The first full-fledged day of NCAA tournament action was a success for the Big Ten. Yes, No. 11 Iowa lost a play-in game to No. 11 Tennessee on Wednesday. And No. 6 Ohio State fell to No. 11 Dayton today. But neither loss was a stunner. But the fact the defeats came early in the tourney, it caught the attention of critics. No matter, the Big Ten’s “Big Three” opened with victories today. And they looked good doing it.
Adam Woodbury scored a career-high 16 points, but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee defeated Iowa 78-65 in overtime on Wednesday night in the NCAA’s First Four. The Volunteers late comeback sent them Raleigh, N.C., where they’ll play sixth-seeded Massachusetts on Friday in the Midwest Regional.
We had three Big Ten men’s hoops teams in postseason action on Wednesday night. Illinois kicked off the evening with a 66-62 come-from-behind victory over Boston University in the NIT. Penn State followed with a 69-65 win over Hampton in a first round CBI matchup. Iowa’s season came to an end after a 78-65 loss to Tennessee in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Catch up on all the scores, stats and select in-game video highlights in this post.
Fran McCaffery’s son, Patrick, 13, underwent surgery to remove a thyroid tumor Wednesday morning, and the coach said the surgery “went as planned.” After the surgery, McCaffery headed to Dayton, Ohio, for Iowa’s first NCAA tourney game since 2006. The Twitter world showed incredible support for Patrick, to the point that #teampat was trending nationally, and here is a (large) sampling of some of our favorite tweets.
College basketball experts across the nation are picking Big Ten tourney champ Michigan State to win the NCAA tourney. The same goes for the President. As he’s done each of the past five years, Barack Obama filled out his NCAA bracket in a recent ESPN special, and he selected the Spartans to win it all.
With the regular season in the rear-view mirror and the NCAA tourney underway, I decided it was a good time to share some of the things I didn’t expect to see this season in the Big Ten – whether it be from a team, player or coach. See my list of 21 things in this post.