The NCAA tournament officially tipped off Tuesday night, as did the NIT, which has BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina’s attention divided between the tourney and the future. It’s very early to entertain the 2012-13 season, admittedly, but there are important questions Big Ten teams will address, as soon as the coming days or weeks.
In Wednesday’s web links, we look at what some of the Big Ten beat writers are saying about their school’s chances in the NCAA tournament, which tips Thursday for three Big Ten teams. Also, find links and my thoughts on a trio of Big Ten big men who are filling equally big roles for Indiana and Michigan State. There’s some football talk in here, too, as coaches discuss position changes. Find it all in this post.
With the “second round” of the NCAA tournament about to begin, let’s take a look at the matchups and potential matchups for Big Ten teams. First, we’ll look at the Thursday/Saturday pods.
Iowa ran past Dayton (recap) and Northwestern survived a potential buzzer-beating defeat against Akron (recap) in first-round NIT action Tuesday night. Catch up on both games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, recaps and BTN.com Tom Dienhart’s analysis in this post. Also, don’t forget to bookmark the NIT bracket.
On Tuesday night’s Big Ten Football Report, we continued our position breakdowns as Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith took a look at some of the Big Ten’s top running backs. Also, with spring practices now underway, our guys took a look at Illinois and Nebraska. Oh, and we also aired Part II of DiNardo’s conversation with new Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien. Watch the complete interview now and see a preview to next week’s conversation with Michigan QB Denard Robinson in this post.
The goal of Big Ten football teams every season is simple: Play in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin and Bret Bielema have had the honor of playing in the “Granddady of Them All” each of the past two seasons. While neither visit to Pasadena yielded a win, the lure of the rose is impossible to resist. As you can see from this photo, Bielema and his better half, Jennifer Hielsberg, incorporated his favorite flower into their wedding cake following Saturday’s private ceremony. Look at all those roses!
CHICAGO – With a record 16 men’s and women’s basketball teams competing in post-season play, BTN will have full coverage, with nightly episodes of Big Ten Basketball and Beyond: Tournament Edition, presented by 5-Hour Energy, as well as postgame press conferences. Six men’s and seven women’s teams are in the NCAA Tournament, while three men’s teams are competing in the NIT.