Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 15, 2016

The consensus from most pundits is that the Big Ten didn?t get treated fairly by the Selection Committee. I agree with that.

Just one Big Ten team-Michigan State at No. 2-was seeded higher than a No. 5. This from what many feel is one of the top three leagues in America. And even the Spartans? seed was viewed with a skeptical eye, as many believed they should have been a No. 1. Oh, well. The Big Ten will get a chance to show its stuff soon enough. Results matter more than seeds, but we have to talk about something during the time between Selection Sunday and the tourney tip-off, right?.

Gregg Doyel of also has a great piece on the Big Ten?s NCAA seeding plight. IU a No. 5 seed? Purdue a No. 5 seed? Please. Pure hogwash. But, as Doyel points out, at least the committee gave us the possibility of a Kentucky-Indiana meeting in the second round. Thanks for that.

One more bracket from a Big Ten voice: Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Time.

Greenberg is a Wisconsin guy. His take on Bucky: ?Wisconsin, seeded seventh in the East, is nowhere close to the team it was last year and the year before that. This team is much more like former coach Bo Ryan?s first 12 tourney teams, only one of which made it past the Sweet 16.?

That is spot on.


The Spartans figured to be fueled by the perceived slight from the NCAA tourney. Just more motivation for an uber-talented team with newfound depth with guys like Alvin Ellis, Marvin Clark and Colby Wollenman that is trying to win the Big Ten?s first national title since MSU won it all in 2000.

"We're starting to get a lot more basketball out of a lot more people," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said.

That depth should come in handy during the grind of March. Can anyone in the Midwest stop MSU? Nope.


Hey, if Minnesota fans are interested in rooting for some team since the Gophers aren?t dancing, how about pulling for Tubby Smith?s Texas Tech Red Raiders?


So, Nebraska says it won?t partake in any postseason basketball.

?After talking with the team and our administration,? Tim Miles said in a statement, ?we were all in agreement that the 2016 Nebraska basketball season should end in Indianapolis.
?There were some attractive opportunities, but the season has been long, considering we started practices in late July for our trip to Spain. Missing additional class time isn?t in the best interest of our student-athletes.?

I get wanting to close the books on what has been a challenging season. But, you only get better by playing. Why not let the young guys get more experience and try to end the season on an up note?

I like this: Ohio State will open NIT action as a No. 4 seed vs. Akron. This is excellent.

Ohio State is the only Big Ten team in the NIT. Northwestern was a possibility for an NIT invite, but the Wildcats didn't get it. This will be the Buckeyes second trip to the NIT under Thad Matta. Ohio State was the No. 1 seed in the NIT and won the tournament in 2008.

"We are excited about the opportunity to continue our season and appreciate the NIT committee for selecting Ohio State," Matta said in a statement. "We have a young team who will surely benefit from the additional practice and competition. We need our fans to come out and support this team Tuesday at Value City Arena."


There are some interesting QB battles this spring on Big Ten campuses. One is at Penn State, where Christian Hackenberg must be replaced. looks at when and how the staff will name a starting QB.

Redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley, redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens, and true freshman Jake Zembiec will spend the spring fighting for the job, and says the scoring of that will determine whether or not the competition needs to go into summer camp. Preferably, James Franklin said, there would be a standout, and future starter, by the middle of April and the Blue-White game. But the head coach added that he and new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead won't rush a decision just to install a leader at the top.

I like McSorley to win the gig. He looked good in relief of Hackenberg in the bowl game. And his dual-threat skill set fits what Franklin likes in a QB.


The great Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has a good look at what?s at stake for Iowa as it heads to Brooklyn for the NCAA tourney. This is a chance to put that late-season slide in the rear-view mirror. This is a fresh start this team needs.

I still believe in this team ? as long as Mike Gesell regains his mojo.


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