(AP) Frank Kaminsky scored 19 points and blocked six shots, and Wisconsin romped into the West Regional final with a dominant 69-52 victory over Baylor on Thursday night. Ben Brust hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points for the second-seeded Badgers (29-7), who jumped to a 14-point lead in the first half and never let up on the overmatched Bears (26-12). The 7-foot Kaminsky and his disciplined teammates shredded the Baylor zone defense that played so well in the first two games. Wisconsin also methodically shut down Baylor’s talented offense while moving into its second regional final in 13 years
Tom Izzo has Michigan State two wins away from another Final Four. The Spartans can get to Arlington, Texas, with victories over Virginia and either Iowa State-UConn this weekend in the East Region. With Izzo and his team in the spotlight, Steve Mariucci, one of Izzo’s best friends, decided to share an epic throwback photo of the two on Twitter. Thank you, Mooch! This is classic; in fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone not getting a laugh out of it. That said, Nike, the outfitter of Michigan State’s uniforms, probably isn’t the biggest fan of Izzo’s shirt. Tom Izzo &
If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten social media polls for our weekday show #BTNLive. On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: Which player is most important to Wisconsin’s success tonight? The choices: #BTNBrust, #BTNDekker, #BTNJackson or #BTNKaminsky. How do you vote via social media? It’s simple. On Twitter, just use any of the above hashtags and we will tabulate them. On Facebook, go to BTN’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BTN) and post your chosen hashtag there. There’s another very easy way to vote via Twitter
Hello, Sweet 16! The first three rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are in the books. Three Big Ten teams remain in the field as Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin will attempt to stamp their ticket to the Final Four in Arlington, Texas. Through three rounds of play, we have seen plenty of upsets, as well as outstanding individual and team performances. I’ve watched as many games I could, so here is a breakdown of my NCAA Tournament all-region teams, leading up to this week’s college hoops madness. There are plenty of familiar Big Ten names on this list.
Sweet 16 action kicks off tonight, with Wisconsin playing No. 6 Baylor. Is any team playing better than the Bears? This is a physical Baylor squad that plays an aggressive zone defense. If shots aren’t falling for Wisconsin, it can’t forget to drive to the hoop. And if the Badgers are going to win, Sam Dekker probably needs to have a good game. He’s an X-factor, of sorts. *** How good would this Michigan team be if Mitch McGary was playing? It’s fun to think about. But, his cranky back continues to keep him out, so he has had to
With Wisconsin set to play in the Sweet 16 tonight, this week’s Throwback Thursday Q&A shines the spotlight on Mike Bruesewitz. Bruesewitz, who is in his rookie pro season with Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israeli Winners League, averaged 4.6 points, four rebounds and 1.2 steals during his Wisconsin career (2009-2013). We got in touch with the former Wisconsin bundle of energy to discuss his much-talked-about hairdos, new pro career (view his player profile) and the Badgers, among other things. Read BTN.com’s full email Q&A with Bruesewitz below. [ MORE: Listen to Bruesewitz’s “Life Beyond the Fro” podcast ] BTN.com: You
It’s interesting to think about the possibility of a Michigan State vs. Michigan national championship game in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The way both teams are playing and the way the bracket is set up, it’s a possibility. Two teams from the same state meeting for the basketball national championship? It has happened just twice before, and both times it was Ohio State vs. Cincinnati (1961 and 1962). [ MORE: Video: Watch construction of Final Four court ] We have seen schools from the same conference play for the title more often. The last time it happened was in
Northwestern coach Chris Collins was a special guest analyst on Wednesday night’s #BTNLive. The first-year coach helped our team break down the Big Ten’s three Sweet 16 matchups, plus discuss his season in Evanston. BTN.com caught up with Collins for a Q&A to discuss his first year, Coach K and the NCAA tournament, among other things. Read the Q&A in this post. BTN.com: Any one thing surprise you the most about your first year as a head coach? CC: I think the main thing was going through the rigors of the whole conference. You hear about it, but once you
The Sweet 16 is around the corner. Wisconsin takes on Baylor on Thursday, while Michigan plays Tennessee and Michigan State battles Virginia on Friday. Let’s break down the action involving the three Big Ten teams. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] Over-seeded: Hard to say any of the Big Ten teams are over-seeded. Michigan and Wisconsin are No. 2 seeds. Michigan State is a No. 4. The Badgers may be—MAY BE—a smidge over-seeded. They did almost lose to No. 7 Oregon in the third round, rallying from a 12-point halftime deficit to win 85-77. If that game
If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten social media polls for our weekday show #BTNLive. On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: How many Big Ten men’s teams will make the Final Four? The choices: None (#B1G0), one team (#B1G1), two teams (#B1G2) or three teams (#B1G3). How do you vote via social media? It’s simple. On Twitter, just use any of the above hashtags and we will tabulate them. On Facebook, go to BTN’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BTN) and post your chosen hashtag there.