Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan State senior Adreian Payne had an impressive showing in Thursday night’s State Farm College Slam Dunk Contest. The Spartans’ big man didn’t win the event, but he left quite an impression with his first dunk of the evening.
Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals saw their season come to an end last weekend with a 74-69 loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Therefore, Pitino got the chance to take in tonight’s NIT Championship game between Minnesota and SMU. Of course, Pitino’s son, Richard, is the head coach of the Gophers.
Wisconsin reserve Zach Bohannon is taking advantage of his first trip to the Final Four. The senior spent Thursday walking around AT&T Stadium taking selfies of himself with each Final Four coach and other familiar faces. See Bohannon’s picture of him with Florida’s Billy Donovan UConn’s Kevin Ollie, Kentucky’s John Calipari and, of course, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan in this post.
If you weren’t hungry, you will be after reading this: Barack Obama was in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, and as everyone must do while on Michigan’s campus, the President went to Zingerman’s for lunch. His order: A Reuben sandwich. See a few pictures of Obama’s visit to Zingerman’s in this post.
Coaches love to fire up the home fanbase when they speak at fundraisers. The latest example comes from Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner, who spoke at the team’s spring football kickoff luncheon on Wednesday. Warinner delighted the crowd with a couple jokes at heated rival Michigan’s expense. See the jokes in this post.
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota didn’t make the NCAA tourney, but it compiled one of the better seasons in team history. The Gophers set a record for wins in a single season (25) on their way to claiming their third NIT crown. Not bad for a team with a first-year coach and a revamped roster from a team that won a game in the NCAA tourney a season ago.
Headed to its first Final Four since 2000, the Wisconsin Badgers grace this week’s Sports Illustrated. Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky are featured on one of the magazine’s four regional covers leading up to the Final Four. Wisconsin’s cover is a terrific reaction shot of the team’s celebration after topping No. 1 seed Arizona in the West Region final. See the cover in this post.
ESPN asked this simple poll question today: Which team are you rooting for to win the men’s college basketball national title? The results were interesting and pretty humorous. The interesting: Wisconsin led the way, with 37 percent of the votes, at the time of the picture below. The humorous: Only one state was rooting for Kentucky. See the poll results in this post.
Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers play at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. One might ask what that has to do with the Big Ten, and he or she would be right. Thanks to Paul, though, there’s an important Iowa angle to the event.
It’s not Thursday, but, boy, was there a Throwback Thursday-worthy Bo Ryan photo tweeted out Monday. Ryan is the man in the middle, the one wearing glasses, an oversized bow tie and plaid pants.
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.