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.
Pinnacle Bank Arena was electric all night for Sunday’s season finale vs. No. 9 Wisconsin. The fans never sat down throughout the exciting game, and following the final buzzer, they stormed the floor for the second time in as many home finales. The last one was to celebrate the final game at the Devaney Center. This one, the fans hope was to celebrate a berth in the NCAA tournament. We’ll find out soon. Watch the Huskers fans storm the court in this post.
Mike Peltz will never forget Sunday night. Not only was it his Senior Night at Nebraska, the Huskers reserve also got engaged. Yep, Peltz closed our his Senior Night speech by proposing to his girlfriend, Shelby, at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Hate to spoil the surprise, but she said, “Yes.” Congrats! Watch Peltz’s proposal in this post.
Hours after winning its first conference tournament of any kind, the Nebraska women’s basketball team was recognized for its Big Ten tourney title during a timeout of the men’s game vs. No. 9 Wisconsin. Watch Jordan Hooper and company enter the gym and receive a warm ovation for their run in the Big Ten tourney in this post.
Matt Painter was brutally honest about the state of the Purdue basketball program and the coaching job he did this season in his postgame press conference Sunday afternoon. Fresh off a season-ending loss to Northwestern, which clinched the No. 12 seed in next week’s Big Ten tourney, Painter, on several occasions, said, “It’s my fault.” Watch Painter in this post.
The way the play started off, you just knew it was going to result in a Sam Thompson highlight. One thing’s for sure: Thompson didn’t disappoint with his fastbreak flush early in the second half of Ohio State’s 69-67 victory over No. 22 Michigan State. Watch Thompson soar for the highlight-reel two-handed flush in this post.
Entering the final day of the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, only 11 wrestlers had won four Big Ten championships in the event’s first 99 years. Add two more to the list. Penn State seniors David Taylor (165-pound) and Ed Ruth (184-pound) joined the rare group with impressive title victories Sunday in Madison, Wis. Watch Taylor and Ruth wrap up Big Ten titles No. 4 in this post.
It’s safe to say Jon Ekey won’t hit a bigger shot in his Illinois career. The Illini senior, who played three seasons at Illinois State, drained a memorable last-second 3-pointer to lift Illinois to a 66-63 season-ending road win Saturday night at No. 24 Iowa. With the dramatic victory, the Illini enters next week’s Big Ten tourney having won four of their last five games. Watch Ekey’s game-winning shot in this post.
Michigan officially celebrated its Big Ten title after Saturday’s 84-80 Senior Night victory over Indiana. The Wolverines clinched the outright title, their first since 1986, in Tuesday’s rout at Illinois. On Saturday night, a special guest joined the festivities at Crisler Center. That would be Charles Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner, who just so happened to photobomb the team picture.
What a season for the Michigan Wolverines. The regular season officially came to a close in Saturday night’s 84-80 victory over Indiana, and now it’s onto the postseason for the Big Ten champs. But before the Wolverines even thought about the Big Ten tournament, they had to cut down the nets and make the celebration official. Check out photos of Michigan’s celebration in this post.
It’s a story that can make just about anyone tear up. Several years ago, there were worries about whether 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth would ever walk again. Tonight, she did just that, with her hero, Adreian Payne, right by her side.
Tempers flared in East Lansing on Thursday night, and it came to a head late in the second half of Michigan State’s 86-76 win over Iowa. Iowa’s Zach McCabe and Michigan State’s Travis Trice got tangled up on an inbound play, and it appeared that McCabe brought Trice to the ground.
The star player of Indiana’s senior class usually has so many people to thank and so many great memories to share during the team’s annual Senior Night ceremony. On Wednesday night, Sheehey, the star of Indiana’s 2014 senior class, spoke for 56 seconds. One longtime Indiana scribe thinks it might have been the shortest such speech. Either way, Sheehey made the most of the 56 seconds and left with a bang.
Surely, you saw the Ellen DeGeneres Oscars selfie that featured a host of Hollywood celebrities. It has more than 3.2 million retweets. Well, to honor the team’s first outright Big Ten crown since 1986, the Michigan basketball team “recreated” the shot with mugshots of their players.
Step outside, and the last thing it feels like is baseball season. Still, the games are scheduled and must go on. That being the case, players and fans might as well find ways to make the most of the unfavorable conditions. That’s exactly what Xavier did prior to Wednesday afternoon’s game at Indiana. While the grounds crew cleared snow off the field, the Musketeers made a Snowman Batter in the bullpen.
Michigan is a fun team to watch. Nik Stauskas, of course, paces the high-scoring attack that helped the Wolverines claim their first outright Big Ten title since 1986. It’s fun to watch the Michigan bench, too, because the reserves are having as much fun as the key contributors. Especially freshman walk-on Andrew Dakich.