If college football had a 68-team tourney like men's hoops, how would the bracket look? Which big name reportedly interviewed for the Rutgers' men's basketball job? What kind of good news did Minnesota fans get recently? Let's dive into Wednesday's Big Ten football and basketball news digest.
There were many dubious seeds in the NCAA bracket when it was announced on Sunday. But perhaps no seed raised more eyebrows of surprise than Michigan State being slotted as a No. 2 in the Midwest. The Spartans, No. 2 in the AP poll, appeared to have the resume of a No. 1 seed coming off a Big Ten tourney title, winning nine in a row and 13 of their last 14 games since a three-game losing skid in mid-January. Regardless, Michigan State no doubt will use this perceived slight as motivation to reach the Final Four for the eighth
When the season dawned, experts spoke in glowing terms about Maryland. Most felt the Terps were the pick to win the Big Ten. And some thought Maryland was the No. 1 team in the nation. The season started with a bang, as Maryland opened 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten. But the Terps wheezed down the stretch, going 3-5 in their last eight games.
Indiana was the undisputed regular season champ of the Big Ten, but the Hoosiers had to settle for a No. 5 seed after playing a favorable league schedule and losing their first Big Ten tourney game. Even though the committee did Indiana no favors, it still could be poised for a run in the Big Dance. This is a talented team and one that is motivated to show it’s better than its seed—or what it showed it that clunker loss to Michigan in Indianapolis in the league tourney.
On Tuesday, the six Big Ten men’s hockey coaches held a teleconference with reporters from around the country to preview the Big Ten Hockey Tournament. Dive in and hear from each coach. Don’t forget that every game of the 2016 Big Ten Men’s Hockey Tournament will air live on BTN (and BTN2Go) from Thursday through Saturday’s title game. All games are at the the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota is the No. 1 seed and earns a first-round bye, and so does No. 2 seed Michigan. Thursday, March 17 #6 Wisconsin vs. #3 Penn State – 5 p.m. ET
The Boilermakers have proven they are capable of beating just about any team … and also struggling against just about any team. Big Ten title dreams danced in the heads of Purdue fans in October. But, that didn’t materialize. Still, the goal of reaching the Final Four remains alive. Is it possible? Maybe. This is a big, tough physical squad anchored by a fleet of what the late Al McGuire used to like to call “aircraft carriers” in 7-0 A.J. Hammons, 6-9 Caleb Swanigan and 7-2 monster Isaac Haas. No school can match this tall trio of terror. The keys
So the day after Selection Sunday and people still feel the Big Ten got slighted in the seeding. That's why they play the games. Spin through our Tuesday Big Ten headlines roundup for the linksm, then watch and see who BTN analyst Jon Crispin picks to win it all.
Five Big Ten women’s basketball teams made the 2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue. Here’s the full bracket on NCAA.com, as well as a printable version. Maryland, winners of the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships, enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed in College Park, MD., and will take on No. 15 Iona at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on ESPN2. The Terrapins are hosting as part of the Lexington Region and a win will allow them to face either No. 7 Washington or No. 10 Pennsylvania in second-round play. Maryland
At one point this season, an NCAA bid seemed like a long shot for Wisconsin, which was 9-9 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten after a loss at Northwestern on Jan. 12. But the Badgers, who lost to the likes of UW Milwaukee and Western Illinois early on, rallied under Greg Gard to secure an 18th consecutive trip to the Big Dance after he took over a 7-5 team following the retirement of Bo Ryan on Dec. 15. Late in the year, Gard inked a five-year deal, taking the "interim" off his title.
Michigan State's Colby Wollenman wasn't sure how much he was going to play in Sunday's Big Ten championship game, or what his role would be. But he knew when his number was called upon, he would be ready.