(AP) Freshman guard Andre Hollins scored 20 points, including five in overtime, and short-handed Minnesota beat Washington 68-67 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT title game. With the shot clock winding down and the Golden Gophers clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute, Hollins banked in an off-balance shot to put Minnesota up 68-65. The sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (23-14) will face No. 3 seed Stanford in Thursday’s title game at Madison Square Garden. The Cardinal beat Massachusetts in the first semifinal. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and interactive NIT bracket and get Tom Dienhart’s analysis in this post.
The New Orleans Saints’ official Twitter account (@Saints) released photos of the 2012 Final Four court and other scenes around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of this year’s Final Four. So, if you’re interested, get your first look at the court Ohio State will be playing on Saturday night. Spoiler alert: It’s in the same design as all the NCAA tourney courts, only it’s green — two shades of it — where those courts are black, and it features the Final Four logo at midcourt. See pictures in this post.
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March 26, 2005, forever will hold a special place in Illinois men’s basketball fans’ hearts. It was on this day, after all, that the top-ranked Illini pulled off one of the more memorable comebacks in NCAA tourney history (AP recap). Down 15 points with four minutes left in the Chicago Regional final against No. 3 seed Arizona, Illinois rallied all the way back to force overtime, where it carded an unforgettable 90-89 victory. Watch a video of the unbelievable comeback in this post.
Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green and Jared Sullinger were named John R. Wooden All-Americans and first-team AP All-America on Monday. Green averaged 16.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.5 spg and 1 bpg, while Sullinger contributed 17.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg and 1 bpg. Both players led their teams to a share of the Big Ten crown, along with Michigan, and Sullinger has Ohio State in the Final Four. See all the teams in this post.
Ohio State was our preseason pick for the cream of the conference, and, despite a bumpy Big Ten slate that left them sharing the title, the Buckeyes are now the last B1G standing. The Sweet Sixteen was rather cruel to Big Ten teams not from Columbus; let’s start with the happy news and work our way through the rest.
Tonight on The Pulse, at 7:30 p.m. ET, Rick Pizzo, Tim Doyle and Chris Martin set the stage for Ohio State’s Final Four appearance in New Orleans. The guys also will discuss Draymond Green’s chances of winning national player of the year and debate the most anticipated coaching debut (Urban Meyer vs. Bill O’Brien) and most explosive senior (Denard Robinson vs. Montee Ball). Watch a special web-only segment now.
Ohio State is back in the Final Four for the first since 2007, when it advanced to the national championship game and lost to Florida. The 2011-12 journey was an up-and-down one. Along the way, the Buckeyes were ranked as high as No. 2 and also struggled through a 2-3 funk in February. But they were at their best when it mattered most, winning eight of their last nine en route to making the Final Four. Now that Ohio State is off to New Orleans for the national semis, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina takes a look back at the key moments and plays that have the Buckeyes in this position.
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