Latest Tom Dienhart News

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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Quick hit: Iowa playing with a mission

Iowa vs. Northwestern

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

This was no shock, as Iowa was expected to take care of business vs. the Wildcats. And, it did with efficiency. The Hawkeyes overwhelmed an undermanned Northwestern team with a balanced attack. This is a team on a mission, as Iowa fights for its first NCAA bid since 2006.  The Hawkeyes have won three in a row and four of five.

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Quick hit: Nebraska drives to big win

Purdue vs. Nebraska

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

Time and again, Nebraska got right to the rim for easy baskets off of drives. Tim Miles’ squad shot 44.7 percent and hit 12-of-17 free throws. Conversely, Purdue shot 40 percent and hit just 7-of-14 free throws. That basically was the difference in a close game. The Huskers had a two-point halftime lead that they pushed to 11 at one point in the second half.

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Quick hit: Wolverines take care of business

Penn State vs Michigan

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

Penn State stunned Michigan in State College (84-78) and gave them a tight game (79-71) in Ann Arbor. But there would be no nail-biting for Michigan in this meeting. The Wolverines trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and led by just two points at halftime. But Michigan broke open the game in the second half, shooting 33 percent from three-point range (6-of-18) for the game and hitting 19 free throws to Penn State’s five over 40 minutes.

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Quick hit: Breaking down Illinois' win

Illinois vs Minnesota

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

The Fighting Illini didn’t shoot well (32 percent) but forced 19 turnovers and had 21 points off of those turnovers. Early foul trouble for Minnesota big man Trevor Mbakwe helped Illinois, as the sixth-year senior had just eight points and played only 27 minutes. The Gophers have now lost three in a row but still appear to be a lock for the NCAA tourney.

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Preview: No. 6 Iowa vs. No. 11 Northwestern

Alex Olah

Northwestern at Iowa - Men's Basketball Highlights

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa is the school seemingly with the most on the line in the Big Ten tourney, as it is the lone Big Ten team on the bubble. Many seem to think the Hawkeyes need to win just two games to get an at-large berth. Meanwhile for Northwestern, speculation swirls about the job status of Bill Carmody. Could this be the last game he coaches for the Wildcats? Watch the highlight from their last meeting in this post. Thursday’s game starts at approximately 9 p.m. ET

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Preview: No. 7 Purdue vs. No. 10 Nebraska

Matt Painter

Purdue at Nebraska - Men's Basketball Highlights

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

These squads met in the first round of the Big Ten tourney last season, when Purdue prevailed. And just like the 2012 tourney, this year’s winner will advance to play Ohio State. The Boilermakers bring plenty of mojo to the United Center and could be a dangerous team capable of a run, as Matt Painter’s team is playing its best basketball of the season. See the highlights in this post from the last time these two teams played. Thursday’s game starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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Preview: No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 12 Penn State

Tim Hardaway Jr. & Jermaine Marshall

Michigan at Penn State - Men's Basketball Wrap-up

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

How cruel and tough is the Big Ten? When Jordan Morgan’s last-second put back rimmed out against Indiana on Sunday and Michigan lost to the Hoosiers, the Wolverines went from being co-Big Ten champs to being the No. 5 seed in this tourney and having to play an opening-round game. Penn State has no fear of Michigan, beating the Wolverines once and almost knocking them off another. See highlights of the last time they played in this post. 

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Preview: No. 8 Illinois vs. No. 9 Minnesota

Brandon Paul & Julian Welch

Illinois at Minnesota - Men's Basketball Highlights

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Most every mock bracket already has these teams in the NCAA tourney. So, what are they playing for in Chicago? Probably just NCAA seeding. No doubt, more was expected from each team entering the season. So, the tourney is a new beginning and chance for redemption for these veteran teams that each went 8-10 in Big Ten action. Don’t be shocked if either one makes an extended run. See highlights of the last time they played in this post. Thursday’s game starts at noon ET and airs on BTN/BTN2Go.

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Wow factor: Best of this B1G hoops season

No. 3: Cody Zeller

Indiana at Michigan - Men's Basketball Highlights

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a season of superlatives in the Big Ten in what most feel has been one of the best seasons in conference annals. No doubt, the regular season didn’t disappoint.

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Taking one more look at NCAA mock brackets

Ohio State Fans

Dunks of the Week - March 12th, 2013

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

With the major league tournaments about to start, let’s take one last look at some mock brackets to see where the Big Ten rates. Indiana remains a No. 1 seed in the four brackets I checked. And there’s nothing that can happen in the Big Ten tourney—or elsewhere, for that matter—that will change that. And a spot in the cozy Midwest Region (Dayton, Ohio; then Indianapolis) also is basically a given, too, no matter what the Hoosiers do in Chicago.

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Today's links: Burke the right choice for POY

Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was awards night in the Big Ten, and all eyes were on who would win player of the year honors. Let’s start daily links there. The famous race debated for weeks was between Michigan’s Trey Burke and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. In the end, the voters got it right in tabbing the Wolverines sophomore guard.

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Dienhart: My 2012-13 top 10 Big Ten games

Trevor Mbakwe

Michigan at Indiana - Men's Basketball Highlights

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Putting together a list of the top 10 games of the 2013 Big Ten season is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. It’s impossible to do. But, I have attempted to select the best of the best from a regular season that left fans in a heap of exhaustion from an overdose of excitement and exhilaration. This truly was one of the Big Ten’s best seasons in more than 20 years—and it isn’t over yet!

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Iowa will provide the drama in Big Ten Tourney

Devyn Marble

Marble Sinks a Three To Join Iowa's 1000-Point Club

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

There doesn’t appear to be much drama in the Big Ten tourney. Indiana likely already has the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tourney sewn up after winning the outright Big Ten crown with that breath-taking victory at Michigan on Sunday.

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Today's links: IU's title win sets Big Ten abuzz

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Hat’s off to Indiana for showing moxy and toughness—yes, toughness—in winning at Michigan, 72-71, to clinch the program’s first outright Big Ten championship since 1992-93. Indiana was down by five points with 52 seconds left. That’s when Cody Zeller went to work—and Michigan bricked some key field goals to blow the game. Daily links has to start from Ann Arbor, which is still pulsating.

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Reader mail: Who's my Big Ten Player of the Year?

It’s that time of the week when I reach into my mailbag to answer your questions. And, there’s a lot going on, what with the hoop season about to hit its full postseason stride and spring football about to heat up. So, let’s begin.

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Big finish looms for Big Ten regular season

Trey Burke & Will Sheehey

Examining Iowa's Tournament Chances

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten will put on bow on the regular season this weekend, capping what has been a wild and wondrous ride during a season that has seen Indiana and Michigan each hold the No. 1 ranking at some point. And Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota all have been ranked in the top 10 at various points this season.

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How Spartans' win impacts race for Big Ten title

Wisconsin at Michigan State

Shannon Scott: One-on-One Interview

Michigan State’s 58-43 win over Wisconsin clears up the Big Ten title chase—a little bit. The Spartans’ victory eliminates the Badgers from being able to win a share of the Big Ten championship. Michigan State’s triumph also clinches the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament for Indiana. The event starts next Thursday in Chicago.

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