Wisconsin is headed to its first Final Four since 2000. And knowing this team, the national media should be thrilled. The Badgers are a team filled with engaging personalities and excellent soundbites. For example, this guy. Only a freshman, Nigel Hayes is someone fans and media already love and appreciate. But, again, this is a team full of characters, and here’s a look at some of the fun they’ve had on their way to the Final Four.
Wisconsin welcomed home its Final Four-bound Badgers on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers, who advanced to their first Final Four since 2000 with Saturday night’s thrilling overtime victory over Arizona, were introduced to the crowd and thanked the fans during a short ceremony at the Kohl Center. Watch the introduction of the West Region champs here and hear from Bo Ryan and West Region Most Outstanding Player Frank Kaminsky in this post.
John Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, is a former Michigan quarterback, and his brother in-law, Tom Crean, is the Indiana basketball coach. So, when the CBS cameras caught the Baltimore Raves head coach wearing a Michigan State hat during the team’s Elite Eight game Sunday afternoon, it had people talking.
What does a star NFL quarterback do during the offseason? How about take in a Sweet 16 NCAA tournament game and celebrate with his team’s state school?
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!
These days, when he’s not tweeting (example 1, example 2), calling into a Nebraska radio show or discussing his faux cat, Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini is busy organizing military homecomings. Pelini recently helped Sergeant Matthew Salomons surprise his wife, Becca, at the team’s football facility.
Richard Pitino didn’t seem to want to any part of his chair during a timeout in Tuesday night’s NIT quarterfinal game vs. Southern Miss. With his players gathered around him, the five on the floor sitting in their respective stools, the first-year Minnesota coach picked up his seat and spiked it to the Williams Arena court. Watch Pitino in this post.
Three Big Ten teams are one weekend, or two wins, away from advancing to the 2014 Final Four at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The court is ready for the event, and there’s a great time-lapse video of its construction, courtesy of Connor Sports. See the court that Big Ten teams hope they will be playing on Saturday, April 5, and Monday, April 7, in this post.
BTN basketball play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton, also the voice of the Cleveland Indians, had a special moment Monday afternoon. At the ballpark as a fan, for a change, Hamilton watched his son, Nick, Cleveland’s 35th pick in the 2012 MLB amateur draft, get his first career MLB at-bat. It was a proud moment for dad, obviously, and cameras even caught him tearing up. Nick, the former Kent State star, grounded out to second and finished the day 0-for-4.
The Iowa women’s basketball team wants Fran McCaffery’s son Patrick, 14, to know they’re thinking of him during his tough time. So, the Hawkeyes affixed “Team Pat” stickers to their flashy gold shoes for Sunday night’s NCAA tourney opener to support the younger McCaffery, who had a thyroid tumor removed last week that was malignant.
Michigan basketball fans will never forget that memorable shot Trey Burke hit in the last year’s NCAA Tournament win over Kansas in the Sweet 16.
Considering three of the previous four games in the inaugural Big Ten hockey tournament went to overtime, it was only fitting that the championship game did the same. This time, it was Mark Zengerle providing the heroics with the overtime game-winner to lift Wisconsin past Ohio State and to the Big Ten tourney title.
Wisconsin fan? Duck Hunt fan? Even if you’re neither of those, it’s hard not to appreciate the art @BadgerMBB tweeted out prior to its Round of 32 game vs. Oregon on Saturday night. Oregon, of course, is the Ducks, so the Twitter handle got creative and made a Wisconsin-centric Duck Hunt graphic that has Bucky’s face on the dog’s face. Check out the graphic in this post.
Ever wonder what the emotion is like at the NCAA Wrestling Championships? It’s intense for those unaware, and @NCAAWrestling captured a picture that perfectly portrays what this event means. We like the shot even more because it’s Northwestern freshman Jason Tsirtsis letting out the emotions. Check out the photo in this post. You won’t be disappointed.
Eight-year-old Michigan State super fan Lacey Holsworth — featured on “The Journey” several times — has become an inspiration throughout the college basketball world, and beyond. That became more than evident today as Holsworth, who is battling an aggressive form of cancer known as neuroblastoma, found out she has a new follower on Twitter: ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas.
Many people refer to March Madness as being the best time of the year as that win-or-go-home attitude often brings out college basketball’s most passionate fans. We caught one of those fans at halftime of tonight’s Iowa vs. Tennessee NCAA Tournament game.
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.
It’s no secret, the Big Ten is serious about expanding its brand and footprint eastward. The additions of Maryland and Rutgers, both of which officially join the conference July 1, were proof of that. So, too, was the eight-year bowl agreement with New York Yankees and New Era Pinstripe Bowl – a set-up that includes a significant Big Ten branding presence in Yankee Stadium.
Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
This is fun. CBSSports.com ranked the playing careers of the NCAA tournament coaches. No. 1 is no surprise at all: Tulsa coach Danny Manning. But, there are some surprises. For example, former Indiana star and current UCLA coach Steve Alford is just No. 5. Anyway, Iowa’s Fran McCaffery paces the six Big Ten coaches. See a Big Ten-centric breakdown of the site’s ranking in this post.
It’s not often that a layup gets the attention of the basketball community, but that’s just what Gary Harris did with his crazy reverse layup in the second half of Friday night’s Big Ten tourney quarterfinal vs. Northwestern. Harris is no stranger to highlights in the Big Ten tourney, either. Remember this one from last year? Watch Harris’ latest impressive play in this post.
It’s well past the point in which a Sam Thompson highlight should surprise any Big Ten fan. Still, his highlights are just as exciting as ever. For the second consecutive day, the Ohio State high-flyer elevated for a ridiculous alley-oop at the Big Ten tourney. This time, on Friday vs. Nebraska, Thompson went for an And-1 alley-oop. Watch the highlight in this post.
It’s going to be tough to top the Senior Night that Nebraska put on Sunday night. Let’s see, there was the record crowd, the NCAA tourney hopeful team hosting No. 9 in the nation, the marriage proposal in pregame, the recognition of the Nebraska women’s team’s Big Ten tourney title, the upset and the court storming. Got all that? Yeah, Nebraska set the bar rather high. Relive the top moments in this post.
BTN cameras were in the Nebraska locker room to capture Tim Miles’ postgame talk to the Huskers following their exciting and all-important 77-68 win over No. 9 Wisconsin. The win clinched a bye and the No. 4 seed in next week’s Big Ten tourney, plus it might have been enough to get the Huskers (19-11, 11-7) in the NCAA tournament.