All season, the computer rankings said that the Big Ten was the nation’s strongest conference. The league lived up to that hype through the first week of the NCAA tourney. Four of the six schools that received bids are still playing, with No. 1 Michigan State, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Indiana and No. 4 Wisconsin advancing the second weekend of the tourney. No. 4 Michigan fell in the second round to No. 13 Ohio, while No. 10 Purdue lost in the third round to No. 2 Kansas.
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
As of this writing, there is a 45.9 percent chance your NCAA Champion will be from the Big Ten. It was a good weekend for the conference, as four teams advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. But before we get to that good stuff, let’s deal with the unpleasantness.
(AP) Elijah Johnson scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final minute, and No. 2 seed Kansas rallied to beat Robbie Hummel and No. 10 seed Purdue 63-60 on Sunday night. Thomas Robinson managed 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Jayhawks (29-6), who trailed nearly the entire game. Purdue was clinging to a 60-59 lead and had the ball and under a minute remaining when Lewis Jackson, the shot clock winding down, lost control at the top of the key. Johnson picked it up and went the other way for the go-ahead layup with 23.3 seconds left. Robbie Hummel scored a game-high 26 points. Read the full AP recap and check out the box score.
Michigan State held off Saint Louis on Sunday to advance to its fourth Sweet 16 in the last five seasons (recap). As usual, Draymond Green had an impressive all-around game (tweets). With the victory, Michigan State joins Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. It looked like Purdue may join the group, too, but it fell to Kansas in the final seconds of a game it led throughout Sunday night (recap).
(AP) With Michigan State’s season in peril, Draymond Green turned to Keith Appling during a timeout and told him to be ready. His moment was near. And when it arrived, Appling delivered. His shot, the one Green urged him to take, helped save the Spartans. Appling’s critical 3-pointer with 1:34 left, a 20-foot jumper set up by Green’s pass, gave Michigan State a 65-61 win Sunday over Saint Louis and thrust the top-seeded Spartans into the round of 16. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score, and see the tweets about Green’s great game.
Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana came into Saturday looking to take the next step in the NCAA Tournament but all three had formidable challenges ahead of them. First off, the Buckeyes held off a very tough Gonzaga team before the Badgers battled Vanderbilt right down to the end to win. Finally, the Hoosiers got some late-game heroics from Will Sheehey and defeated VCU.
Will Sheehey made a 15-footer from the baseline with 12.7 seconds left after a shot was blocked right to him and No. 4 seed Indiana rallied to beat VCU 63-61 in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. Cody Zeller scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Victor Oladipo added nine points and five boards. The Hoosiers and Virginia Commonwealth (29-7) traded leads and momentum throughout the game, as the contest featured 14 lead changes.
(AP) Wisconsin riding the nation’s stingiest defense – and admittedly a bit of luck – back to the round of 16. The Badgers held the Southeastern Conference’s two leading scorers in check Saturday night and Ryan Evans grabbed a crucial rebound with 2.1 seconds left to help Wisconsin fend off Vanderbilt 60-57 in the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin held John Jenkins (20.1) and Jeffery Taylor (16.3) to 13 and 9 points, respectively in advancing to face top-seeded Syracuse in the East Regional in Boston.
Aaron Craft scored 17, grabbed three rebounds and handed out 10 assists to help Ohio State past Gonzaga 73-66 on Saturday in Pittsburgh in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State was trailing when Jared Sullinger converted a field goal with 3:35 to go to give it a lead it would not relinquish. The Buckeyes also got solid contributions from William Buford, who scored 13 and Deshaun Thomas and Sullinger, who each scored 18.
BTN’s stats researcher tweets out great Big Ten stats during the football and basketball seasons via his Twitter account @BTNStatsGuy. If you’re on Twitter, check him out. And if you’re not, you can still see his work on his Twitter page. We’ve selected some of his most recent posts and embedded them below.You can also find some fresh Big Ten stats at BigTen.org.
Draymond Green scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and handed out 10 assists to lift Michigan State to an 89-67 win over Long Island on Friday in Columbus in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State (28-7) got solid performances from both Green and Adreian Payne. Green knocked down 10-of-17 shot attempts.
Ohio pulled out a stunning 65-60 upset over Michigan on Friday in Nashville in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. D.J. Cooper sparked the Bobcats with 21 points and four assists, and he made 7-of-11 shots from the floor for Ohio in the game. The Bobcats hit 51 percent of their field goals (22-of-43). Ohio was on fire from beyond the arc during the game, shooting 38 percent (6-of-16).
Rob Jones scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for No. 16 Saint Mary’s, but it was not enough as Saint Mary’s (27-6) fell to Purdue 72-69 Friday in Omaha in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Terone Johnson sparked Purdue (22-12), as he scored 21 points, hauled in four rebounds, had five assists, and made 9-of-13 shots from the floor for the Boilermakers in the game.
Jordan Hulls scored 22 points and Cody Zeller added 14 points and six boards as they teamed up to lead Indiana to a 79-66 victory over New Mexico State on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart writes that when the Hoosiers face VCU on Saturday, a big key for Indiana will be the guards. They must handle VCU’s pressure, limit turnovers and also rebound. Read the rest of Dienhart’s take inside.
Jordan Taylor scored 17, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists to help Wisconsin past Montana 73-49 on Thursday at University Arena in Albuquerque in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Ryan Evans had his way inside, hitting 6-of-8 shots en route to notching 18 points vs. an undersized Montana squad. Get Tom Dienhart’s take and more in this post.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and look at Michigan, the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional. The Wolverines play No. 13 seed Ohio on Friday. What do we know about Ohio? Brent Yarina told us earlier. Now I’m here to tell you about Michigan in this post. Use the NCAA.com bracket and the BTN scoreboard to track all of the action this tournament.
For the sixth consecutive season, Purdue is back in the NCAA tournament, this time as a No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. The Boilermakers take on WCC tourney champ and No. 7 seed Saint Mary’s at 7:27 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Omaha, Neb., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Gaels. A little sampling: Did you know a former Northwestern big man is a reserve for the Gaels? Meet Saint Mary’s in this post.
Fresh off claiming a share of the Big Ten regular season title, along with Michigan State and Ohio State, Michigan earned the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region. The Wolverines face No. 13 Ohio at 7:20 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Nashville, Ten., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Bobcats. A little sampling: Did you know a former Ohio State assistant is the head guy at Ohio? Meet the Bobcats in this post.
Ohio State didn’t win the Big Ten Tournament, but the Buckeyes hope to make a run at an NCAA title. Here’s my closer look at how Ohio State sets up for their Thursday’s first-round game against Loyola (Md.). Who is Loyola (Md.)? Our Brent Yarina answers that question while I give you my Buckeyes preview further down in this post.
Indiana is back in the NCAA Tournament, and so I kick off my six Big Ten previews with the Hoosiers leading up to the opening first-round games on Thursday. No. 4 seed Indiana plays No. 13 seed New Mexico State at 9:45 p.m. ET on Thursday in the South Region. My BTN.com colleague Brent Yarina took a closer look at Indiana’s first opponent today. Now I’m rolling up my sleeves and breaking down Indiana. Im working my way through all six Big Ten teams, so all of my Big Ten team previews will be archived over here.
Following a share of the Big Ten regular season crown and a trip to the Big Ten tourney finals, where it lost to Michigan State, Ohio State received a No. 2 seed in the East Region. The Buckeyes will face MAAC champion Loyola (Md.) at 9:50 pm. ET Thursday night. Before the game tips off in Pittsburgh, Pa., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Greyhounds. A little sampling: Did you know a pair of former Wake Forest coaches served as Loyola head coaches? Meet the Greyhounds in this post.