What’s the best part of the NCAA tournament? It’s the upsets. They are what we remember from year to year.
Many are picking the No. 11 seed Gophers to knock off No. 6 UCLA in the first round of their South Region clash. Yes, Minnesota is in a funk, losing three in a row and seven of 10. But this still is a talented, athletic and physical team that’s capable of big things with players like Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins, Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe, among others.
For this year’s NCAA tourney preview edition, Sports Illustrated is producing four regional covers. One of the covers features a Big Ten star. It’s Indiana junior Victor Oladipo. See the cover in this post.
Bracket makers didn’t do Michigan State any favors, putting it in the Midwest Region—which most experts feel is the toughest with No. 1 overall seed Louisville sitting atop it. That said, the Spartans get to play the first weekend in Auburn Hills, Mich., and if they advance to the second weekend, they play in Indianapolis.
Michigan State’s Keith Appling brought down the United Center with his one-handed posterizing dunk over Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe in the Big Ten tournament. As impressive as the dunk was, it wasn’t the only one that delighted during the four-day event. Watch the Big Ten tourney dunks in this video.
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Michigan guard Trey Burke is focused on the here and now, trying to net his first NCAA tourney win after the Wolverines were dumped in the first round of the Big Dance last season by Ohio. But Burke was asked where he’ll be playing next year. His answer: “I don’t know.” Let’s kick off daily links right there.
Bill O’Brien receives much of the credit for Penn State’s surprising 2012 football season, and rightfully so. But Penn State strength and condition coach Craig Fitzgerald played a role, as well. In his first year with the program, Fitzgerald, who previously worked at South Carolina, helped modernize Penn State’s weight room and workout regimen. Watch Howard Griffith’s interview with Fitzgerald now.