Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 10, 2014
Nebraska?s wild ride continues with a great regular-season-ending win over Wisconsin. The Huskers started Big Ten play 0-4 and went 11-3 the rest of the way. Did the victory over the Badgers clinch an NCAA bid for Nebrasketball?
Hmmmm. Regardless, the hoop experience on Sunday was unlike any the program has enjoyed in many years. I hope this joy ride lasts a while.
The Big Ten bloggers on SB Nation have released their All-Big Ten teams. Nice job, fellas!
Iowa?s struggles persist, as the Hawkeyes lost on Senior Day to an Illinois team that was coming off its worst loss in the State Farm Center ever. This Iowa club is maddening. So, for a second consecutive season, the Hawkeyes finish the regular season 19-11 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten. But this year?s 19-11/9-9 doesn?t feel as good, as Iowa has lost five of six entering the Big Ten tourney. The lone win in that span was at home vs. the worst team in the conference: Purdue.
It wasn?t pretty and won?t win any awards, but Michigan showed the grit of a champion by grinding out a win over Indiana.
Now, the Wolverines can focus on the Big Ten tourney, where they will be the No. 1 seed. Here is a nice video of Michigan celebrating the Big Ten title. Just remarkable to think John Beilein?s crew did this without Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., and Mitch McGary.
Can?t give enough kudos to Northwestern for closing the season with a victory at Purdue, ending a seven-game losing skid. NU scored 74 points. In its last game prior to the triumph in West Lafayette, the Wildcats tallied 32 points. Without a doubt, I think Chris Collins is squeezing all he can out of this Wildcats club. And that?s what coaching is all about, people.
Gotta give credit to Illinois for rebounding from its worst loss ever in the State Farm Center to win at Iowa over the weekend. Could this team still find its way into a postseason tourney? Perhaps. But even if it does, Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette doesn?t think a run in the postseason would carry over into next season.
Regardless, playing more hoops can only make this young team better.
This hasn?t been a banner year at Purdue. The football team finished with the worst record in the Big Ten, going 1-11 and closing the season with 10 losses in a row. The hoop team closed with six defeats in succession, ending with a horrid home loss to Northwestern to finish last in the Big Ten with a 5-13 record. Here is Matt Painter in his own words after the season-ending debacle.
That dive by Ohio State?s Aaron Craft at the end of the Buckeyes? victory over Michigan State on Saturday was a terrific snapshot of his career in Columbus.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was pure gold after his Spartans dropped their regular-season finale at Ohio State. His line of the day was when he said his team was a ?little wimpier than we used to be.?
You do sorta wonder if the light ever will totally come on for this edition of the Spartans. It may be too late, anyway.
TWEETS THAT MATTER
My take: Motivation.
My take: The place is beautiful.
My take: More proof of his prowess.
My take: That?s a start.
My take: Amen.
My take: Just nuts.
My take: One of my favs.
My take: Indeed.
My take: Perhaps. An amazing ride. But maybe the Huskers need one win in the Big Ten tourney just to be extra sure about an NCAA bid.
My take: Not gonna argue that. This is two horrid seasons in a row. That?s called a ?trend.?
My take: CBI! CBI!
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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