Three teams and three games. That’s what it has come down to for the Big Ten on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament. [ MORE: Dienhart: Thursday was a success for the Big Ten ] No. 2 Michigan will play No. 7 Texas. No. 2 Wisconsin will play No. 7 Oregon. No. 4 Michigan State will play No. 12 Harvard. These clearly are the three best teams in the conference. They are supposed to be here, primed to play for a spot in next week’s Sweet 16. And, frankly, they all should win their game on Saturday and advance.
Ohio State dropped a tight one against an in-state “Little Brother,” which had to make the loss all the more frustrating. There wasn’t anything especially unique about this loss—once again, Ohio State’s offense stalled out when it had to play in the half-court. The outside shooting was tepid (3 of 12 on 3s), and the ballhandling was suspect (the Buckeyes turned it over on 21 percent of their possessions; Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross each had five of their own). And on the 27 occasions when Ohio State had an opportunity to rebound one of its frequent misses, Thad Matta’s
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. [ MORE: Dienhart: Ohio State’s elimination no surprise ] No. 2 Wisconsin destroyed No. 15 American. No. 4 Michigan State whipped
Jordan Morgan notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds as Michigan defeated Wofford 57-40 on Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines (26-8) capitalized on their decisive edge in athleticism on the undersized Terriers (20-13) but still had some nervous moments after missing 15 of their first 18 shots in the second half. Karl Cochran’s 3-pointer with 9:25 left whittled an 18-point deficit to 40-33. But the Wolverines regrouped, and Caris LeVert’s 3 with 4:17 left gave them a 15-point lead to deflate Wofford’s dreams of an upset. Nik Stauskas had 15 points
Michigan was rewarded for an excellent season with a 2-seed in Milwaukee, where the Wolverines will get their tournament started today against Wofford. This is a serious David vs. Goliath matchup, as the Terriers have not beaten a team ranked in the KenPom top 200 all season. Seriously, look at Wofford’s schedule – what’s the best win? At Elon? The Terriers do have a couple relative strengths. They usually win the turnover battle (good luck with that against a John Beilein team), and they are decent on the defensive glass. Perhaps most importantly for this matchup, Wofford has been quite
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 football and basketball head coaching duo is the best? The choices for this poll: Michigan (#MichDuo), Wisconsin (#WiscDuo), Ohio State (#OSUDuo) and Michigan State (#MSUDuo).
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. [ MORE: View Barack Obama’s full NCAA tourney bracket ] Obama has Michigan State topping No. 13 Delaware, No. 12 Harvard, No. 1 Virginia and No. 2 Villanova on its way to the Final Four. In the national semis, he has the Spartans dropping No.
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. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] 1. Nebraska would be in the NCAA tourney. 2. Indiana wouldn’t be in the NCAA tourney. 3. Indiana wouldn’t be in any tourney. 4. Nik Stauskas would be player of the year. 5. Michigan would
With the regular season finished and the NCAA tournament upon us, experts from across the nation are offering their predictions. It’s a fun time, no doubt, and I decided to offer a few predictions of my own. Check out what I see when I look into my crystal ball in this post. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] Which teams will make it to the second weekend of the tourney? Without a doubt, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State should make plans to keep their suitcases packed. The No. 2 Wolverines will dump No. 15 Wofford and then
The NCAA tournament gets into full swing Thursday. Iowa lost Wednesday night in the “First Four,” and now it’s time for Round 2 action. Before any of the Big Ten teams tip off today, vote for all of your Round of 64 Big Ten winners in this post. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] MIDWEST REGION: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Wofford – 7:10 p.m. ET, Thursday, CBS (AP) John Beilein insists he couldn’t care less about Michigan’s seed in the NCAA tournament. Even when it’s the highest of his coaching career. “I’ve never seen so