Lots going on at Indiana recently, with the recent announcement that Jeremy Hollowell and Austin Etherington will transfer. Even bigger: Noah Vonleh is going to turn pro after just one season. Earlier, Luke Fischer bolted. Last season, Remy Abell and Maurice Creek transferred. Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com has a nice recap of all the activity.
Can’t say it was a shock to see a report that says Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross is going to turn pro. Still, it’s a big blow for Thad Matta’s squad, as Ross would have been the centerpiece of the 2014-15 squad.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always pretty, but No. 2 Michigan, No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 4 Michigan State all took care of business in their opening two games and have advanced to the Sweet 16. Well, it was easy for Michigan, which dispatched No. 15 Wofford in the second round and then topped No. 7 Texas in the third round.
The good times are rolling in East Lansing for a Michigan State program coming off a Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship. Mark Dantonio has this program humming along as an elite machine that can stand toe-to-toe with any Big Ten squad—if not the nation. The next goal: A national championship. Why not?
It had been speculated for weeks. Now, it’s a reality: Indiana’s Noah Vonleh is turning pro. He arrived in Bloomington as a five-star recruit, the No. 3 power forward in the nation and the No. 8 player overall, according to rivals.com.
Getting to the Sweet 16 has become old hat for Michigan State. Mlive.com points out that in the past 17 years, only one program in the country has been to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 more than Michigan State. That program is Duke, which has gone 13 times to Michigan State’s 12.
It was exhilarating. It was exhausting. And it may end up being a very memorable win for Wisconsin. Trailing 75-74, Wisconsin not once, not twice, but three times grabbed offensive rebounds before Ben Brust finally drained a 3-pointer to give Wisconsin a 77-75 lead over Oregon.
It wasn’t really that long ago when Michigan missed the NCAA tournament on a regular basis. From 1999-2008, in fact, it never went dancing. Now, the Wolverines have become one of the premier programs in the nation.
It’s a big day for the Big Ten, as No. 2 Michigan, No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 4 Michigan State (I still can’t believe Sparty is a No. 4!) look to punch their ticket for the Sweet 16. Here are four thoughts on today’s games: Wisconsin vs. Oregon (7:45); Michigan State vs. Harvard (8:40). Michigan took down Texas in the first game.
Three teams and three games. That’s what it has come down to for the Big Ten on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
It was fun while it lasted, Nebraska. The whole “Nebrasketball” thing was a phenomenon this season. The world was watching … or at least it felt like it for a while. And that’s pretty amazing, when you consider how far off the radar this program was flying.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The first full-fledged day of NCAA tournament action was a success for the Big Ten. Yes, No. 11 Iowa lost a play-in game to No. 11 Tennessee on Wednesday. And No. 6 Ohio State fell to No. 11 Dayton today. But neither loss was a stunner. But the fact the defeats came early in the tourney, it caught the attention of critics. No matter, the Big Ten’s “Big Three” opened with victories today. And they looked good doing it.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Please, tell me you aren’t shocked by Ohio State’s 60-59 loss to Dayton in its opening NCAA game. Yes, the seeds said it was an upset, as the Buckeyes were a No. 6 seed and the Flyers were a No. 11 seed. But this was little more than a good-not-great Ohio State club. Has been all season.
Well, Iowa’s first taste of March Madness didn’t last long. Heck, it wasn’t really even a taste. More like a sip, as the Hawkeyes were bounced in a play-in game by Tennessee. I guess it shouldn’t be a shock. The Hawkeyes lost six of their last seven games entering the tourney. Conversely, the Volunteers arrived in Dayton, Ohio, with some mojo. It’s just too bad it all had to end like this for Iowa, whose season once glowed with such promise.
The NCAA Tournament officially kicked off on Tuesday and Wednesday with the “First Four.” But today is when things get really juicy. Four Big Ten teams kick off their Big Dance experience. Here are four thoughts on today’s action.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
It’s official: America has fallen in love with Michigan State. It’s mad-crazy tattoo-her-name-on-your-chest love that has mushroomed in a flash, going from 7th-grade crush to full-grown infatuation/borderline stalking.
With the regular season in the rear-view mirror and the NCAA tourney underway, I decided it was a good time to share some of the things I didn’t expect to see this season in the Big Ten – whether it be from a team, player or coach. See my list of 21 things in this post.
Pat Harty of HawkCentral.com wonders if an Iowa win over Tennessee on Wednesday will put a feel-good note on that 1-6 run-up to the NCAA tourney. It certainly couldn’t hurt. This Iowa team has been through a lot. A victory vs. the Vols would be the Hawkeyes’ first NCAA win since 2001.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
With the regular season finished and the NCAA tournament upon us, experts from across the nation are offering their predictions. It’s a fun time, no doubt, and I decided to offer a few predictions of my own. Check out what I see when I look into my crystal ball in this post.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA tourney begins on Tuesday with four first-round games. Iowa will take part in the opening round, as it battles fellow No. 11 seed Tennessee. The other five Big Ten teams will wait until Thursday or Friday to take the lid off NCAA tournament play. Here’s an A-Z took at the Big Ten and the Big Dance.
I have made no secret of my affinity for John Beilein. I love the fact he paid his dues by coming up the back roads of his profession, grinding his way up the ladder. He’s a terrific coach who knows how to win in March. The secret to his success? It’s right here.
March is when schools and coaches earn their reputations. The stakes are high, the chips are down and the pressure is on. Which Big Ten teams are feeling the most urgency to deliver big results in March? Glad you asked. My March Pressure GAUGE will tell us.
Everyone is talking hoops. And why not? But here’s some spring football for ya. First, Nebraska, where work has begun on developing the offensive line—among other things. And many are watching the quarterback spot, where Tommy Armstrong is the man to beat. It will be a big shock if he doesn’t keep the job. Would Bo Pelini dare hand over the reins to a neophyte like Johnny Stanton in his critical season? Nah.
Get out your pencil: The NCAA bracket has been announced. Six Big Ten teams earned bids: Michigan and Wisconsin are No. 2 seeds; Michigan State is a No. 4; Ohio State is a No. 6; Iowa and Nebraska are No. 11 seeds, though the Hawkeyes have to participate in a play-in game.