Never count out the champion, right? Reigning Big Ten tourney champ Ohio State rallied from 18 points down in the second half to top Nebraska, 71-67, and advance to Saturday’s semifinals. The Buckeyes will play Big Ten regular-season champ and rival Michigan in the first of two semifinal games Saturday. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to Ohio State’s win in this post.
When they last met, Michigan blew out Illinois. This time the game was much closer, but No. 1 Big Ten tournament seed Michigan did what strong teams always do – make clutch shots. Illinois had a chance to win it in the end, but the Wolverines escaped.
Thursday’s action will be difficult to top, as every game had drama. Friday will try to live up to that billing with four interesting tilts. Here is one though on each game.
Well, that was a fun opening day of the Big Ten tourney, wasn’t it? Officially, there was a pair of upsets, although No. 9 Illinois’ win over No. 8 Indiana isn’t all that much of a stunner.
If you’re a fan of college basketball, then you have to appreciate how entertaining Day One of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament was. Four games were decided by a total of 24 points, with No. 11 Northwestern closing out Thursday’s session with a memorable 67-62 upset victory over No. 6 Iowa.
The way the regular season went you just knew there would be an upset or two on the first day of the Big Ten tourney. No. 9 Illinois beat No. 8 Indiana, but that’s not much of an upset. No. 11 Northwestern over No. 6 Iowa, the team that beat the Wildcats by 26 in both meetings this year? That would be an upset. And that’s just what we had. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction in this post.
In a game it needed to win to keep its NCAA tourney hopes alive, No. 7 Minnesota was able to hold off Penn State, 63-56, Thursday night in Indianapolis. The Gophers, led by Austin Hollins’ 18 points, meet No. 2 Wisconsin at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday on BTN/BTN2Go. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction in this post.
Reigning Big Ten tourney champ Ohio State nipped Purdue, 63-61, in the second of four games Thursday in the Big Ten tourney. The fifth-seeded Buckeyes avoided becoming just the second team, and first since 1999, to lose to the lowest seed in event history. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to Ohio State’s narrow Round 1 win in this post.
No. 9 Illinois dropped No. 8 Indiana, 64-54, in the opening game of the Big Ten tourney Thursday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. With the win, the Illini advance to the quarterfinals and will face Big Ten champ and No. 1 Michigan on Friday. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to the Illini’s win in this post.
The Big Ten tourney kicks off in a few hours and I’m in Indianapolis ready to watch all the games up close and personal. Like so many of you, I’ve been following this Big Ten season from the very start. Before the first game tips on BTN/BTN2Go, here are four quick thoughts on today’s matchups. I’ll be posting to BTN.com all day from press row – follow me on Twitter @BTNTomDienhart.
Getting named Coach of the Year by his Big Ten peers was sweet for Nebraska’s Tim Miles. Maybe even better: His contract calls for him to get a $50K bonus for it. That’ll buy a lot of Runza’s. But his contract stipulates Miles will get the loot for being “consensus” Coach of the Year. John Beilein was voted the honor by league media. Hmmmm. Regardless, Miles still expects to cash in.
The Big Ten will lose one of its most unsung, talented and classy players soon, as Northwestern’s Drew Crawford figures to be suiting up for the last time in his Wildcat career in the Big Ten tourney this week. Enjoy every last dribble.
As spring practice dawns, Nebraska seems to be primed for some big things. I know, I know. It seems the Cornhuskers are primed for big things each year, but it may really happen in 2014 for a team that could have one of the top defenses in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten tourney kicks off on Thursday in Indianapolis with four games. Teams seeded No. 5-12 will play. The bad news for these clubs: Just one team seeded lower than No. 4 ever has won the Big Ten tourney: No. 6 Iowa in 2001.
The debate will rage: Who is the Big Ten Coach of the Year? The Big Ten media bestowed the honor on John Beilein. The Big Ten coaches bequeathed the award on Tim Miles. Probably a good idea to just split it. A great case can be made for each guy. Personally, my vote would have gone with Beilein, who just isn’t comfortable with these things. And he means it, too.
The Big Ten has revealed the bracket for its tourney, which kicks off on Thursday in Indianapolis. There are many interesting storylines, as Michigan looks for its first Big Ten tourney crown since the inaugural event in 1998. In fact, that’s the only time the Wolverines have won the tourney.
The regular season is over. On to the league tourneys. Basically, six teams look to be locks for the Big Dance: Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Iowa. Minnesota is squarely on the bubble.
The Big Ten tourney bracket is set. Tip-off is early Thursday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The top four seeds: 1. Michigan; 2. Wisconsin; 3. Michigan State; 4. Nebraska. Those four, of course, all earn first-round byes. Here’s a quick look at what each team has on the line in Indy.
It has been slow, steady growth for Indiana under Kevin Wilson. And, that’s good. Progress is being made as the Hoosiers inch closer to their first bowl since the 2007 season.
It looked like Bo Pelini would enter 2014 on a bit of a hot seat, but that talk has been cooled off with news that he’s inked a five-year contract extension. It’s a remarkable turn of events.
The upcoming Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament promises to be full of intrigue and potentially wide-open. Five of the last seven No. 1 seeds have won the Big Ten tourney. The last time someone lower than a No. 3 seed won it was Iowa, which turned the trick as a No. 6 seed in 2001.
I’m taking one last shot around the Big Ten as we close in on the final weekend of the season. Michigan already has the league title so the biggest drama left is the battle for fourth place. Can Nebraska seal it up? A win over Wisconsin would do the trick (game airs Sunday at 7:30 on BTN/BTN2Go). Minnesota is sitting on the NCAA bubble, needing to close the season with a win as it heads to the Big Ten tourney to bolster its resume.
It got ugly near the end, which was unfortunate, but Michigan State notched a much-needed win last night vs. Iowa. The Spartans had gone 4-6 in their previous 10 games. This triumph will give MSU some momentum as it heads to Ohio State for the regular-season finale. The Spartans needed a night like this. And they especially needed Keith Appling to rediscover his groove, which he did in the second half.
The National Football Foundation has released its 2014 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, and plenty of players with ties to Big Ten schools are up for election. In fact, among the 75 FBS players, there are 21 Big Ten players.