Latest Tom Dienhart News

Quick Hit: All Michigan, all day today

Michigan raced to a 13-0 lead and led by as many as 24 points en route to dismantling Florida 79-59 on Sunday afternoon in the South Region final. With the convincing win, the Wolverines punched their ticket to the Final Four in Atlanta. Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to Michigan’s big-time win in this post.

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Quick Hit: Buckeyes go cold in Elite Eight

After winning the last two games over Iowa State and Arizona on last-second shots, Ohio State’s luck finally ran out. The Buckeyes dug themselves a hole they couldn’t dig out of vs. Wichita State and saw their 11-game winning skein and season end in the Elite Eight.

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Quick Hit: Spartans can't overcome Duke

Coming in, most felt Duke needed to win the battle at the 3-point and free-throw lines, while the Spartans needed to win the clash in the paint. Which team could impose its will on the other? It was the Blue Devils. Scoring came much easier for Duke, which was propelled by the sweet shooting of Seth Curry, who tallied a game-high 29 points and hit 6-of-9 3-pointers. And the Blue Devils played good defense, especially in the second half. At one point, MSU went almost 14 minutes between field goals in the second half. The Spartans won the battle on the boards, 38-29. But MSU had 11 turnovers to Duke’s six.

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Quick Hit: Trey Burke shines on national stage

Time and again, Michigan looked dead in the water. But the Wolverines never stopped fighting, rallying from 14 points down to force overtime and win in the extra session. Trey Burke played like the national player of the year. He went 0-for-4 in the first half and didn’t score. But he came alive after intermission, scoring 23 points (five in OT) to save the day.

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Big Ten mailbag: Tourney time & hoops questions

With a brief break in all of the hoop action, it’s time for me to reach into my BTN.com mailbag. Lots of interest in Ohio State, which looks like it has a good shot to perhaps reach the Final Four.

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Today's links: 3 contenders remain

Where were you when LaQuinton Ross hit that impossibly long three-point shot with 2.1 seconds left that propelled Ohio State to the Elite Eight? What a dagger. So, if you are scoring at home, that’s two last-second, game-winning shots in a row by the Buckeyes—Aaron Craft did the honors vs. Iowa State in the third round. Gotta start daily links right there. Here’s a video of Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the shot heard ‘round the Buckeye State.

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Collins hire an anomaly among Big Ten coaching moves

Northwestern hiring of Duke assistant Chris Collins as the school’s new men’s basketball coach has created a buzz in college hoops circles. Many love his pedigree, youth and energy. Collins sizzles with potential. Do you smell it? Could the thirtysomething wunderkind lead the Wildcats out of the wilderness of basketball hopelessness and to their first NCAA tourney ever? Collins will be hailed a hoop savant if he does so.

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Quick Hit: Another late trey keeps OSU alive

For the second game in a row, Ohio State needed a last-second shot to pull out victory. Aaron Craft did the honors vs. Iowa State in the third round. This time, LaQuinton Ross threw the dagger that killed Arizona to lead the Buckeyes to their 11th victory in succession.

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IU must make Final Four or season falls short

How much more does Indiana have to achieve this season for it to be deemed a success? Or, have the Hoosiers already done enough? Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star recently wrestled with the conundrum.

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Today's links: All eyes on Hoosiers, Buckeyes

The Sweet 16 kicks off tonight, with No. 2 Ohio State playing No. 6 Arizona in the West and No. 1 Indiana tangling with No. 4 Syracuse in the East. Let’s start daily links there. Each team survived hair-raising third-round games to advance. Are they teams of destiny?

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Dienhart: Collins hiring 'makes so much sense'

Moments after Bill Carmody was fired as Northwestern coach on March 16, speculation began to swirl about Duke associate head coach Chris Collins being a top target. That speculation became reality today when Collins was named Wildcats coach.

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Can Big Ten get 4 Final Four teams?

Could the Big Ten advance four teams to the Final Four?

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Dienhart: Big Ten Sweet 16 previews

The dust has cleared and only 16 teams are standing in the NCAA tourney—four of them are Big Ten schools. The league more than acquitted itself in the opening three rounds of the Big Dance, forging a 10-3 mark from the seven teams that competed.

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Today's links: Tracking opinions of Gophers' move

The firing of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith resonated across Big Ten country and the nation, and most of the reaction was negative. So, I have to start daily links right there—even with postseason basketball in full churn. Legendary columnist Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Gophers haven’t had much success hiring big-time coaches. He’s correct, but why stop trying? And am I the only one in the galaxy who knows Smith was 46-62 in Big Ten games at Minnesota?

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Dienhart: 'It's Shaka Smart or bust'

Tubby Smith did many good things while head coach at Minnesota. He won some big games, advanced the program to three NCAA tourneys and two NITs in six years on the job. But, the school decided today that all of that wasn’t enough. Smith was fired. Now what for the Golden Gophers, who join Northwestern as Big Ten schools in search of a coach?

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