(AP) Welcome to “The Other Game” at the Final Four. OK, so, the Ohio State-Kansas matchup may not have the fantastic freshmen, the outspoken coaches or blood-feud story line of the opening semifinal between Kentucky and Louisville. But this one still should be worth a two-hour investment in front of the TV set Saturday night. Besides the chance to watch two top-line teams play for a spot in the national title game, the Buckeyes-Jayhawks game offers a rare opportunity to see two All-Americans going at it with everything on the line.
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There’s no shortage of newsworthy Big Ten items right now, what with Ohio State headed to the Final Four in New Orleans, spring practice in full swing and ex-Maryland QB Danny O’Brien deciding to commit to Wisconsin over Penn State, among other schools.
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Former Illinois men’s basketball player Jereme Richmond, who left school last season for the NBA but went undrafted, sat down with BTN producers to talk about life and his future in basketball. Richmond shot 53 percent from the field and averaged 7.6 points, five rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as a freshman in 2010-11. See a clip of Richmond talking about his pro prospects now and watch him talk about his former coach, Bruce Weber, in this post.
(AP) Stanford’s young guards Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright each scored 15 points, and the Cardinal routed Minnesota 75-51 to win the NIT title Thursday night. Stanford forced two turnovers to open the second half to take a 10-point lead and stayed up by double figures the rest of the way. The Golden Gophers turned it over 22 times on the night. Rodney scored a team-high 12 points while Austin Hollins and Joe Coleman both added 10. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and get Tom Dienhart’s analysis.
What has been anticipated for a few days became reality Thursday as Illinois named Ohio’s John Groce as its men’s basketball coach. Will it be a good hire? A bad hire? Who knows? It’s absurd to draw a conclusion on something like that on the day of an introductory press conference. But a few things are without dispute.
As far as debuts go, Brady Hoke’s was a hit at Michigan. Hoke sauntered into Ann Arbor and ripped off a stunning 11-2 mark, finishing second in the Legends Division and capping the remarkable season with a triumph over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. It almost made memories of the mercurial three-season Rich Rodriguez tenure vanish. Almost. Now, the question begs: What will Hoke do for an encore? I talked to three top writers who cover Big Blue to gather their thoughts on Michigan’s to-do list this spring.
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