Five Big Ten teams remain alive in the postseason. There’s Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tourney, and there’s Iowa in the NIT quarterfinals. All five teams – like most teams in action this time of year – boast terrific 1-2 punches. See how I rank the Big Ten’s remaining duos in this post.
Aaron Craft already was a big deal prior to Sunday’s NCAA tourney performance against Iowa State. Add the late momentum-shifting charge and game-winning buzzer-beater to his record, and we’re dealing with a guy approaching icon status. Heck, Thad Matta wants a statue of Craft erected outside the arena. And local children must agree, because they’re building snowmen of Craft.
BTN will debut school-specific episodes of The Journey: Big Ten Men’s Basketball 2013 this week featuring the four Big Ten teams reaching the Sweet 16: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Journey editors have compiled a 30-minute episode from the stories of the past season.
The firing of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith resonated across Big Ten country and the nation, and most of the reaction was negative. So, I have to start daily links right there—even with postseason basketball in full churn. Legendary columnist Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Gophers haven’t had much success hiring big-time coaches. He’s correct, but why stop trying? And am I the only one in the galaxy who knows Smith was 46-62 in Big Ten games at Minnesota?
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Kevin Foster scored 34 points to lift Santa Clara to an 86-83 win over Purdue on Monday at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette in the College Basketball Invitational.
During his Monday morning press conference with reporters, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was asked about Minnesota’s decision today to fire Tubby Smith as the Golden Gophers head basketball coach. Watch Izzo’s reaction and answer in this video clip. The Michigan State coach takes a sip of water and then takes a long pause before answering. “Tubby’s a good friend of mine,” Izzo said. “So that does hit me a little bit harder.”
Tubby Smith did many good things while head coach at Minnesota. He won some big games, advanced the program to three NCAA tourneys and two NITs in six years on the job. But, the school decided today that all of that wasn’t enough. Smith was fired. Now what for the Golden Gophers, who join Northwestern as Big Ten schools in search of a coach?