Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always pretty, but No. 2 Michigan, No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 4 Michigan State all took care of business in their opening two games and have advanced to the Sweet 16. Well, it was easy for Michigan, which dispatched No. 15 Wofford in the second round and then topped No. 7 Texas in the third round.
One weekend of the NCAA tourney down, and the Big Ten has three teams in the Sweet 16. The teams: Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Before the Sweet 16 tips, it’s time to look back at the Big Ten’s top five performances of the first two rounds. Who takes the top spot? It has to be Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, who poured in a career-high 41 points in the Spartans’ NCAA opener.
The good times are rolling in East Lansing for a Michigan State program coming off a Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship. Mark Dantonio has this program humming along as an elite machine that can stand toe-to-toe with any Big Ten squad—if not the nation. The next goal: A national championship. Why not?
It had been speculated for weeks. Now, it’s a reality: Indiana’s Noah Vonleh is turning pro. He arrived in Bloomington as a five-star recruit, the No. 3 power forward in the nation and the No. 8 player overall, according to rivals.com.
Getting to the Sweet 16 has become old hat for Michigan State. Mlive.com points out that in the past 17 years, only one program in the country has been to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 more than Michigan State. That program is Duke, which has gone 13 times to Michigan State’s 12.
Two Big Ten teams were selected Sunday to participate in the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. Minnesota, the inaugural Big Ten regular-season champ, earned the No. 1 overall seed and Wisconsin, the inaugural Big Ten tourney champ, earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region.