Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time to reach into my mailbag and answer your pressing questions. Lots of good questions this week, as usual. Yes, spring football is heating up. But with March Madness here, hoops are on your mind. So, let’s start there.
The Spartans were too big, too athletic, too strong and just plain too good for the Crusaders in this second-round game. In fact, the final score is deceiving. This game wasn’t that close. Michigan State played one of its most complete games of the season, being especially dominating on the glass as it aims for a seventh Final Four appearance under Tom Izzo.
Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past 14th-seeded Valparaiso 65-54 on Thursday. The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control.
We’ll be posting photo galleries throughout the NCAA Men’s Tournament for all of our teams. Here’s a look at rivals Michigan and Michigan State practicing ahead of both of their opening games.
Tournament coverage on BTN/BTN2Go continues as we bring your the press conferences leading up to ganmes as well as the sessions right after games. BTN also will televise the majority of Big Ten opponents’ press conferences. A schedule of currently scheduled press conference days and times is below.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to one of the greatest days on the sports calendar! Where to begin? How about here, with Ohio State, one of my Final Four picks? When you think of Ohio State’s sprint to the NCAA tourney, ripping off eight victories in a row, you think of an offense that has featured a steadier stream of contributors around Deshaun Thomas. But defense has been the catalyst. And one of the biggest defensive sparks has been provided by Shannon Scott.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten can fill any number of All-Big Ten-like teams. There’s the actual All-Big Ten teams, of course, and then there’s less official ones, such as this All-Big Ten underrated team. Cosmopolitan, the women’s magazine, has brought a different kind of team to the table. This one is “The Hottest Guys of March Madness 2013,” and it includes five Big Ten players.