After Michigan's First Four win, more Big Ten men's teams take the NCAA stage today and tomorrow. Can Purdue make a run? What about Indiana? Plus, we've got a smattering of Big Ten football updates, too. Read Thursday's news digest now.
Michigan would not be denied, roaring back for a 67-62 victory over Tulsa on Wednesday.
There are seven Big Ten teams in the NCAA tourney. Michigan is the first to take the plunge, tipping off tonight in a First Four in clash with fellow No. 11 seed Tulsa. What is the best-case scenario in the Big Dance for the Wolverines? I tell you that, as well as my best-case scenario for each Big Ten squad in the NCAA tourney.
If college football had a 68-team tourney like men's hoops, how would the bracket look? Which big name reportedly interviewed for the Rutgers' men's basketball job? What kind of good news did Minnesota fans get recently? Let's dive into Wednesday's Big Ten football and basketball news digest.
There were many dubious seeds in the NCAA bracket when it was announced on Sunday. But perhaps no seed raised more eyebrows of surprise than Michigan State being slotted as a No. 2 in the Midwest. The Spartans, No. 2 in the AP poll, appeared to have the resume of a No. 1 seed coming off a Big Ten tourney title, winning nine in a row and 13 of their last 14 games since a three-game losing skid in mid-January. Regardless, Michigan State no doubt will use this perceived slight as motivation to reach the Final Four for the eighth
When the season dawned, experts spoke in glowing terms about Maryland. Most felt the Terps were the pick to win the Big Ten. And some thought Maryland was the No. 1 team in the nation. The season started with a bang, as Maryland opened 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten. But the Terps wheezed down the stretch, going 3-5 in their last eight games.
The Boilermakers have proven they are capable of beating just about any team … and also struggling against just about any team. Big Ten title dreams danced in the heads of Purdue fans in October. But, that didn’t materialize. Still, the goal of reaching the Final Four remains alive. Is it possible? Maybe. This is a big, tough physical squad anchored by a fleet of what the late Al McGuire used to like to call “aircraft carriers” in 7-0 A.J. Hammons, 6-9 Caleb Swanigan and 7-2 monster Isaac Haas. No school can match this tall trio of terror. The keys
So the day after Selection Sunday and people still feel the Big Ten got slighted in the seeding. That's why they play the games. Spin through our Tuesday Big Ten headlines roundup for the linksm, then watch and see who BTN analyst Jon Crispin picks to win it all.
At one point this season, an NCAA bid seemed like a long shot for Wisconsin, which was 9-9 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten after a loss at Northwestern on Jan. 12. But the Badgers, who lost to the likes of UW Milwaukee and Western Illinois early on, rallied under Greg Gard to secure an 18th consecutive trip to the Big Dance after he took over a 7-5 team following the retirement of Bo Ryan on Dec. 15. Late in the year, Gard inked a five-year deal, taking the "interim" off his title.
Michigan’s bubble didn’t burst. It is back in the Big Dance—barely—after a one-year absence with its lowest seed ever at No. 11. The Wolverines have enjoyed a lot of success in recent years under John Beilein, playing in the national championship game in 2013 and the regional finals in 2014 before missing the tourney last season. The fact Michigan has made it this far is impressive when you consider it played most of the season without its best player in Caris LeVert (foot), while gutty guard Spike Albrecht also was out with injury. Still, the Wolverines marched on and likely