So far in the Big Dance, the Spartans are living up to that hype, taking their first step toward Izzo’s eighth Final Four as Michigan State (30-4) dumped scrappy No. 14 Bucknell (25-10) of the Patriot League in the first round of the NCAA tourney, 82-78.
Purdue suffered a big loss today when it was announced senior center Isaac Haas will miss the rest of the season with a fractured elbow suffered in today’s win vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton in the opening round of the NCAA tourney.
Purdue is a pick by some to reach the Final Four. And the No. 2 Boilermakers certainly looked the part in destroying No. 15 Cal State Fullerton in their opening NCAA game, 74-48.
It wasn't pretty at times, as witnessed by the fact Michigan fell behind 10-0. Nonetheless, it’s a win for Michigan, which took a 61-47 decision vs. No. 14 Montana (26-8) from the Big Sky Conference in its opening NCAA tourney game.
The wild ride for No. 5 Ohio State continues, as the Buckeyes took a hard-fought 81-73 win vs. No. 12 South Dakota State in an NCAA opening game that featured a hopping 71 3-point attempts.
BTN's Tom Dienhart talked to an NBA scout who has seen myriad Big Ten games this season to get his opinion on each Big Ten team in the Big Dance. Here's what the scout told me the strengths and weaknesses of each Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue heading into the tourney.
Everyone knows the star player on each Big Ten team in the Big Dance. For Ohio State, it’s Keita Bates-Diop. For Michigan, it’s Moe Wagner. For Michigan State, it’s Miles Bridges. For Purdue, it’s Carsen Edwards. Beyond those shining stars, which player for each team is most vital?
Purdue is a sterling 28-6 overall, two wins shy of setting the school single-season standard for victories. And the Boilermakers went 15-3 in the Big Ten, one of the school’s best conference marks of the Matt Painter era that began in 2005-06. [ MORE: View the 2018 NCAA Tournament bracket ] But Purdue has no hardware to show for any of it, finishing second in the regular season and second in the Big Tourney. No doubt, a run to the program’s first Final Four since 1980 would make up for the lack of any trophies in what has been a
Back in the preseason, Ohio State wasn’t on the radar of any pundits. In fact, the Buckeyes were so far off the radar, they couldn’t be located. But look at Ohio State now.
When the season began, Michigan State was the pick of everyone to win the Big Ten. And, the Spartans (29-4 overall, 16-2 Big Ten) delivered the school’s first league championship since 2012 and first outright title since 2009.