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Four Big Ten Teams Advance to the Sweet 16

March 25th, 2013 at 3:36 PM
By Evan Reller

Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan are moving on in the NCAA Tournament to the Sweet 16. Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all suffered early exits. 

For a "football" conference, the Big Ten sure has looked much more dominant on the basketball court in recent years. The Big Ten is living up to all the hype this season and could potentially send four teams to the Final Four. 

Moving Forward

No. 1 Indiana – def. No. 16 James Madison and No. 9 Temple

The Hoosiers cruised to victory over James Madison, as was expected. IU won 83-62 against JMU, and the game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates. Indiana had a much tougher game against Temple. IU finally won a grind it out style game and came away with a 58-52 win. Khalif Wyatt was a killer for Temple and scored 32 points. Temple deserves a ton of credit for its tough defensive game plan and execution.  Luckily for the Hoosiers, they won't face a team likely to adjust its play style just to knock of IU. Indiana will face Syracuse on Thursday in Washington DC. 

No. 2 Ohio State – def. No. 15 Iona and No. 10 Iowa State

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Seven Big Ten Conference Teams Make the NCAA Tournament

March 19th, 2013 at 3:51 PM
By Evan Reller

The Big Ten has seven teams going to the big dance. Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota all received bids. Iowa could be viewed as a snub, but really needed to beat Michigan State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament to get warrant a bid. 

Indiana (27-6, 14-4) – No. 1 East

The Hoosiers have been sliding a bit, finishing the season with a 3-3 record. But the outright winners of the Big Ten in the regular season deserve to be a top seed, especially with seven wins over teams in the Top 25 (and 5-0 vs top 10 teams). It looked like IU would end up in the Midwest if it had earned the top overall seed, but that distinction went to Louisville (and no one wants to be in that bracket with Duke, Michigan State, and St. Louis). Indiana will face the winner of LIU Brooklyn-James Madison Friday afternoon. 

Ohio State (26-7, 13-5) – No. 2 West 

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Four Atlantic Coast Conference Teams Make NCAA Tournament

March 18th, 2013 at 2:02 PM
By Josh McKinney

Powerhouse conferences such as the Big Ten and the Big East may have received more NCAA Tournament bids, but the Atlantic Coast Conference still managed to send four teams to the Big Dance, which starts with Tuesday's First Four play-in games. Although Virginia, Florida State and Maryland felt the sting of missing out on March Madness, four of the top five teams in the ACC, including Miami, Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State, were celebrating bids to the tourney.

'College Spirit' photo (c) 2008, Kamoteus (A New Beginning) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Miami (27-6, 15-3 ACC) – No. 2 Seed, East Region

The Hurricanes may have the easiest road to Atlanta of any of the ACC teams. Top-seeded Indiana could have something to say about that, but No. 3 Marquette is beatable and No. 4 Syracuse has struggled down the stretch. Some of the lower seeds in the region, such as No. 5 UNLV, No. 6 Butler, No. 8 NC State and No. 12 California, are extremely dangerous as well.

Duke (27-5, 14-4 ACC) – No. 2 Seed, Midwest Region

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Saturday’s Conference Tournament Slate Full of ‘Bubble Watch’ Action

March 16th, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Phil Fattore

 

While the close of conference tournament sometimes pits predicable, "cream of the crop" match ups in the semifinals and championship games, there's a few games that will have win-or-bust implications today for a few teams on the tourney bubble. 
 
Here are the games that bubble-enthusiasts should have their eye on today: 
 
 
C-USA Championship Game: Southern Miss vs. Memphis at 11:30AM
Ranked no. 20 in the country, Memphis is a tourney-lock regardless of whether or not they win the conference tournament title. Just last week Southern Miss was likely to receive an at-large tourney bid as one of the "last four in" teams, but that was before the Golden Eagles fell to a subpar Marshall team to close out the C-USA regular season. Now, Southern Miss likely will nee to beat Memphis and receive the automatic conference tournament bid to get into the NCAA Tournament field. 
 
Southern Miss record: (25-8, 12-4 C-USA), RPI: 33, SOS: 102
 
 
SEC Semifinals: Alabama vs. Florida at 1:00PM
Florida is securely in the NCAA Tournament, and winning the conference tournament is important to the Gators as they look to climb the 'seeding' ladder after ending their season with 3-3 record over their final six games. That said, Alabama finds itself in a "win or go home" situation in the SEC Tournament. It's very simple, even if Alabama beats Florida today the Crimson Tide still might need to take the SEC Tournament crown to get into the March Madness field on Selection Sunday. Either way today's conference semifinal is a must-watch. 
 
Alabama record: (21-11, 12-6 SEC), RPI: 61, SOS: 93
 
 
 
SEC Semifinals: Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss at 3:00PM
The only way Vanderbilt finds themselves in the NCAA Tournament is with the automatic bid. That said, Ole Miss might not need to win the SEC Tournament to get into the March Madness field, but a loss to a Vanderbilt team with an 8-10 SEC conference record would greatly hurt their chances. Right now, Ole Miss is sitting firmly on the bubble. A win against Vanderbilt and a trip to the SEC Tournament Championship game might put them securely in the "last four in" category on Selection Sunday. 
 
Ole Miss record: (24-8, 12-6 SEC), RPI: 55, SOS: 149
 
 
ACC Semifinals: Maryland vs. North Carolina at 3:00PM
With Virginia falling to NC State yesterday, and Maryland taking down the no. 2 ranked Duke Blue Devils, the "Virginia in-Maryland out" the table that seemed to be set after the Cavaliers beat the Terps in the ACC season finale might be in the process of being turned. Both teams are bubble teams, and as Virginia no longer has any games to build its resume on, a "last four in" spot is there for Maryland's taking. A win over North Carolina today would be Maryland's second win over a tourney-lock team in two days. It would also put the Terps in the ACC Final where anything could happen against the winner of the NC State, Miami semifinal game. While an at-large bid wouldn't be guaranteed to Maryland with a win over North Carolina today, a loss today would likely seal their fate as a "first four out" team. 
 
Maryland record: (22-11, 8-10 ACC), RPI: 77, SOS: 122
 
 
A-10 Semifinals: UMass vs. VCU at 4:00PM
There's three locks coming out of the A-10 conference right now, and the VCU Rams are one of them. UMass still has some work to do, including winning the conference tournament. While the A-10 was stronger than many expected this season, if the conference were to put in four or fives teams UMass would still fall short. A win against VCU today could change that though perception though. 
 
UMass record: (21-10, 9-7 A-10), RPI: 57, SOS: 91
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Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Primer

March 13th, 2013 at 1:29 PM
By Evan Reller

The Big Ten Tournament returns to Chicago this year. It been six years since the tournament was last played at the United Center (having been previously held in Indianapolis).  The Big Ten Tournament will begin tomorrow at 11:00 am CT. 

The Big Ten has easily been the most difficult conference in the country this season. The schedules for all 12 teams are littered with upsets and tough losses. Four teams finished the season ranked in the AP Top 10. To give perspective on the season, Michigan finished the season ranked 6th in the nation, but fifth in the Big Ten standings. 

Last season, Michigan State won a tight game over Ohio State 68-64 to take home the trophy. 

This year, Indiana took home the regular season trophy after defeating Michigan in one of the most exciting games of the year.

For a look at the Big Ten bracket, click here. 

Regular Season Standings:

  1. Indiana
  2. Michigan State
  3. Ohio State
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Michigan
  6. Iowa 
  7. Purdue
  8. Illinois
  9. Minnesota
  10. Nebraska
  11. Northwestern
  12. Penn State

Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State all earned byes in the first round. 

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