March 26, 2005, forever will hold a special place in Illinois men’s basketball fans’ hearts. It was on this day, after all, that the top-ranked Illini pulled off one of the more memorable comebacks in NCAA tourney history (AP recap). Down 15 points with four minutes left in the Chicago Regional final against No. 3 seed Arizona, Illinois rallied all the way back to force overtime, where it carded an unforgettable 90-89 victory. Watch a video of the unbelievable comeback in this post.
Big week in Big Ten football, as the last three schools begin spring practice this week. Penn State kicks off today; Michigan State on Tuesday; Ohio State on Wednesday. If you can believe it, the first spring games will begin on April 14. Clean up your Weber Smokey Joes and mark your calendars.
Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green and Jared Sullinger were named John R. Wooden All-Americans and first-team AP All-America on Monday. Green averaged 16.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.5 spg and 1 bpg, while Sullinger contributed 17.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg and 1 bpg. Both players led their teams to a share of the Big Ten crown, along with Michigan, and Sullinger has Ohio State in the Final Four. See all the teams in this post.
Ohio State was our preseason pick for the cream of the conference, and, despite a bumpy Big Ten slate that left them sharing the title, the Buckeyes are now the last B1G standing. The Sweet Sixteen was rather cruel to Big Ten teams not from Columbus; let’s start with the happy news and work our way through the rest.
The Urban Meyer era has dawned at Ohio State. And with it comes big dreams—national championship dreams. Why not? Meyer led Florida to BCS titles in 2006 and 2008. Yes, Ohio State is ineligible for the Big Ten title and a bowl this season as it serves probation incurred under Jim Tressel. But Meyer still wants to lay the foundation for future greatness for a team that went 6-7 last season, the program’s first losing season since going 4-6-1 under John Cooper in 1988 and the school’s first seven-loss season since 1897.
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Tonight on The Pulse, at 7:30 p.m. ET, Rick Pizzo, Tim Doyle and Chris Martin set the stage for Ohio State’s Final Four appearance in New Orleans. The guys also will discuss Draymond Green’s chances of winning national player of the year and debate the most anticipated coaching debut (Urban Meyer vs. Bill O’Brien) and most explosive senior (Denard Robinson vs. Montee Ball). Watch a special web-only segment now.
All eight Big Ten women’s gymnastics teams have been chosen among the 36-team field to compete at NCAA Regionals on April 7, the selection committee announced on Monday. The Big Ten will be represented at five of the six regional sites.