While I will always associate the initial Thursday and Friday games of the NCAA tournament with the term “first round,” the NCAA tournament’s first round officially will be played tonight and tomorrow in the form of the play-in games. On Wednesday night, a Big Ten representative will look to advance from Dayton, as Iowa takes on Tennessee in a battle to become the Midwest Region’s 11-seed.
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The NCAA tourney begins on Tuesday with four first-round games. Iowa will take part in the opening round, as it battles fellow No. 11 seed Tennessee. The other five Big Ten teams will wait until Thursday or Friday to take the lid off NCAA tournament play. Here’s an A-Z took at the Big Ten and the Big Dance.
Fran McCaffery has a lot more on his mind than Iowa’s first NCAA tourney game since 2006. The Hawkeyes open the NCAA tourney Wednesday night vs. Tennessee, but, in the hours leading up to tip, McCaffery will have traveled to Dayton, Ohio, back to Iowa City, and to Dayton again.
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday show #BTNLive.” On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: Which Big Ten men’s basketball team advances the furthest in the NCAA tourney?
March is when schools and coaches earn their reputations. The stakes are high, the chips are down and the pressure is on. Which Big Ten teams are feeling the most urgency to deliver big results in March? Glad you asked. My March Pressure GAUGE will tell us.
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On Sunday morning, with just a handful of games left to be played, we took a last look at the Easy Bubble Solver. As a reminder, the Easy Bubble Solver involves adding together the KenPom rank and RPI rank for every team, then ranking them in ascending order. It’s a way to get a feel for which teams are in the field without spending all the time necessary to scrutinize every team’s resume.