Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 25, 2015

Great win for a hot Maryland team last night over Wisconsin. How about Dez Wells?! Nice 26-point effort.

The Terps remained in the race for the Big Ten title with the victory. And no doubt enhanced their NCAA stock. Meanwhile, the loss could sink Wisconsin?s efforts for a No. 1 seed-for whatever that is worth-which isn?t much. But that court-storming? Well, I?ll let ESPN?s Seth Greenberg handle that, calling it ?absolutely embarrassing.?


Now hear this: Michigan State?s Tom Izzo thinks the Big Ten is getting a bad rap. Don?t try telling the King of Big Ten Coaches the conference is down.

"I'm getting a little tired of hearing in the networks about the Big Ten," Izzo said. "I mean if that isn't a tournament team that we just played… I mean there are so many things, I think the league has got to get a little more credit, because that was a war. And that was as tough as any of the non-conference teams we played."


Michigan opened spring ball on Tuesday. Nick Baumgardner of has a nice preview of the action, noting that the d-line has added bulk and will be a strength.

Michigan's front four was the anchor of a unit that finished No. 7 nationally in total defense last season, No. 15 against the run. The Wolverines will enter spring without departed starting ends Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer, but do return a number of players with plenty of experience — and added weight as well. But Baumgardner notes that the biggest question this season, beginning in spring, will be which scheme new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin relies on the most — the 4-3 or the 3-4?


Remember when the idea of freshmen being ineligible was floated? It?s probably not gonna happen. But other academic standards could be on the way. Matt Hayes of Sporting News breaks it down well.

Bottom line: If colleges are gonna pay athletes, they are gonna have to perform in the class room. The schools want to avoid looking like a ?minor league? for the pros.


Hallelujah! The high school coach of Buckeye RB signee Mike Weber and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer have reached an accord and moved past any hard feelings involved in the kid?s recruitment.


The great Lee Barfknecht of says Nebraska?s Tim Miles isn?t about style points, but his system needs to score.

Barfknecht compares Miles to Moe Iba. And, that?s not good. Right or wrong, Iba?s ?Slow-Moe?? offense remains the symbol of decades of offensive futility at NU. But Miles is carving out an even deeper rut, with the latest cut being Sunday?s 74-46 home loss to Iowa.

Miles has coached 92 games at Nebraska. The rate of his teams scoring less than 50 points in regulation: 15.2 percent. Iba coached 177 games at NU. His rate: 6.8 percent. And Iba worked just one year with a shot clock and none with the 3-point shot. Two other clod-hopper offenses - those under Doc Sadler and Barry Collier - produced 8.4 percent and 2.8 percent of games with less than 50 points.


Rick Brown of takes a look at how teams could be seeded in the Big Ten tourney.

The Badgers lead over Maryland, Michigan State and the season's biggest surprise, Purdue. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, there are your likely top four seeds for the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago. Five more teams - Indiana (9-6), Ohio State (8-6), Iowa (8-6), Illinois (7-7) and Michigan (7-8) - could end up between the fifth seed and the ninth seed. Things could change quickly between now and the trip to the Windy City. The seeding shuffle also has NCAA Tournament implications.


Keith Olbermann? Really? I usually enjoy his take on issues. But, he crossed the line with some cracks about Penn State.


This is interesting: A New Jersey state lawmaker has criticized the Rutgers administration for not supporting the men?s hoops program. The need for a new on-campus hoops arena is apparent.

"When you have a program like the basketball program that's struggling … (Duke coach) Mike Krzyzewski wouldn't be able to attract the best players coming out of New Jersey under those circumstances. There's no plan in place to make the basketball program Big Ten-ready," said State Sen. Raymond Lesniak.


Zach Osterman of thinks Indiana can wrap up an NCAA bid with a win at Northwestern tonight. Easier said than done.

A win Wednesday in Evanston would seal for Indiana a 20-win season and a winning record in Big Ten play. It would also eliminate the last trap game on the regular-season schedule. Northwestern is the Hoosiers' only remaining regular-season opponent outside the RPI top 100, and thus, the last real opportunity to add a problematic loss to their NCAA tournament resume. None of IU's nine losses thus far have come to teams ranked lower than No. 71.

"I think they are locked in already," Star bracketologist Shelby Mast said, adding that a win would likely place the Hoosiers firmly into the field of 68.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, 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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