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The dust has cleared and only 16 teams are standing in the NCAA tourney—four of them are Big Ten schools. The league more than acquitted itself in the opening three rounds of the Big Dance, forging a 10-3 mark from the seven teams that competed.
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The way Michigan’s Mitch McGary plays basketball, it’s only natural to envision him on a football field. At least one Michigan football assistant is guilty of it, according to MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke. That’s right, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison wouldn’t mind McGary on his defensive line.
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Just as BTN/BTN2Go did through the early rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, we’ll be airing live coach and player press conferences for all Big Ten teams and their opponents. Want to watch Indiana’s Tom Crean discuss Thursday’s matchup with Syracuse? Curious to see what Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim thinks of the Hoosiers? How about what Ohio State’s Thad Matta and Arizona’s Sean Miller have to say? We’ll have it all on Wednesday.
Five Big Ten teams remain alive in the postseason. There’s Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tourney, and there’s Iowa in the NIT quarterfinals. All five teams – like most teams in action this time of year – boast terrific 1-2 punches. See how I rank the Big Ten’s remaining duos in this post.
Aaron Craft already was a big deal prior to Sunday’s NCAA tourney performance against Iowa State. Add the late momentum-shifting charge and game-winning buzzer-beater to his record, and we’re dealing with a guy approaching icon status. Heck, Thad Matta wants a statue of Craft erected outside the arena. And local children must agree, because they’re building snowmen of Craft.
BTN will debut school-specific episodes of The Journey: Big Ten Men’s Basketball 2013 this week featuring the four Big Ten teams reaching the Sweet 16: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Journey editors have compiled a 30-minute episode from the stories of the past season.
The firing of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith resonated across Big Ten country and the nation, and most of the reaction was negative. So, I have to start daily links right there—even with postseason basketball in full churn. Legendary columnist Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Gophers haven’t had much success hiring big-time coaches. He’s correct, but why stop trying? And am I the only one in the galaxy who knows Smith was 46-62 in Big Ten games at Minnesota?