, Indiana is only 3-3 in its last six games.

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NCAA Preview: Can Illini get hot at right time?

Joseph Bertrand

John Groce on NCAA Selection

Illinois is a tough team to read. On any given night, John Groce’s club is capable of beating any team, evidenced by signature wins over Butler, Gonzaga, Indiana and Ohio State. Then, on other nights, they look like they can lose to just about any team. Which Illinois team will show up when the tourney tips off? That’s the question.

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NCAA Preview: Which Minnesota team will show up?

Illinois vs Minnesota

Tubby Smith on NCAA Selection

Many are picking the No. 11 seed Gophers to knock off No. 6 UCLA in the first round of their South Region clash. Yes, Minnesota is in a funk, losing three in a row and seven of 10. But this still is a talented, athletic and physical team that’s capable of big things with players like Andre HollinsAustin Hollins, Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe, among others.

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NCAA Preview: Can Spartans make 9th Final Four?

Ohio State vs Michigan State

Tom Izzo on NCAA Selection

Bracket makers didn’t do Michigan State any favors, putting it in the Midwest Region—which most experts feel is the toughest with No. 1 overall seed Louisville sitting atop it. That said, the Spartans get to play the first weekend in Auburn Hills, Mich., and if they advance to the second weekend, they play in Indianapolis.

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Today's links: On Burke, NIT & spring football

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan guard Trey Burke is focused on the here and now, trying to net his first NCAA tourney win after the Wolverines were dumped in the first round of the Big Dance last season by Ohio. But Burke was asked where he’ll be playing next year. His answer: “I don’t know.” Let’s kick off daily links right there.

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NCAA Preview: Wolverines need to lock in

Wisconsin vs. Michigan

Burke Hits Hardaway Jr. with the Alley-Oop

This team has a legit shot to advance to the Final Four and cut down the nets. It also has a shot to get dumped in its second game by the winner of the No. 5 VCU-No. 12 Akron game. Get by the first two games—including the opener vs. No. 13 South Dakota State–and No. 1 Kansas may be lurking in the Sweet 16 of this tough South Region.

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NCAA Preview: How far can Badgers go?

Ohio State vs Wisconsin

Bo Ryan on NCAA Selection

Wisconsin may be under-seeded as a No. 5, but it could be pushed by No. 12 Ole Miss and Marshall Henderson in the opener. The Rebels are hot, coming off the SEC tourney title. This team can score. But good defense typically trumps good offense. And no one does defense like the Badgers.

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Let's go dancing: Big Ten teams head to tourney

Ohio State vs Wisconsin

Jim Delany Reacts to NCAA Tournament Selections

The NCAA bracket features seven Big Ten teams and that’s no shock to anyone following the conference. And the Big Ten’s power was reflected in four teams being seeded No. 4 or higher—No. 1 Indiana; No. 2 Ohio State; No. 3 Michigan State; No. 4 Michigan. Wisconsin just missed as a No. 5 seed.

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Quick hit: Badgers dictated game's pace

Indiana vs Wisconsin

2013 Men's Basketball Tournament: Wisconsin vs. Indiana

The Badgers slowed down the prolific Indiana attack, keeping the Hoosiers under 60 points. And this was an Indiana squad that came in averaging 80.8 points in all games. Wisconsin did a great job denying entry passes to the post and rarely offered open looks from 3-point range. Bottom line: It was a textbook Wisconsin victory. You see, this is why Bo Ryan was the Big Ten coach of the year. And, that’s 12 wins in a row for Wisconsin over Indiana.

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Dienhart: Bill Carmody firing 'correct decision'

Bill Carmody

Bo Ryan on Bill Carmondy

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Carmody hasn’t gotten Northwestern to the NCAA tournament in 13 seasons on the job. And, he won’t get a 14th try. Today, the school announced Carmody won’t be back. I’m sure it was a difficult decision. But, it was the correct decision.

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Tourney Preview: Sizing up Saturday's semis

Victor Oladipo

Keith Appling Talks Tourney Win Over Iowa

After a bruising and thrilling two days of basketball, the four top-seeded teams advance to Saturday’s semifinals of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. No. 1 seed Indiana faces No. 4 seed Wisconsin, and No. 2 seed Ohio State faces No. 3 seed Michigan State.

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Quick hit: Spartans stood strong at the end

Iowa vs Michigan State

2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament: Michigan State vs. Iowa

The Spartans had lots of chances to fold but never did. They came out sluggish and fell behind quickly, ending the first half trailing, 30-20. Wait, it got worse. With 10:55 left in the game, Iowa had pushed its lead to 12 points, 45-33. That’s when the Spartans went to work, chipping away and refusing to buckle.

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Quick hit: Buckeyes wake up, seize win

Ohio State vs Nebraska

2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament: Ohio State vs. Nebraska

The Buckeyes needed a few punches in the nose to wake up. Once aroused, Ohio State took it to Nebraska. The Buckeyes shot a robust 59 percent, showing great marksmanship from beyond the arc in nailing 52 percent (9-of-17). The Huskers looked tentative after a good first 10 minutes, committing 15 turnovers. And Ohio State scored 21 points off of those turnovers to go along with 13 fast break points. Add it all up, and you can see why Ohio State won by 21 points.

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Quick hits: Badgers ran their kind of show

Wisconsin vs Michigan

2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament: Wisconsin vs. Michigan

The Badgers were able to dictate the pace, playing a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair. Michigan? It wanted to play this game in the 70s or 80s—but it never was able to get on track with its array of high-flying perimeter talent. Wisconsin shot just 38 percent but hit eight 3-pointers to Michigan’s three.

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Quick hit: Hoosiers ride strong defense

Indiana vs Illinois

2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament: Indiana vs. Illinois

The Hoosiers came out playing rugged defense, forcing Illinois into myriad bad shots in limiting the Illini to 21 first-half points and 25.9 percent shooting and forcing eight turnovers. And that theme continued in the second half in a game that never really was that close, as Illinois shot just 34 percent and had 12 turnovers. Brandon Paul had 16 points but hit just 2-of-13 shots.

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