Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 16, 2016
If college football had a 68-team tourney, how would the bracket look? Bill Bender of Sporting News tells you. This is fun. I don?t need a 68-team tourney for football. I?d be happy with an eight-team playoff.
Pennlive.com has ranked the Big Ten?s top receivers. PSU?s Chris Godwin is No. 1, followed by Indiana?s Simmie Cobbs and Nebraska?s Jordan Westerkamp. I like Cobbs a lot. He?s a tall athlete with improving hands who can be a difference maker.
The great Brendan Quinn of Mlive.com has done a good job rounding up the best NCAA tourney moments from the Mitten State.
What I like is the run of Eastern Michigan in 1996. I got a chance to see this team in the Big Dance that year in Indianapolis with Earl Boykins at the helm. This was a fun team led by Ben Braun, who went on to coach Cal and, well, flopped.
This is amazing: For the third season in a row, no schools from the state of Illinois are in the NCAA tourney.
Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette notes no in-state team cracked the Top 100 this season in RPI, a big reason for the omission. The Illini finished No. 158 and behind Northwestern, Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois. Five of the state?s 13 Division I teams hit the 20-loss level of embarrassment, and the Illini were right behind with 19. The 13-team conference record was 76 wins and 148 losses. Woof.
How close was Ohio State to making the Big Dance? Cleveland.com has three games that kept the Buckeyes out of the Big Dance and landed them in the NIT.
OSU is a No. 2 seed in the NIT, and it won an OT game last night. The good news: There are teams from last year's NIT in this year's tournament, including Miami, UConn and Tulsa. Miami went from a No. 2 seed in the NIT last year to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year. That's a nice turnaround, and that's what Thad Matta is hoping for with this group.
Jay Williams as basketball coach at Rutgers? Throw his name in the hat, according to NJ.com. It sounds good sitting around a bar with your buddies. But, I don?t think it?s a good idea. Rhode Island?s Dan Hurley was thouht to be the top target, bue he reportedly removed his name from consideration on Wednesday. George Washington?s Mike Lonergan also is in the mix, according to reports.
Williams, a Plainfield, N.J., native who starred at St. Joseph-Metuchen and Duke before his promising NBA career was cut short following a motorcycle accident, interviewed with Hobbs Monday afternoon, three people with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance late Monday night.
Few know Nebraska better than Sam McKewon of Omaha.com, and he provides a good break down position by position of the Husker defense.
The defensive tackle spot is one to watch with Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine gone. And it will be vital for Freedom Akinmoladun to provide some heat off the edge. Plus, this group has a new coach. Bottom line: Keep an eye on the d-line in Lincoln.
Here is some good news for Minnesota fans from Marcus Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: Richard Pitino could have his best team yet next season.
Pitino needs a big season after last year?s dreary 8-23 run. Stud recruit Amir Coffey joins fellow recruits Michael Hurt and Eric Curry and Division I transfers Reggie Lynch and Davonte Fitzgerald, that could help Pitino have a strong team at Minnesota in 2016-17.
Like Nebraska, Northwestern opted to skip the postseason. Was it the right decision? The gang at InsideNU.com debates it. I don?t think it was the correct move. You get better by playing. Why bypass that opportunity? If it's pride, set it aside and stay focused on the task at hand.
Good read from Gregg Doyel of IndyStar.com, who says Kentucky is who Indiana used to be and what IU wants to be again.
To get there, Tom Crean will have to take his recruiting to an even higher level. The schools just may square off in the second round of the NCAA tourney. I hope it happens. And IU also has a chance to play North Carolina after that.
Email Tom Dienhart using the form below.
And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.