Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana came into Saturday looking to take the next step in the NCAA Tournament but all three had formidable challenges ahead of them. First off, the Buckeyes held off a very tough Gonzaga team before the Badgers battled Vanderbilt right down to the end to win. Finally, the Hoosiers got some late-game heroics from Will Sheehey and defeated VCU.
In Wednesday’s web links, we look at what some of the Big Ten beat writers are saying about their school’s chances in the NCAA tournament, which tips Thursday for three Big Ten teams. Also, find links and my thoughts on a trio of Big Ten big men who are filling equally big roles for Indiana and Michigan State. There’s some football talk in here, too, as coaches discuss position changes. Find it all in this post.
Iowa ran past Dayton (recap) and Northwestern survived a potential buzzer-beating defeat against Akron (recap) in first-round NIT action Tuesday night. Catch up on both games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, recaps and BTN.com Tom Dienhart’s analysis in this post. Also, don’t forget to bookmark the NIT bracket.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and look at Michigan, the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional. The Wolverines play No. 13 seed Ohio on Friday. What do we know about Ohio? Brent Yarina told us earlier. Now I’m here to tell you about Michigan in this post. Use the NCAA.com bracket and the BTN scoreboard to track all of the action this tournament.
In today’s links we take a look at what some think the previous Illinois athletic director would have done with Bruce Weber. Plus, Michigan State’s men’s basketball team has incredible chemistry, but is that enough for the Spartans? Purdue’s shooting is heating up just in time. Could the Nebraska men’s basketball job search be warming up, too? And let’s shift gears to football where one writer reports linebacker is the deepest position on the Michigan team. Lots of others links plus the Big Ten Blast video, too.
Three Big Ten men’s teams got NIT slots and two of them play tonight. No. 7 seed Iowa hosts No. 2 seed Dayton and No. 4 seed Northwestern faces visiting No. 5 seed Akron. No. 6 seed Minnesota plays at No. 3 La Salle on Wednesday.
Ohio State didn’t win the Big Ten Tournament, but the Buckeyes hope to make a run at an NCAA title. Here’s my closer look at how Ohio State sets up for their Thursday’s first-round game against Loyola (Md.). Who is Loyola (Md.)? Our Brent Yarina answers that question while I give you my Buckeyes preview further down in this post.
Indiana is back in the NCAA Tournament, and so I kick off my six Big Ten previews with the Hoosiers leading up to the opening first-round games on Thursday. No. 4 seed Indiana plays No. 13 seed New Mexico State at 9:45 p.m. ET on Thursday in the South Region. My BTN.com colleague Brent Yarina took a closer look at Indiana’s first opponent today. Now I’m rolling up my sleeves and breaking down Indiana. Im working my way through all six Big Ten teams, so all of my Big Ten team previews will be archived over here.
What are my colleagues around the Big Ten saying this morning? The Spartans are a sure thing in an unpredictable tourney while the Buckeyes challenge is to move on. The Wolverines look to stick around a while in the NCAA while the Badgers’ bracket is dangerous even with Kentucky nowhere near. And the NCAA committee did Purdue a favor. What was it? Find out in my daily web links post.
After four days of Big Ten basketball in Indianapolis, six Big Ten men’s teams move on to the NCAA tournament. Michigan State lands the No. 1 seed in the West and plays Long Island University (Friday, 9:20 p.m. ET), while Ohio State is the No. 2 seed in East and faces Loyola (Md.) (Thursday, 9:50 p.m.). Wisconsin scored a No. 4 seed in East and plays Montana (Thursday, 2:10 p.m.), and Michigan gets a No. 4 seed and plays Ohio University (Friday, 7:20 p.m.)
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne fired Doc Sadler today, a move that surprised no one. Sadler went 12-17 overall and 4-14 in the Big Ten, culminating with a loss to Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Nebraska moved into a state-of-the-art, $18 million practice facility last fall. And the program will move into a $344 million arena that is expected to open for the 2013-14 season, as the school has experienced a rebirth of its basketball facilities. (See more video in this post.)
What has been speculated for weeks became reality today when Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas announced the firing of Bruce Weber. Thomas wasted no time turning the page on the Weber era, letting him go a day after the Fighting Illini lost to Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten tourney. Illinois is 17-15 (6-12 Big Ten) still could receive an NIT bid. If that happens, an assistant figures to serve as interim coach.
When the season dawned back in November, most experts felt Ohio State would win the crown. Well, the Buckeyes needed some late-season heroics to take a share of what was a three-way tie between themselves, Michigan State and Michigan. In between, there were a lot of highs and lows in an exciting Big Ten title chase. So here’s a look at my top 10 moments from the 2011-12 season.
You have questions, I have answers. I reach into my mailbag and address queries that deal with March Madness and spring football. What does Northwestern have to do to make the NCAA tourney? What’s on Purdue’s to-do list for spring ball? The answers to those questions and more are all here. Plus, this week I’m experimenting with a video question for my readers who are willing to try something new. Do you want give others your very own video prediction on the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament? Learn how easy it can be in this post.
The heart of the Big Ten Tournament could be the Hoosiers, but conference balance should translate into a wild tournament. Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t want bowls to be limited to picking seven-win teams. Fran McCaffrey is disappointed that Matt Gatens wasn’t first-team All-Big Ten and Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t want bowls to be limited to picking seven-win teams. What do these stories have in common? They’re all in my Daily Links for Wednesday. Dive in and have a look.
The 2012 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday with No. 8 seed Iowa taking on No. 9 seed Illinois at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (full bracket here). Before the action gets underway, I’m breaking down the first four games with an overview, key matchup and, of course, my prediction. Who do you like in the first four games? Vote inside.