Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
It’s never too early to look ahead to next season, right? Actually, yes, the day after the completion of one season is entirely too early to start analyzing the next. But even if we don’t know which stars will return and which ones will go pro, it’s fun to consider what next season may bring. See my super-early 2013-14 power rankings in this post. And once all the NBA decision are made, I’ll update this list.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
With a 10-3 record and four teams advancing to the Sweet 16, how did the Big Ten’s start to the NCAA tourney compare to the best in NCAA history? That’s a great question, and BTN.com turned to its resident statistician, Chris Antonacci, for the answer. See the numbers in this post.
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute left and Miami kept possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on for a 63-59 victory Sunday night to advance to the NCAA round of 16.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, I realize Sunday features four games involving Big Ten teams. And yes, I realize the Big Ten could go 0-4. It isn’t likely, but it could happen. Regardless, it’s impossible to ignore what the Big Ten has done through the first three days of the Big Dance.
It was defense that boosted Illinois to victory on this day. Illinois was especially stingy in the first half, which it allowed only 21 points and closed the final 7:05 of the half on a 13-0 run to take a 37-21 halftime edge. And the Illini showed an ability to withstand adversity in the second half, squandering a 16-point halftime lead and falling behind 44-39 with 9:00 left. But Illinois stayed composed and regained the lead, finishing the game on an 18-5 run.