NCAA Tournament Open Thread

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Big Ten, College Basketball, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: ,

With the First Four beginning tonight, here’s an open thread for commenters that want to discuss the NCAA Tournament and other basketball news, such as the Illinois coaching search.  (For what it’s worth, Shaka Smart is definitely the candidate that has the broadest support in Illini Nation from the fan base up to the top administrators and the Board of Trustees.  If he wants the job, it’s his.)  Conference realignment and college football playoff discussions should be kept on the Sports Data from Nielsen post until I have a new entry later this week.  Enjoy the games!

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

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  1. redsroom3 says:

    Good luck to all of the BIG teams!!!!

  2. What a brutal draw for the Penn State women.

    The Lady Lions finished two full games in front during the regular season, including a victory at Purdue. Their “reward” is a second-round game at LSU and a third-round match-up against UConn…in Rhode Island.

    Meanwhile, Purdue gets to play their first two games at home!

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      GEAUX Lady Tigers and new mom, Coack Nikki Caldwell!

      The men play at Oregon in the NIT tonight.

    • vincent says:

      Note that if the rumored Big Ten addition were in effect, it would have three of the women’s top 16 seeds (lowest #1 seed Notre Dame, highest #2 seed Maryland, a #4 seed in Georgia Tech) and another participant in Rutgers. Obviously, women’s basketball doesn’t factor much into the total equation, but just sayin’.

    • Brian says:

      Penn State Clips,

      What a brutal draw for the Penn State women.

      The Lady Lions finished two full games in front during the regular season, including a victory at Purdue. Their “reward” is a second-round game at LSU and a third-round match-up against UConn…in Rhode Island.

      Meanwhile, Purdue gets to play their first two games at home!

      I’ll see that and raise you OSU as an 8 seed while PU got a 4 seed (they tied for 2nd in the B10).

  3. greg says:

    The Hawkeye fan base is rather excited for tonight’s NIT game, first postseason game since 2006. NCAA bid next year, Big Ten challengers the year after.

    • vincent says:

      Soon, your men and women might be as good as the ‘Clones (just a friendly josh towards the good people at the U of I).

    • zeek says:

      If only it were that easy. With Indiana and Michigan looking like they have much brighter futures in the near/medium term, it’s hard to see how anyone cracks into the top half of the Big Ten with Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin still rolling.

  4. loki_the_bubba says:

    Will we have a separate thread for the CIT? Go Owls!

    • bullet says:

      For a while I didn’t even know there was a CIT or CBI. And they have expanded. Now we have 68 in the NCAA, 32 in the NIT, 32 in the CIT and 16 in the CBI for 148 teams. The CBI had to stoop to taking a Washington St. team with a losing record.

      • OT says:

        Two PAC teams with losing records prior to the start of postseason play have actually won the CBI: Oregon State (in 2009) and Oregon (in 2011).

        No surprise to see the CBI take PAC teams with losing records. The CBI is more expensive than the CIT because half of the home teams in the CBI have to pay HDNet TV production costs.

        Some schools are more willing to pay than others. Oregon paid for a CBI home game during final exam week and two more during spring break in 2011. San Francisco is paying for a CBI home game during spring break in 2012.

        The CIT is a “starter” postseason tournament for mid-majors and low-majors. Anyone with a .500 record or better is welcome, including the likes of Cal State Basketball (the last independent) and Utah Valley (in a fly-by-night league known as the Great West that won’t be eligible for NCAA or NIT autobids until 2020, if the league were still around by then. The original Great West football league has already disbanded.)

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Rice beat ULL. Now host Drake tomorrow night. First post season win since c.1970. We may be the lowest RPI team left in any tournament after today.

  5. John says:

    M – I – Z…

  6. indydoug says:

    Take the Orange out of your Final 4—Fab Melo ineligible for ENTIRE tourney!

    • Craig Z says:

      Ohio State’s chances just got better.

      • greg says: already had OSU with 2nd best chance.

        • Eric says:

          Thanks for sharing that link. It was fun to look out.

          In some ways, actual seeding shows how little getting to a #1 seed actually matters. Sure on average you are better in a one spot than a two, but Ohio State’s position looks better this year with a 2 than it did last year with a one (and we may have been overall #1, I can’t remember for sure).

          • Craig Z says:

            They were number one overall last year. They were rewarded by having North Carolina, Syracuse, and Kentucky in their region.

  7. indydoug says:

    Having said that, Cincy beat them in BE Tourney with Fab but lost to SU in Cincy without him.

  8. morganwick says:

    Hmm… didn’t Bruce Weber follow a similar success-at-mid-major path as Shaka Smart, or am I getting him mixed up with Bruce Pearl?

  9. duffman says:

    @ Frank,

    a) thanks for the separate NCAA thread, I was hoping you would share your picks

    b) this will pass @ Illinois, but if you were Mike Thomas who would you hire?

    • @duffman -

      (a) My Final Four picks are Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio State and UNC. Kentucky would beat OSU in the title game. That’s not really going out on a limb, but I think there’s a significant separation between the top 8 teams and everyone else with Kentucky having the best team by a material margin.

      (b) I think the consensus choice of Shaka Smart would be the best hire for Illinois based on what we *think* he would be able to do better than other candidates, which is to recruit the top players from Chicago. That obviously has nothing to do with his direct recruiting ties (as he really doesn’t have any), but rather the image that he projects as being the face of the program. The belief is that Illinois should be a consistent national title contender and with that, it will take elite recruits. That sounds obvious, but we know that there are different styles of coaching that attract different types of players. What Illinois is *not* looking for is a Bo Ryan-esque system-type coach (even though everyone in Illini Nation would take his career record in a heartbeat), which is kind of why you haven’t heard much about a desire to go after Brad Stevens. The perception (whether right or wrong) is that there’s a ceiling to how well a program like that can perform even if it might be consistently competitive from year-to-year. I can’t tell you how starved this fan base is for a national title. Personally, I harbor no delusions that we’ll ever be at the Duke/UNC/Kansas/Kentucky-level, but there’s no reason why Illinois shouldn’t be on par with the Syracuses or UConns of the world (without the academic issues, of course).

      • duffman says:

        Do you think that Thomas and Smart both being at Akron will be in the background if this is where Illinois goes next? Smart is making 1.2 where he is, so what were they paying Webber? How much will Illinois offer to land him?

        • @duffman – The Akron connection helps, but it’s probably not outcome determinative. Weber was being paid about $1.5 million. I think Illinois would be willing to go over $2 million if that’s what it takes (and I believe that will end up being necessary).

          One other political issue that people outside of Illinois circles may not be aware of: 2 Illinois trustees voted against the hiring of Tim Beckman as football coach because they believed that not enough was done to hire an African-American for the position. (Note that University of Illinois trustees are appointed by the governor, so pushing for political agendas isn’t uncommon. The current chairman is Christopher Kennedy, who is one of RFK’s sons.) So, that’s another reason why there’s been so much focus on Shaka Smart and you see names like Reggie Theus and Craig Robinson (Obama’s brother-in-law) talked about frequently. Now, I think Smart is the best candidate regardless of race (and most Illinois fans agree), so there’s going to be a lot of disappointment if he doesn’t end up coming to Champaign.

      • duffman says:

        ps, Frank, seems to me a 31-3 team went to the South Regional ranked #1 to face a 22-11 team from Indiana. It also seems to me that IU won that one, so here we are sitting at 25-8 and written off with Jones out. I think all the pressure is off, and with a little here and a little there I am not sure I would write IU off. Remember in 2002 that team went all the way to the championship game before losing to Maryland in the final.

        IU, MSU
        VU, KU

        Won’t matter who plays for the championship because the title will be won or lost in the IU vs MSU game

        • OT says:

          IU is very average away from home.

          Go visit the archives to check out the New Mexico State vs La Tech game last Saturday.

          Perhaps because I don’t live in B1G country, I can see New Mexico State’s big front line dominate the boards and get to the line 30 times against IU.

          • duffman says:


            You may be right, and IU could get knocked out first round, but I just have this feeling nobody really expects them to do much so the pressure is off. Right now it is just survive and advance, and IU seems to be coming in with no “must win” pressure like the #1 and #2 seeds have. Being in Portland is good because all 4 teams have to travel to get there :

            Las Cruces to Portland = ~ 1,200 miles
            Wichita to Portland = ~ 1,400 miles
            Bloomington to Portland = ~ 1,900 miles
            Richmond to Portland = ~ 2,400 miles

  10. zeek says:

    Ohio State has a dream bracket in some sense; especially with the news out of Syracuse. They just have to make it happen now…

  11. WildBill says:

    I think one potential upset that no one is really talking about is Ohio University over Michigan. Michigan doesn’t have a true post threat and lives off the long ball. If they come out cold and Ohio is shooting well don’t be surprised to see Michigan go down in the first round. Sounds crazy, but nobody was picking Ohio over Georgetown two years ago either.

  12. OT says:

    Looks like the committee made the right call by taking Iona instead of one of the 6 teams on the other side of the cut line (Oral Roberts, Drexel, Miami FL, Nevada, Mississippi State, and Seton Hall.)

    Cal vs South Florida will be ugly. Cal is at best 6-deep, while SF turns the ball over way too often.

  13. OT says:

    You guys in B1G Country, especially those of you in Bloomington, need to visit the archives to watch the New Mexico State vs La Tech WAC final from Saturday.

    New Mexico State has a massive front line that crash the glass to create 2nd chance points and free throw opportunities.

    Indiana is very average on the road (5-6) and on neutral courts (2-1).

    If there is one B1G that is vulnerable to going one and done, IU is the one.

  14. jj says:

    Nice job IA and NW!

  15. Brian says:

    How is NW a 4 seed? There were really 12-15 better teams?

    • zeek says:

      It’s the NIT; it’s 100% about ticket sales/marketability. I don’t think they even really try to feign otherwise.

      • Brian says:

        How does underseeding NW help with that?

        • zeek says:

          That’s a fair point; just saying they try to set the matchups and whatnot with ESPN/ticket sales in mind; typically much more so than even the NCAA tournament committee.

          Other thing is that the NIT committee is basically just a group of older coaches sitting around picking teams and putting it together.

          Hard to tell what kinds of objective measures go into it given the seedings. At least the NCAA approach is a lot more RPI based so it’s more transparent in that respect, even though a lot of people complain about how much RPI favors the majors…

          • OT says:

            The NCAA committee is now pushing “non-conference strength of schedule” as a point of emphasis. Mizzou missed out on a #1 seed and Drexel missed the cut because of NCSOS.

            The RPI is crude but is actually very easy to understand:

            (Record vs Division I opponents x 0.25) + (Strength of schedule x 0.50) x (opponents’ SOS x 0.25)

            SOS (strength of schedule) = opponent’s records vs Division I opponents

            Anyone at home can calculate the RPI with a spreadsheet.

          • OT says:

            Except the RPI really didn’t favor the majors over the top mid-majors that much this season.

            Southern Miss and Colorado State had much higher RPI’s than their pecking order from most “eye tests”.

            Long Beach and Iona scheduled tougher than the likes of Washington. Their RPI’s reflected the effort.

          • zeek says:

            Well, the Pac-12 was like the CAA in terms of quality of its teams this year; I don’t think they prove much either way.

            You are right though that the mid-majors that took on tough opponents got the RPI boost.

            With Drexel, a part of the problem was they couldn’t find many opponents to play (or so I’ve heard/read).

  16. Carl says:

    PSU hoops?

    • PSUGuy says:

      I like to tell the joke that “Penn State doesn’t field a men’s bball team”. People look at me stunned then I just say, “well that’s what we wish, since their typically so bad.”

      In all honestly, Chambers inherited a bunch of good, but not overly talented, kids who he got to play hard in his system. They just didn’t have enough to actually win games regularly.

      However, we’ve got some good recruits coming in next season. I expect regular winning seasons starting next year hopefully, or another year if not.

      • vincent says:

        Penn State men’s basketball is normally like Maryland baseball — a lost cause. However, the Terps are off to a good start this year, and may even be competitive in the ACC. You never know.

        • PSUGuy says:

          Any other year, any other coach, I’d agree with the “lost cause” statement.

          Thing is Chambers has spent his entire career working at legit basketball programs in Philedelphia, NY and New England and his last stint had many of the same problems PSU bball has had for the past couple decades. Lesser talent, poor showings on the court, and a largely apathetic fanbase. He turned Boston U around an they don’t have near the resources PSU has.

          IMO, he’s done a lot to get the school (read that as student body) back to being involved in the program and has (finally) started making real inroads into the Phildelphia recruiting circles…where PSU has always failed miserably (and where they never really should have failed at all).

          *Shrug* For once, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for PSU bball.

          • PSUGuy says:

            My bad…scratch New York.

          • vincent says:

            I wasn’t trying to imply that PSU hoops was impossible to transform — in the years it has done well, the fan support has been solid. Compare it to Colorado, where the fan base was apathetic through its Big 12 tenure (perhaps the Pac-12 tourney title will change things). But State College is not the easiest place in America to recruit big-time (male) basketball players, even the past 15 years with the Big Ten and a new arena as lures.

          • zeek says:

            Nebraska and Penn State men’s basketball programs are going to be worth watching over the next couple of years.

            Both realize that they need to turn those battleships around quickly especially Nebraska with all the $ they’ve committed to facilities for men’s hoops (arena/practice facility).

            If they even just become decent teams, the Big Ten would have competitive programs across the board, and might even have a better set of 12 than the top 12 in the ACC…

            We’ll see though; it’s so hard to turn around men’s basketball programs unless you’re an old line school with access to talent (i.e. Michigan), especially when you’re a flagship not built in a major metro area.

          • frug says:

            Probably worth noting that Penn St. is the most “football dominant” school in the country based on attendance


            I do wonder if this will change now that the school is bringing fresh blood into the athletic department for the first time in five decades.

          • Richard says:


            Ugh, that basketball prospectus study uses percentage of arena/stadium filled rather than absolute attendance, which is a horrible measure of fan support. Well, no one cares if KU fills up 90% of their stadium when that’s still only 45K. That doesn’t make them high attendance in both basketball and football.

        • Kevin says:

          If Penn State could have just shot the ball better this year they would have won a ton more games. The effort they played with was outstanding. Just need some better players which appear to be on the way.

  17. indydoug says:

    RPI is clearly an outdated & nearly meaningless metric. NCAA keeps using it because it has been using it. Rediculous really.

    • PSUGuy says:

      [SARCASM] I agree. Much better to use glorified popularity polls using people who don’t even watch the teams playing to vote on subjective rankings. [/SARCASM]

    • zeek says:

      Well, just looking at how the NIT was organized; I’m going to say I’m much happier with the more heavily RPI based approach of the NCAA committee.

      Like picking the top 4 seeds; they chose 1-4 on RPI; it makes sense though.

      Michigan State played such a beastly schedule starting with opening against Duke and North Carolina, and going through the Big Ten’s gauntlet.

      Yeah, they had 7 losses to say Missouri’s 4 or Kansas’/Duke’s 6, but RPI gives you a much better look at the strength of a team.

      Pollsters get far too enamored with whether teams win or lose (we see this all the time in college football where teams move up or down solely based on whether they win in a week, and no one really looks at the bigger picture of where a team should be ranked relative to others if you look at the rest of the picture including the entire season).

    • OT says:

      But RPI is easy to understand and cannot be manipulated.

      The RPI formula is very simple: (record vs Division I opponents x 0.25) + (SOS x 0.50) + (opponents’ SOS x 0.25)

      Anyone can home can calculate RPI (as well as strength of schedule, non-conference SOS, and opponents’ SOS) with a spreadsheet.

      The 2012 NCAA committee was as transparent as possible. All the metrics used and the final seed list (including the first 4 teams on the wrong side of the cut line) were made public.


      The NIT committee is the one that deviate significantly from the established NCAA procedures to account for “brand value” of the teams.

      Remember that Washington wasn’t even among the first 6 “out” on the other side of the cut line behind Iona, yet the NIT made Washington the #1 overall seed. Furthermore, two teams that were just behind Iona, Oral Roberts and Nevada, were assigned #4 and #5 seeds and were paired against each other in the NIT.

      (Weber State had a right to be miffed by the NIT snub. I still don’t understand how Stanford got a #3 seed in the NIT.)

  18. indydoug says:

    I was not talking about polls but other computer-generated matrices such as Sagarin, Ken-pom, etc.

  19. zeek says:

    How did I never hear about this plan? Of all the crazy schemes to come up with…

  20. subrosa says:

    Anyone hearing rumors of Butler, George Mason, and VCU to the A10?

    • OT says:

      Butler is as good as gone. The Horizon League is too small for the program, which travels by charter jet and pays its coach over $1 million a year (the rest of the league travel mostly by bus.)

      The A10 needs to reload with Temple gone and Charlotte having one foot out the door (probably to the Sun Belt to start before jumping to “Mount USA” or BIG EAST later.)

      (The A10 has some bottom-feeders in terms of budget: La Salle’s home gym is embarassingly small; St. Bona is stuck in a small market with nearly 20% unemployment.)

  21. BoilerTex says:

    Here’s a fun site to play around with during commercial breaks today:

    My Boilers would actually make the Final Four if going by average graduate starting salarly. Going by basketball prowess? Not so much.

  22. OT says:

    Change the dial over to truTV if you haven’t done so. Asheville is outplaying ‘Cuse.

  23. frug says:

    You stay classy Southern Miss.

  24. frug says:

    That was absolutely atrocious officiating at the end of the UNC-A – Syracuse game.

    • redsroom3 says:


      I don’t know if you are on twitter, but when that out of bounds call was made against UNC-A, twitter erupted!!! I mean folks went off, I thought twitter was going to crash. It was insane, I got the sense then that Cuse was going to be “enabled” to win the game.

      It was something to see…


  25. redsroom3 says:

    Yesterday was a good day for the BIG conference. All the teams won in fairly convincing fashion by playing good ball. The only team that will have a tough game is my Boilers. St Marys is a good squad with a pretty good guard. I hope Mich and MSU take care of business early, so that they can prepare for their second round games, which will not be easy. IU could get its first taste of Shaka coached team, assuming the rumors are true that he’s headed to U of I.
    Day two of the best day in March…


  26. Mack says:

    Besides football, the B1G and PAC should schedule basketball games. For the B1G this will be in addition too the ACC challenge. Could call it the B1G Blowout.

    • frug says:

      The scheduling alliance is for all sports and will begin next year for every sports besides football.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t expect the series to be very competitive for the first few years, but we’ll see. With Indiana and Michigan looking like they’ve joined Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin as being back in the elite group, and with Northwestern, Iowa, Penn State, and Nebraska all looking to improve, the Big Ten is far closer to peaking than the Pac-12. This will only be more true if Illinois grabs an elite coach like Shaka Smart.

  27. duffman says:

    B1G from yesterday :

    #02 Ohio State beats #15 Loyola, plays #07 Gonzaga next
    #04 Indiana beats #13 New Mexico State, plays #12 VCU next
    #04 Wisconsin beats #13 Montana, plays #05 Vanderbilt next

    #01 Michigan State vs #16 Long Island
    #04 Michigan vs #13 Ohio
    #10 Purdue vs #07 Saint Marys


    B1G in NIT :

    #04 Northwestern beats #05 Akron, plays #01 Washington next
    #06 Minnesota beats #03 LaSalle, plays #02 Miami FL next
    #07 Iowa beats #02 Dayton, plays #03 Oregon next


    @ jj,

    I think the better name for your opponent would be the Phoenix. A great program under Coach Bee, burned to ashes by the point shaving scandal of the 1950′s, yet rising again to compete in the NCAA.

    @ Frank,

    Any new info on when you guys may name the next coach?
    (would it help speed up the process if we beat VCU) ;)

    • Brian says:


      B1G from yesterday :

      #02 Ohio State beats #15 Loyola, plays #07 Gonzaga next
      #04 Indiana beats #13 New Mexico State, plays #12 VCU next
      #04 Wisconsin beats #13 Montana, plays #05 Vanderbilt next

      B1G in NIT :

      #04 Northwestern beats #05 Akron, plays #01 Washington next
      #06 Minnesota beats #03 LaSalle, plays #02 Miami FL next
      #07 Iowa beats #02 Dayton, plays #03 Oregon next

      Unfortunately Friday wasn’t so kind:

      #4 MI loses to #13 Ohio
      #1 MSU beats #16 LIU, #9 St. Louis is next
      #10 PU beats #7 SMC, #2 KU is next

      #4 NW loses to #1 UW

  28. zeek says:

    Missouri goes to the SEC with the Big 12 championship in hand.

    But they also take one of the biggest early round upsets in history with them; 30-win major as 2 seed (ranked #3 in the country) losing to 15 seed Norfolk State. Only the 5th time a 2 seed has lost to a 15 seed.

    There goes everyone’s brackets…

    • jj says:

      Not mine! MSU over Marq.

    • zeek says:

      Wow. Craziest day ever.

      Duke and Missouri going down as 2 seeds. Can’t recall a day where brackets got torn apart so thoroughly to this point. The 1s all remain, but there’s a lot more “parity” here than meets the eye.

      • Brian says:

        Plus #4 MI.

      • duffman says:


        I think Duke has been skating along for awhile, and it caught up with them. Asked my cousin they were going to Atlanta last week and they said no. I took that as a sign not to put Duke deep in my bracket, and it looks like they were right!

        Missouri was full of seniors, so that is harder because this was a special MU team, and faces next year with much rebuilding in a division that includes Vanderbilt, Florida, and Kentucky. I feel bad for the Tigers as their first year in SEC play may not be pretty.

        There were actually rumblings about Ohio, so while an upset, it was not a total upset.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, I mean we had WildBill and Frank post about that a few days ago, and as with anything, if shooting goes cold, you’re going to lose in the tournament. That’s just the way it is.

        • Brian says:

          Kelly was hurt so when Curry got in foul trouble they were very offensively limited. Thin teams that live by the 3 can’t afford to lose 2 of their top shooters.

  29. Brian says:

    Clearly today is crazy day.

    2 #2s, a #4, a #6 and a #7 all gone. Way to make the B10 look bad, MI. PU’s minor upset doesn’t make up for it, but good job anyway Boilers.

  30. duffman says:

    For those of you with busted brackets,

    It had to happen, as yesterday was too calm. Almost boring. Generally it all even out so today has to be expected to compensate.

    • zeek says:

      Today was a tidal wave compared to an evening out…; two #2s fall, when none have fallen in the past decade in the opener? Not to mention all the other ones falling.

      But yeah, today was a ton of fun. Most fun I’ve had in a long time following this thing.

  31. Eric says:

    1st day vs. 2nd day

    14 of 16 favorite seeds win vs. 8 of 16 favorite teams win

  32. loki_the_bubba says:

    CIT News

    Rice74 Drake 68

    Rice has never won two games in one post-season before.

  33. B1G Jeff says:

    Am I missing something, or is the national media underplaying the B1G’s success as a conference thus far? Lord knows whenever we’ve lost a few in one day, it’s always trumpeted. Seems like the Big East’s past basketball success has been heralded every step of the way. Maybe’s it’s just early…

    • zeek says:

      In fairness though, the Big East was getting loudly blasted for almost all its teams losing in the first round last year. A big part of that though was Charles Barkley blasting away.

      This year though, I think the coverage of the Big Ten has been evenhanded to some extent.

      A lot of folks made the point that only 1/2 of the Big Ten got in (less than Big East at 9/16 %-wise), but then a ton of folks chose Michigan State and/or Ohio State to reach the Final Four.

      So people were acknowledging that the top half of the Big Ten was legit and full of teams that could make deep runs from 1-4 seedings.

      If 3 of the teams reach the Elite Eight, I think it’ll be pointed out a lot more; we’re still not close to that point though…

      • B1G Jeff says:

        We agree. It just seems odd to me that I’ve been virtually glued to the TV to the last few days and have heard a ton about the individual teams but not much at all about the conference. I hope next week gives them no choice; MSU and Wisky/tOSU in particular have seemingly more than reasonable paths to the Final Four.

        • Brian says:

          It’s hard for them to crow too much about the B10 after the MI loss. A co-champ losing to the MAC doesn’t sound so good.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            LMAO. True. But really, now. Wasn’t Michigan the third of the co-champs?

          • Brian says:

            They were the #2 seed, so no. OSU was. That makes the Buckeyes scrappy overachievers, right?

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Brian, I meant in public perception. Plus they did lose 2 of 3 to tOSU this year. That said, your point’s certainly valid. A B1G horse by any color shouldn’t be losing to the MAC in the tourney.

          • zeek says:

            In all honesty, Michigan’s loss really didn’t resonate that much in terms of public perception. They’re still more or less in rebuilding mode.

            I’d say Indiana’s wins have mattered more because Indiana was the one everyone’s been proclaiming as back (and they’re a top royalty program as well), and they’ve proved it more or less by getting to this point.

            But as you pointed out Jeff, the Big Ten’s flag right now is being carried by Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Those 3 are the ones that really need to make the big push to the Final Four.

            This is especially true given that Ohio State and Wisconsin notably underperformed last year in the tournament; I think most of us expected one of them to reach the Elite 8 and Final 4 (probably OSU given their #1 status), and it just didn’t happen.

          • Brian says:

            B1G Jeff,

            Yes, by public opinion and the polls, MI was clearly third. Of course, the losses by Duke and MO sort of drowned out MI’s loss. If the two #2 seeds had one, everyone would have talking about MI losing. As it happened, it was a non-story.

            I agree with zeek that the good from IN trumps the bad from MI. It’s the opposite of FB in that sense. At least WI and IN lived up to their billing. When UK rips IN, it won’t hurt since it’s a revenge game and the PG is lost. When SU rips WI it won’t hurt much either. It also won’t hurt when KU rips PU tonight.

            MSU needs to beat UL and then #3 Marquette (or worse) and make the Final Four. OSU needs to at least battle SU for the Final Four spot (no loss to FSU/UC and no blowout loss to SU). With Melo out, OSU probably should advance but SU will have had 2 weeks to adjust by then.

          • Richard says:

            I actually give Wiscy a slight edge over the Melo-less Orange.

            Right now, I have OSU-Wisconsin as the most likely final in the East.

            None of the non-UK teams look that impressive, and the 2 non-B10 teams that had the athleticism to knock off UK (UNC and ‘Cuse) lost a key player each. So (IMHO) I think it’s pretty safe to say that a B10 team will have to knock off UK or no one will.

  34. bullet says:

    I just didn’t feel like there would be a lot of upsets this year. Two 15 seeds winning is unusual, but I didn’t expect Duke or Missouri to do much this year. And the 1st 8 teams in the sweet 16 are all #1 through #4 seeds. We’re guaranteed to get a 7 or 15, 10 or 15 and 12 or 13, but will probably end up with 12 or 13 of the top 16 seeds in the sweet 16 (but then we’ll see today).

  35. Brian says:

    Go Wolfpack. The Hoyas continue the BE tournament struggles in recent years.

    • Brian says:

      Go Bobcats. Following up the huge win over MI with a win over a BE team. Sure, it’s offensively challenged USF, but still a team in the top half of the BE.

  36. jj says:

    Let’s hope purdue makes it 4 tonight.


    Let’s do the world a favor and knock out Patino and Calipari next weekend.

  37. jj says:

    I have yet to see fla play, but they seem to be on the warpath.

  38. Brian says:

    UNC’s injury troubles continue. Someone should teach those guys how to fall down. Henson gets back from his wrist injury just in time for Kendall Marshall to break a bone in his off wrist. If he can’t play,that really hurts them. On the bright side, they play #13 Ohio and then either #11 NCSU or the KU/PU winner. If PU can hold on to win, that would be two double digit seeds for UNC to face to make the Final Four. Otherwise, they’ll probably face KU in St. Louis and would be in big trouble without Marshall.

  39. Brian says:

    How about the state of Ohio? 8-0 and 4 sweet sixteen teams (OSU, UC, Xavier, OU). It can’t continue, of course, as OSU and UC play next round. OU is a big underdog to UNC and Xavier will be a dog to Baylor, so the state will probably go 1-3 in the sweet sixteen and send only 1 to the elite eight. The OSU/UC winner will get the winner of SU/WI, so about 50-50 odds of making the final four.

    By the way, I hate the way the new pod system screws up the timing. The Th/Sat teams should be on that rotation until the Final Four, and so should the F/Su teams. Even worse than switching from playing Sunday to Thursday, some teams make that switch to play a team that played on Saturday so the coaches have more time to gameplan and the players get extra rest and time to catch up on classes.

    • Richard says:

      Duff would like this:

      Nearly half the Sweet Sixteen is within a 3-hour drive of Cincinnati (Xavier and UC are right there while Athens, Columbus, Lexington, Louisville, and Bloomington are a daytrip away. If Purdue had been able to pull off the upset of KU in their close match, a full half of the Sweet Sixteen would come from the 3 states that surround Cincinnati. MSU, Marquette, and Wiscy aren’t far, either. In fact, the 5 Midwestern/Ohio Valley states of OH, KY, IN, MI, and WI are sending over twice as many teams to the Sweet Sixteen as the other 45 states combined. Of course, the Midwest is doing so well because the B10 is the strongest conference in the land (with the most Sweet Sixteen teams: 4; a third of the conference, which is a far higher percentage of the conference membership than any other conference this year).

      • bullet says:

        14 of the 16 this year are from the traditional basketball heartland-NE, MW, KY and NC. Only Florida and Baylor are south or west of the line from Chapel Hill to Lexington to Lawrence.

      • duffman says:


        I do indeed, and why I am happy the Final Four comes to Indy as often as it does. Look at the winners based on the area :

        Kentucky = 7 titles
        Indiana = 5 titles
        Cincinnati = 2 titles
        Louisville = 2 titles
        Ohio State = 1 title

        close by :

        Michigan State = 2 titles
        Loyola = 1 title
        Michigan = 1 title

        21 Titles!

        by comparison Tobacco Road

        North Carolina = 5
        Duke = 4
        North Carolina State = 2
        Maryland = 1

        12 Titles

      • indydoug says:

        Big East also has “the most Sweet Sixteen teams: 4;” but not the same % .

  40. Richard says:

    Also, was this covered somewhere in the thread?

    If UK and UNC are both #1 seeds, why is UK playing in Atlanta while UNC is sent out to StL? Lexington is about equidistant from both Atl and StL, and #2 KU will have far more support in StL than #1 UNC while #2 Duke would have had far more support in Atlanta than in StL.

    In fact, if you drive, the drive to Atlanta from Lexington is more miles than the drive from Lexington to St. Louis.

    This makes no sense.

    • frug says:

      As #1 overall Kentucky was the first school assigned and the committee said that Atlanta was UK’s “natural region” since it was southern and in SEC territory even though St. Louis is marginally closer. It really makes when you consider that #1 overall is suppose to get maximum benefit from assignment and UK has a larger following in Atlanta than UNC or Duke have in St. Louis.

      • frug says:

        should read:

        It really makes sense when…

      • Brian says:

        That was their explanation, and it makes sense. But it shows why I think they should let the schools choose their spot rather than assigning one. It’s not 1950 anymore. It’s easy to do a large conference call and/or use a secure web site. The committee should just rank the teams 1-68 and then let the schools choose in order.

        I’d like to see schools avoid the 8/9 slots and drop down to 10 or 11 to avoid playing a #1 seed. I’d like to see schools drop a level to get their preferred region. I’d love to see a top team take a #16 slot just to become the first #16 ever to beat a #1.

        • Eric says:

          I wouldn’t like the idea of a school getting to choose a different seeds or most teams their site (I don’t want a top seed essentially on the road more than necessary), but I like the idea of having the top 3-4 seeds doing this.

          • Brian says:

            The reason I like it is that the math shows that the worst seeds to have are 16, obviously, but 8 and 9 are the next worse in terms of ability to advance. If they win a coin flip first game, they get the 1 seed and go home most of the time. Based on the bracket structure, a good team is better off being a 15 seed than an 8 seed.


            The article has lots of charts and a table with the actual numbers for each seed for each round. The whole thing is based on showing how a team with an 85 power ranking (typically a 6 seed) would do if seeded at each slot and all other teams were at historical norms of strength.

            The numbers show that teams seeded 5-12 are all pretty equivalent. That makes who you play, in terms of matchups, and where you play, for home crowd advantage, more important. The structure of the bracket (1 plays 16/8/4/2, 2 plays 15/7/3/1, etc) and the math say that if you want to advance, you should avoid the 1 seeds for as long as possible. The “top” half of a bracket is 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16, so you want to be 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 or 15.

            Let’s look at it in terms of achieving different goals.

            1. Win 1 game

            The numerical order is best for this goal.

            2. Sweet 16

            1-6 in order, then 12, 13, 11, 14, 7, 10, 15, 8, 9, 16. This is where the problems pop up. There shouldn’t be an incentive to be a 14 seed over a 7-10 seed, but there is.

            3. Elite 8

            1-3 in order, then 6, 4, 7, 11, 10, 14, 5, 15, 12, 13, 8, 9, 16. The extra game reduces the differences, but still there is a wacky order.

            4. Final 4

            1-7 in order, then 11, 10, 12, 14, 13, 15, 8, 9, 16.

            Based on the results, the author suggests a couple of possible remedies. The main one is to seed the tournament like a tennis tournament, so only 1-6 seeds exist and the rest is a random draw. Since that is probably too crazy for the NCAA, I wonder if they could re-seed after each round (the NIT used to do that, IIRC). It would reduce the cinderellas, but also make having a higher seed more important.

          • Eric says:

            I’ve seen that before too, but I don’t think making it fair to the #8/9 seeds should be the goal. The goal should be to reward the best regular season teams as much as possible with the bracketology. Given that the 8-9 seeds are the teams that have somewhere around the 29-33rd best accomplishments, I don’t feel bad for them. To be playing for a chance to win it all is already a lot.

            Hmm…then again, if would practically work out so that you had effectively a #10-12 seed playing a #1 seed in the 2nd round I guess that would be a reward.

          • bullet says:

            I agree with eric. It should be fair to top seeds. For the rest-tough.

            Problem is too many teams in tourney.

          • bullet says:

            I’ll use Texas as an example. I think they were fairly seeded at #11 and ended the season at 20-14, 9-9 in the Big 12. They were 3-3 vs. 8 seeds and below (1-1 KSU, 2-1 ISU, 0-1 NCSU). In the tourney they went something like 13 minutes with 1 basket and 8 points and 23 minutes with 4 baskets. Still managed to tie the game before fading at the end. They only lost to 2 non-tourney teams-Ok. St. on the road and a 2 pointer to Oregon St. who didn’t miss the tourney by much. But against 6 seeds and up they were 1-9. They lost twice to KU and BU and 3 times to MU. They lost to UNC and they lost in the tourney to Cincinnati. Their only win against anyone higher than #8 was Temple (#5). They clearly weren’t good enough to beat the top teams. Why did they need to be in the tourney? I didn’t like the expansions beyond 48 teams.

          • Brian says:

            Eric and bullet,

            To be clear, I’m not worried about being fair to the 8/9 seeds. To me the whole point is to win the NC so the lesser teams are just filler. What I would like is to not provide an incentive for teams to lose. I’m saying let teams choose the more desirable slots even if they are “lower” seeds so they have a better chance of advancing than the true lower seeds.

            Would this make it harder on the top seeds? Yes, a little bit (more for 3-4 than 1-2). But they’d still be huge favorites to advance. Teams seeded 5-12 are all pretty similar in power rankings, so having an 8 choose to drop to a 10 shouldn’t really matter. To protect the top seeds, you could cap how far a team could drop from their nominal seed (an 8 can only go to 11, for example).

            The numbers say the 8 and 9 (and 7 and 10 to a lesser extent) get shafted by the structure of the tournament if the goal is to win more than 1 game. Let them displace the lower seeds if they choose.

  41. Brian says:

    For those who like to track conference success, those are the up to date numbers.

    By W%:
    1. MAC 1.000
    2. B10 0.818
    3. SEC 0.714
    4. be 0.688

    By S16s:
    1. B10, BE – 4
    3. ACC, SEC, B12 – 2
    6. MAC, A10 – 1

    Considering the size of the conferences, the number of bids per conference and the success rates, clearly the B10 is the top conference so far.

  42. gobux says:

    Not sure if this has been posted. This is the first time one state has had 4 teams in the Sweet Sixteen. Hooray for the state of Ohio!! At least that is what ESPN radio said this morning.

    Congrats to Ohio State, Ohio U., Cincinnati, and Xavier!!!

  43. duffman says:

    B1G in NCAA :

    Round 64 : 5 – 1

    #02 Ohio State beats #15 Loyola
    #04 Indiana beats #13 New Mexico State
    #04 Wisconsin beats #13 Montana
    #01 Michigan State beats #16 Long Island
    #04 Michigan lost to #13 Ohio
    #10 Purdue beats #07 Saint Marys

    Round 32 : 4 – 1

    #02 Ohio State beats #07 Gonzaga
    #04 Indiana beats #12 VCU
    #04 Wisconsin beats #05 Vanderbilt
    #01 Michigan State beats #09 Saint Louis
    #10 Purdue lost to #02 Kansas

    Round 16 : 0 – 0

    #02 Ohio State vs #06 Cincinnati
    #04 Indiana vs #01 Kentucky
    #04 Wisconsin vs #01 Syracuse
    #01 Michigan State vs #04 Louisville


    B1G in NIT :

    Round #1 : 3 – 0
    #04 Northwestern beats #05 Akron
    #06 Minnesota beats #03 LaSalle
    #07 Iowa beats #02 Dayton

    Round #2 : 0 – 2, with 1 game left to play
    #04 Northwestern lost to #01 Washington
    #06 Minnesota plays #02 Miami FL
    #07 Iowa lost to #03 Oregon


    For Loki,
    Rice beats LaLa
    Rice beats Drake
    Rice plays Oakland on Tuesday

  44. duffman says:


    What is up in SEC baseball?

    UK is 21-0 and 2 shy of LSU’s all time SEC streak. Were the Mayans right about the world ending this year, and this a sign?

    • Mike says:

      Not to answer for Allen, but UK’s schedule was cupcake city outside of the three game series at home against South Carolina.

      • footballnut says:

        Big shout out to Robbie Hummel and Purdue…a shining moment even in the loss. Played his heart out and left it all out on the floor. Would have loved to have seen traitor Bill Self (who left Illinois for Kansas) lose.

        Big 12 now has both former Illini coaches Bill Self (Kansas) and Lon Kruger (Oklahoma). Guess the job at Illinois ain’t that great. Shaka Smart beware, those guys didn’t last long at Illinois and both are good coaches. Ilini need to look into the mirror and fix things before looking for another one and done coach. Weber wasn’t the first choice, nor should he have been hired. It should have been Matt Painter, who was considered, but ended up at Purdue. What goes around, comes around.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Congrats to the Boilermaker baseball team. Purdue is ranked #24 by Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Coaches poll, as well as #25 by Baseball America. The NCBWA poll isn’t out yet.

          Hey Michael, your Appy State ‘eers are ranked #29 by Collegiate Baseball.

          Florida is the consensus #1. My Tigers are ranked from #8 to #11 to #13, and that may be a little high.

        • Richard says:

          Er? Both Self and Kruger left for greener pastures because of their success at Illinois. What exactly is Smart suppose to be worried about? That a job at Illinois would open up opportunities at one of the handful of blueblood programs in the country or the NBA?

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      duff – LSU’s 23 game win streak in 2009 started half-way through the SEC schedule and continued through the SEC tournament, NCAA Regionals, and into the Super Regionals. My Tigers had dug an early hole for themselves, so most of those wins were “must wins”. UK may beat the record largely with pre-conference cream puffs, but I doubt any team will approach LSU’s accomplishment.

  45. Mack says:

    Despite the Duke and Mizzou upsets, the Big 5 MBB conferences went 18-6 against non-B5 opposition in the first round and 8-1 in the second round with Ohio’s win over USF (9th team from BE) being the only loss. Including head to head competition, the big 5 conferences when 21-9 in the first round and 14-7 in the second round. The fly in the ointment with breaking up NCAA D1 is that the Big East is not in the 5 power conferences for football and the PAC12 is not in the 5 for basketball.

    • vp19 says:

      Break up D1 for football, and Big East basketball will sink like a stone, Connecticut included. Conversely, the Pac would improve in the eyes of recruits, as its non-conference schedule consisted entirely of the other four BCS conference members. (This is assuming a new federation apart from the NCAA would not play NCAA teams in any sports.)

  46. Brian says:

    According to Ken Pomeroy, the B10 has a 45.9% chance of winning the title. His numbers don’t consider injuries, either, so NC might drop a little lower. It’s basically a 3 team race, and 2 of those are B10 teams.

    1. 1S Kentucky 20.5%
    2. 2E Ohio St. 19.8
    3. 1W Michigan St 18.0
    4. 2MW Kansas 11.0
    5. 1MW N. Carolina 9.8
    6. 4E Wisconsin 5.6

    9. 4S Indiana 2.5

    • Richard says:

      Yep, I’ll go out on a (not very long) limb and predict that either UK or a B10 school will win the national title this year.

  47. Brian says:

    Big win for MN. They crushed Miami at Miami, a decent upset (#6 over #2). #1 TN lost too, so MN will face 4 seed MTSU on Wednesday.

  48. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    From ESPN


    If it winds up true, thank IU for knocking them out to speed the process up :)

  49. Richard says:

    SI’s Pablo Torre (before the Tournament) picked UK, OSU, MSU, and UNC as his Final 4. I think he’s pretty good (6-2 in the 8-9 & 7-10 games), and sitting pretty as right now, UK and MSU are much better than anyone else in their regional and OSU is better than Wisconsin or ‘Cuse (I actually give a slight edge to Wisconsin). I’d give a slight edge to UNC as well even with their injury problems as KU doesn’t impress.

  50. loki_the_bubba says:

    The dream is over…

    Rice 70
    Oakland(MI) 77

    We went 2-1 in the post-season for the first time ever. Down 18 at the half and we cut it to 2 late.

  51. Brian says:

    UK is clearly the best team in the South, agreed.

    MSU may be the best in the West, but I’m not thrilled with the matchups for them. They can beat all 3 of them, but they could lose to them too.

    I think SU will beat WI because WI’s style of play won’t exploit the loss of Melo. That SU zone can be a problem for a team like WI, and the pace may be an issue too. OSU might well be the most talented team in the East, but they are very inconsistent and could win or lose against any of the 3.

    I don’t think Ohio can take enough advantage of Marshall’s injury to beat UNC, and KU should cruise past NCSU unless they get in their own way. KU has the talent to beat UNC, so if Marshall isn’t pretty good I think KU will win. Remember, they play inSt. Louis so the crowd will be a factor.

    • Gobux says:

      Oops, turns down Illinois. :)

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Maybe Shaka’s not so smart; he turned down $2.5M/year… It seems to me it’s generally better to go where you’d be appreciated with an opportunity to only improve instead of waiting to go somewhere where the gun would always be to your head. Illinois is such a great opportunity; can’t think of a more underachieving bball program with such a huge potential upside off the top of my head. It would make more sense only if he’s planning on staying.

        • zeek says:

          Maybe that is the plan though? I mean; he could coach at VCU for the next 30 years if he really wanted to… and he’d never have the pressure he’s going to have at a place like Illinois. Same is true of Brad Stevens. The guy’s been to two national championship games, yet people assume he’s going straight to Duke or UNC if those jobs open up, yet why would he go there when he can win it all at Butler anyways…

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Pressure at a place like Illinois? I would think that as opposed to grooming people who then leave for more established programs, someone coming to Illinois with an established degree of success could have dictated things more. Shaka’s stature should have allowed him to be immune to that pressure and to bend Illinois to meet his will. I fully accept the premise that he could settle and play out the string at VCU.

            It just really seems that Illinois right now is a great landing spot even more so than the way that Tubby ended up at Minnesota. Geez, there’s a huge natural recruiting pool in Chicago that doesn’t go to U of I just because no one’s made the connection. The closest anyone’s come was Jimmy Collins (Lou Henson’s old assistant), who left U of I for U of Ill at Chicago when he didn’t get the head coaching job; upon leaving he took much of the Chicago recruiting pipeline with him.

          • zeek says:

            Illinois is a great landing spot to be sure given its history/fanbase and the talent pool in Chicago, but the Big Ten is not going to be an easy place to play any time soon.

            You have to deal with Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin all peaking, as well as resurgent Indiana and Michigan programs. Purdue has also been going to the tournament consistently (6 straight).

            There is going to be a lot of pressure at Illinois to crack into the top half of the Big Ten and stay there. It’s not as easy a job as it looks with the Big Ten’s top half looking formidable at the current time.

          • Richard says:

            However, the goal isn’t to crack the top half of the B10 but to make NCAA tourney and Sweet Sixteen appearances.

            With the heavy reliance on the RPI, being in a tough conference isn’t a hindrance. For sure, at Illinois, Shaka Smart would have to make the Big Dance regularly to keep his job & wouldn’t be able to phone it in, but Illinois basketball has the resources of a top 20 program. In that respect, it’s a better job than Minnesota or Purdue basketball, where the expectations aren’t much less but the resources (other than IN’s bountiful bball talent in the case of Purdue) are less. Really, if he doesn’t want the pressure at _Illinois_, then maybe he isn’t the right guy for the job.

          • Richard says:

            Chris Petersen’s still at Boise. Gary Patterson never left TCU. In our current era (due to constant conference realignment), college football coaches have as much or a better chance of moving up in the world by staying where they are than their college basketball counterparts.

            In fact, I’d say that Chris Petersen has a better chance of winning a national title at Boise than Shaka Smart does at VCU.

            As for facilities being all the same, I’ll refer you to a recent SI article I read:

            “The reality is that while Minnesota is a good job,” Monson says, “there are six programs in the Big Ten that are great jobs: Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, with their superior facilities. So every year Minnesota is battling with Purdue and Iowa for seventh. If you win that battle, you are O.K. If you don’t, you get fired.”

            I imagine the facilities at a mid-major (not counting Gonzaga or Xavier, who, like Memphis back in the day, are really power-conference programs playing in mid-major conferences) can’t match the top half of the B10 either.

        • B1G Jeff says:

          I agree with you completely, Richard. Another great thing about Illinois basketball is event though it hasn’t been a perennial winner, it has a brand. I would think ‘The Flying Illini’ style would be conducive to attracting the same type of athletic talent that frequents Kentucky (not that I’m necessarily endorsing the one and done mentality).

          I believe the day will come when someone awakens the sleeping giant that should be Illinois basketball for the long haul. In the hey-day of the Lou-Do, U of I was stocked with Chicago talent (courtesy of Jimmy Collins’ recruiting skills). It’s amazing that with all the alums in Chicago, a better marketing and recruiting strategy hasn’t taken hold.

          • zeek says:

            Being in a tough conference is a hindrance in the sense that you’re not going to see more than 7 Big Ten teams going to the dance in even a peak year. Have we ever seen 2/3s of a conference make the dance? Even with the expansion to 68, that seems unlikely. Yeah, RPI is important but many do make the argument that you need to have teams with winning conference records (or at least even records), so we’ll see what happens on that front.

            Either way, I don’t think you make the dance that often if you run a program in the 7-8 range in the Big Ten, except in peak years, so you have to be able to crack the top half consistently…

          • Richard says:


            With all due respect, I think that’s nonsense. The BE placed 11 of 16 schools in the Dance just a year ago.

            You have to remember that the B10 doesn’t have any of the really big basketball kings (with both the brandname and tons of money: UK, UNC, Duke, and KU) & only IU and MSU have better basketball brands than Illinois while OSU has about the same brand but a really rich atletic department. Wisconsin and Michigana are about on the same as Illinois in brand and resources while everyone else is below. Illinois isn’t a school that should be in the 7-8 range in B10 basketball. With the resources it has, it should comfortably be in the top half. Iowa, Minny, and PU are the schools in the 7-8 range in the B10, resource-wise.

          • zeek says:

            We might be splitting hairs here, but resources wise, Indiana and Michigan State are going to be the top 2 right now (Indiana is a king and Michigan State has Izzo + prestige/history); Ohio State and Michigan are going to be the next 2; Wisconsin, Purdue, and Illinois are going to be the next 3. That’s squarely in the 5-7 range. Now you could certainly say that Illinois has more history than Wisconsin and probably Purdue, but I don’t think it’s a more favorable spot than Indiana/Michigan State/Ohio State/Michigan.

            Even then, Wisconsin and Purdue are both as close to firing on all cylinders as possible. Wisconsin’s been in the tournament every year under Ryan and won plenty in the tournament, and Purdue is also riding a similar kind of streak.

            In terms of where it is right now, Illinois is 7th in that group of schools in terms of where they are and where the short-term looks to be. Obviously, that can change in a hurry, but I’m just saying, I don’t think it’s anywhere near as easy as people make it out to be given how the top half of the Big Ten is performing.

          • Richard says:


            Basketball revenue (from
            Wisconsin: $17.7M
            OSU: $16.2M
            Illinois: $14.4M
            Michigan: $8.3M
            Purdue: $7.8M

            Basketball expenditures:
            OSU: $11.6M
            Wisconsin: $10.1M
            Illinois: $9.4M
            Michigan: $3.4M
            Purdue: $2.6M

            You can’t say Purdue and Michigan have the same resources as Illinois basketball when they generate about half as much revenue as Illinois and spend a small fraction compared to Illinois. Putting Michigan basketball on the same level as Illinois is actually quite generous to them. Putting them a level above Illinois is ridiculous. This isn’t football, and just because their football team is a powerhouse doesn’t mean Michigan basketball is a powerhouse.

            Even if MSU, OSU, and IU occupy the top, there’s no reason for Illinois to not compete with Wisconsin and Michigan for 4-6. The Illini has finished in the top 6 in the B10 28 out of the past 33 seasons. Expecting them to finish in the top half of the conference is not an unreasonable expectation. They no business scrapping out for 7th or 8th place most years.

          • Richard says:

            BTW, Purdue almost lost their basketball coach to Mizzou. Suffice it to say that Illinois would never ever lose their head basketball coach to a program such as Mizzou (which is a good program, but definitely not a king in basketball).

          • zeek says:

            Revenue/expenditures isn’t really as important in college basketball as it is in college football. What coach you have (and how much you’re willing to pay him) along with your history is what’s going to really determine how much you win; this is way different from football where you have to be a revenue beast almost by definition (mega stadium with mega fanbase) in order to succeed in attracting top of the line recruits.

            I would say Ohio State and Michigan have as much history in terms of winning in the public’s mind as Illinois does in basketball, and Michigan got hammered by the NCAA with the whole Fab Five thing.

            Even if you put Illinois on that kind of tier; it’s not going to be easy to break into the top half unless you find a solid coach and get him off and running. Those schools are all bringing in top of the line recruits right now, since they have well-entrenched coaches and are coming off of strong years.

            It’s just a matter of getting the right coach for Illinois.

            My point at the beginning of this was just more that college basketball is way different from college football in terms of being able to break in and win in the NCAA tournament.

            Gonzaga can win its conference tournament and get to the NCAA tournament like it’s automatic. Does a coach necessarily want to leave that kind of school for even a top 15-20 school like Illinois? Same question goes to Shaka Smart at VCU? Or Stevens at Butler?

            In college basketball, it’s just a matter of getting that 1 or 2 studs and filling out roleplayers; then you just hope your team gets hot from shooting, and you can ride that all the way. And you can do it in a mid-major conference with virtually no pressure if you’re a smart coach. Why jump in with the big fishes where you have to claw your way to a 11-7 record? Yeah, some coaches are going to want that kind of challenge because it comes with a much bigger stage, but a lot would rather take the security and just sit where they are.

            Heck look at the Illinois roster right now. They have a lottery draft pick and some other good players (including other possible draftees), and they went nowhere this year.

          • Richard says:

            “What coach you have (and how much you’re willing to pay him)”

            That’s kind of tied to revenues and expenditures.

            As for VCU, no, it’s not automatic that they win the CAA every year. Is VCU going to become like Gonzaga out in the WCC, or are they going to be like SIU in the MVC? SIU made the NCAA tournament for 6 straight years from 2002-2006. Now Chris Lowery (who decided to pass on several big-name jobs and stay at SIU) is fired. Gonzaga had $6.2M in revenues (and expenses) in 2010. SIU had $1.4M. VCU had $2.3M. Now, VCU could grow it’s attendance and donations the way Gonzaga and Xavier has (so that now they’re on the same level as the median BE team), but VCU isn’t there yet. At this point, they could definitely go down the path SIU did.


          • Richard says:

            As for how much revenues matter in basketball, there were 14 schools that had $15M or more in basketball revenues in 2010-2011. 11 of the 14 made the NCAA tournament. Illinois, Minnesota, and Arizona were the only ones who did not.

            Likewise, 11 of the 14 top schools in football revenues in 2010-2011 ($54M or higher in football revenues) finished .500 or better in conference play in football last year. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee did not.

            Revenues matter just as much in college basketball as in college football.

          • zeek says:

            Of course, but the whole expenditures thing in my mind is mainly driven by the head coach salary, which is determined by the coach’s value, since all of these schools have good facilities.

            If you’re a school buying a top head coach then your expenditures are going to look significantly different from if you’re trying to sort of build one up.

            I really don’t think $ are an issue for the HC spot at Michigan basketball (or Illinois for that matter); that program is just trying to go the alternative route of building one up similar to what they’re doing in football with Hoke (as opposed to Ohio State that is paying Meyer 2x+ as much).

            Given that they were coming off a couple of down seasons, post-scandal, it’s similar to what Indiana did with Crean’s contract (which pays him a similar amount in the coming years as Beilein’s and the two were set up with similar goals in mind (build their respective programs back up to glory).

            Regardless, you do make a good point that nothing is guaranteed, and certainly guys like Stevens or Smart could end up in a dead end if they hit a couple of bad years recruiting or don’t win their conference tournaments, as opposed to cashing in now and going to schools where it’s much easier to get good recruits and compete. I just don’t think it’s anywhere near as simple as the almost automatic choice in football where coaches almost always leap to bigger jobs because they max out the potential at lower tier schools…

          • Richard says:

            Wrong place.

            Here’s my repost:

            Chris Petersen’s still at Boise. Gary Patterson never left TCU. In our current era (due to constant conference realignment), college football coaches have as much or a better chance of moving up in the world by staying where they are than their college basketball counterparts.

            In fact, I’d say that Chris Petersen has a better chance of winning a national title at Boise than Shaka Smart does at VCU.

            As for facilities being all the same, I’ll refer you to a recent SI article I read:

            “The reality is that while Minnesota is a good job,” Monson says, “there are six programs in the Big Ten that are great jobs: Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, with their superior facilities. So every year Minnesota is battling with Purdue and Iowa for seventh. If you win that battle, you are O.K. If you don’t, you get fired.”

            I imagine the facilities at a mid-major (not counting Gonzaga or Xavier, who, like Memphis back in the day, are really power-conference programs playing in mid-major conferences) can’t match the top half of the B10 either.

          • Richard says:

            BTW, of the 11 bball programs that generated the most revenues ($16M or more) in 2009-2010, 9 made the Sweet Sixteen. 6 made the Elite 8 this year. By comparison, only 3 of the 11 football programs with the highest revenues took one of the 10 spots in a BCS bowl this past season.

  52. hinode says:

    That Chicago recruiting ground is a double-edged sword. On the latest ESPN college basketball podcast, one of hosts was talked about it’s a widespread belief in coaching circles that it’s impossible to recruit Chicago effectively without getting your hands really dirty, even by college basketball standards, moreso than many coaches are willing to stomach. You have AAU interests that are well-entrenched, and the University of Illinois doesn’t have the sort of state loyalty/prestige that helped pushed Cody Zeller to Indiana.

    The Illini fanbase as a whole seem to expect their coach to be able to dominate this region, but it sounds like that would take require a Calipari-esque mindset for any coach to accomplish. That’s the real pressure that comes with the Illinois job, moreso than actual on-the-court performance. There are reports that Shaka Smart had real reservations about recruiting Chicago heavily, which was the primary reason he declined.

  53. MIRuss says:

    Well, nobody should panic in Illinois just yet….I have a hunch if Kansas doesn’t get by North Carolina, Bill Self will be available!

    Seriously…I hate to think that it’s come to VCU being a better basketball environment than Illinois…even if it is Champaign. I mean, Lou Henson was an icon that got kids to go there and play! What happened to that tradition? Where’s the Illini fan base or alumni to help push the right buttons and get that program back where it belongs?

    It’s a shame….Illinois should be in the top 6 with a shot at the B1G title every year. No excuses.

    • acaffrey says:

      I am not an Illinois fan. But l don’t think it’s far to say that about VCU/Illinois. At VCU, Smart has some of his pieces in place. Why leave to go somewhere that is in disarray?

      Look at what Lavin did. He waited until a team with 7 Seniors could hire him. Parlayed that into an NCAA trip. Better than going to DePaul and sucking for a few years.

      Look at Rich Rod. Sometimes it is better to stay a hero where you are, rather than double your salary to take on a job that will be harder and with less margin for error.

      • Richard says:

        However, Shaka Smart should also look at what happened to Chris Lowery. He was one of the hottest coaching prospects a few years ago when he took the Salukis to 3 straight NCAA appearances including 1 Sweet Sixteen and could have gone to one of several power programs. He chose to stay at SIU, and now he’s fired.

        He should also look at what happened to Jeff Bower. He could have left Southern Miss for a bigger football program back when he was younger but he showed loyalty to his school. What was his reward? After 14 straight winning seasons, he was forced to resign.

        The guy who replaced him leared from that, so Larry Fedora jumped to a BCS program the first time he won more than 8 games a year.

  54. duffman says:


    go Sparty!

  55. Richard says:

    Ugh. #33 of Wisconsin got his defender up in the air jumping towards him and would have been shooting 3 foul shots with Wisky down 1 if he had just shot the ball instead of passing it back to a teammate who was 28 feet from the basket.

  56. Indy doug says:

    I guess we’ll really find out tonight if the b10 is the best this year as there are 3 B10-BE match ups. Round 1 to BE as Syracuse beats Wisconsin. Round 2 not looking too good for B10 either as Louisville beating MSU by 11 with 8 minutes to go

    • Brian says:

      Not a good day for the B10. I expected WI to lose, but MSU should have made the Final Four. Of course, it would help to score 50 points. OSU will probably lose too, to complete the sweep.

    • Brian says:

      Can we call it basically even? One big win for each conference, and a one point game. Sure, the B10 was the higher seed in 2 of 3, but matchups are a bigger factor at this stage of the tournament.

      • zeek says:

        It might be basically even right now, or a small edge to the Big East based on Michigan State’s inability to shoot, but we still have Ohio State-Syracuse on tap. Given that both put away similarly lower seeded opponents, that one will determine this, and it’s a pretty fair matchup as well…

        • Brian says:

          Also, Marquette got upset too. I’d call that even, with OSU/SU to come.

        • rich2 says:

          if “this” refers to B10+2 vs. BE in NCAA tourney, Sweet 16 and beyond, you are offering a really sweet bet for B10+2 fans (when it include OSU vs Syracuse): If the BE wins 3 of 4 matchups, the BE wins the contest and if the Big 10+2 wins 2 of 4, then the Big 10+2 wins the contest.

          • Brian says:

            Considering the BE has more teams to choose from, one game was basically a tie, and the BE also lost another Sweet 16 game, I don’t think it’s that “sweet.”

  57. frug says:

    Come on Sparty! We need to take two of these.

  58. Indy doug says:

    Round 2 to the Big East as Louisville beats Michigan State. The best basketball conference goes for a 3 game sweep as Cincy takes on OSU!

    • bullet says:

      To paraphrase Pitino. Its old home week in the CUSA. Louisville is in the elite 8 and Cincinnati and Marquette are trying to win their way in. Meanwhile, temporary conference mate Syracuse makes the elite 8 and leaves some NCAA units as parting gifts on their way to the ACC.

  59. MidMajorFan says:

    Realignment isn’t just for the BCS schools anymore. There are rumors of a mid-major battle royal between the A-10 and the CAA. The A-10 is interested in VCU and George Mason. The CAA is rumored to have invited Charlotte, UMass, Richmond and, maybe, GW in hopes of keeping VCU and George Mason. No way Richmond leaves the other A-10 privates, but the public A-10 schools might be enticed with the promise of moving up to FBS as a group along with JMU, Deleware, Georgia State, and ODU. App State and ECU might be in play as well.

    • vp19 says:

      GWU is private, last fielded football in 1966, and would probably love to see Mason in the A-10 to produce some sort of local rivalry. Georgetown hasn’t deigned to play GWU (once its chief rival; the schools are about a mile or so apart) since at least the early ’80s; Maryland faces GWU infrequently; and American and Howard, D.C.’s other Div. I schools, simply aren’t a big deal. In recent years, GWU basketball is virtually ignored in the competent, but unsexy Atlantic 10; adding GMU to the A-10 might lift the metro D.C. profile of both the Colonials and the conference.

  60. frug says:

    Well it’s all on you Buckeyes. Hopefully you can beat a team made up of players you passed on coming out of high school…

  61. Indy doug says:

    Not sure they passed on Gates but maybe

  62. Indy doug says:

    Well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad

  63. jj says:

    So what time does MSU start playing?

    • duffman says:

      What happened?

      score is low = favors MSU
      RP vs TI = favors MSU
      #4 vs #1 = favors MSU

      suddenly Sparty can not find the basket!

      • Brian says:

        Pitino is something like 10-1 in the Sweet 16, has 1 NC, 5 Final Fours and 2 more Elite Eights. I don’t think MSU had a significant coaching advantage.

        I also thought the matchup was bad for MSU. UL’s style of play and their team make up is exactly the wrong team for MSU to face.

    • Brian says:

      Midnight, I believe. Some Saturday in October.

  64. zeek says:

    The Ohio State and Wisconsin outcomes were fairly expected. To me, Syracuse just had to get past KSU to prove they could get past Wisconsin. It’s really the Michigan State-Louisville game that’s a shocker for how totally outclassed Michigan State looked. They couldn’t really hit anything; it was just one of those days…

    Oh well, Syracuse and Ohio State will get to settle this one.

    • zeek says:

      My read on Syracuse-Ohio State is that Ohio State should be able to get past Syracuse’s zone either by getting second chance points or getting hot from 3. Wisconsin went the latter route, which is obviously more risky, but for a while at the end of the 1st half, they were really stumped by the zone and let Syracuse get a 10 point lead until answering.

      It should be a really great game though.

      • bullet says:

        I hope they don’t call it as loose as Cincy-Ohio St. The ball handlers were getting mugged without any fouls. It was like an NBA refereed game.

        • Richard says:

          Actually, you don’t see much mugging in the NBA now. NCAA ball has much more mugging these days. I know what you’re talking about, though. Back in the ’90′s, the NBA was much more physical than the college game (about what NCAA ball is like now, though NCAA ball may be even more physical than the NBA was back then.

          • bullet says:

            Ohio St./Cincy was actually rougher on the perimter than it was down low. I saw at least 3 guys get flattened without a foul and I was switching channels a lot.

          • Richard says:

            Yeah, that doesn’t happen in the NBA these days either. I don’t know if it’s because NBA refs are full-time professionals while college refs do it part-time, but I generally find the refereeing in the college game to be pretty bad (especially when compared to their pro counterparts).

      • Brian says:

        OSU doesn’t shoot the 3 as well as WI, so they’ll need a different plan. OSU is more athletic, which will help. Maybe Sullinger can punish them for Melo being hurt.

  65. Brian says:

    And just like that, the state of Ohio is down to 1 team left. OU absolutely blew their shot by not winning in regulation. Xavier was lucky to keep it close. It wasn’t hard to predict, but still a little disappointing, especially since OU had a shot at the end.

  66. Richard says:

    IU-UK was a really well-played game. 35/37 FT is insane.

    Both schools more than doubled MSU’s total last night.

    • duffman says:

      I think it has been the best game of the tourney so far. It would be tragic if UK cancelled this regular season game, especially with the class IU has next season. Outside of WCBB who hits free throws like that? Because of UK hitting ~ 95% the score was skewed more than the actual live game.

      • zeek says:

        I don’t really get why they’d cancel it. Yes, they have extra SEC games now right? But we’re talking about Kentucky; the only games they lost this year were @Indiana and the SEC Championship game against Vanderbilt.

        It’s not like having Indiana on the schedule really prevents them from doing anything they were going to do in a 30+ game season.

        • Richard says:

          Home games. It’s the same reason why the football kings want at least 7 home games (and some want 8 some of the time). Bball games at Rupp are very profitable for UK. If you look at their OOC schedule, pretty much all their OOC games are at home besides their series with Louisville, IU, UNC, and the mandatory BE/SEC challenge game. To UK, that’s probably 1 HaH too many and maybe 2 HaH’s too many (Syracuse, which is another school that hosts very profitable home bball games, generally plays at most 1 true road OOC game a year).

          IMHO, UK will likely drop the UNC series, especially now that IU is on the rise again.

          • frug says:

            Prior to this season I would have said that Indiana would definitely be the one that gets dropped (if they had to drop one). After what has happened, I’d say they are just the most likely. Indiana has simply not pulled their weight in the series over the past 15-20 years and even though they have recovered they are still well below Louisville and UNC in the fans opinions. (Just look at the poll that Calipari put on his website)

          • Richard says:

            I’m on the website. I don’t see it.

            Also, Purdue and Navy have never pulled their weight with ND, yet ND would never drop those 2 in favor of Pitt, for instance, and I’d say they wouldn’t drop them in favor of Michigan either.

            In this case, I don’t think UK will be swayed by a fickle fan poll.

          • Richard says:

            BTW, that poll was put up before IU beat UK.

          • frug says:

            I know it was taken before the season, but to be honest I really don’t think it would change things now. It was 70% in favor dumping IU which is pretty damn overwhelming. And the ND comparison is off, dropping Purdue and Navy would have political blowback (even if as a private school they can’t be forced to play).

            Granted, the UK-UL contract expired this year, but I just can’t imagine that being dropped.

          • frug says:

            Sorry for the double post, but I will give you one thing in favor of dropping the UNC series is the fact that UNC is going to have to deal with new scheduling issues as well and just signed a multiyear contract to play Texas so they may be the least likely to object to being replaced.

          • Richard says:


            Your average sports fan who votes in an internet poll is very fickle. I could easily see sentiment swing by 30-40% if IU is a top 10 team next year. Even more if IU beats UK again.

            It’s why Calipari has flatly stated that fan sentiment would have no effect on UK’s scheduling decisions.

          • @Richard – I agree – this has more to do with Indiana being down over the past several seasons. That poll was taken before the Indiana beat Kentucky at the buzzer this year, so the poll numbers would probably be much different even today after that classic regular season game plus an NCAA Tournament meeting.

            Indiana – Kentucky basketball is similar to Michigan – Notre Dame for football for me. Kentucky – UNC and Michigan – Alabama might be really high profile games, but Indiana – Kentucky and Michigan – Notre Dame are true rivalries. There’s a significant difference there, where I feel it’s always shortsighted to cut off a true rivalry (especially when you’re both kings in your sport).

          • bullet says:

            UK-UNC has not been played that often historically. Its a relatively new series. UK-IU has been around the longest of any non-SEC series. UK-UL was basically forced by the legislature.

  67. duffman says:

    B1G in NCAA :

    Round 64 : 5 – 1

    #02 Ohio State beats #15 Loyola
    #04 Indiana beats #13 New Mexico State
    #04 Wisconsin beats #13 Montana
    #01 Michigan State beats #16 Long Island
    #04 Michigan lost to #13 Ohio
    #10 Purdue beats #07 Saint Marys

    Round 32 : 4 – 1

    #02 Ohio State beats #07 Gonzaga
    #04 Indiana beats #12 VCU
    #04 Wisconsin beats #05 Vanderbilt
    #01 Michigan State beats #09 Saint Louis
    #10 Purdue lost to #02 Kansas

    Round 16 : 1 – 3

    #02 Ohio State beats #06 Cincinnati
    #04 Indiana lost to #01 Kentucky
    #04 Wisconsin lost to #01 Syracuse
    #01 Michigan State lost to #04 Louisville

    Round 08 : x – x

    #02 Ohio State plays #01 Syracuse


    B1G in NIT :

    Round 32 : 3 – 0
    #04 Northwestern beats #05 Akron
    #06 Minnesota beats #03 LaSalle
    #07 Iowa beats #02 Dayton

    Round 16 : 1 – 2
    #04 Northwestern lost to #01 Washington
    #06 Minnesota beats #02 Miami FL
    #07 Iowa lost to #03 Oregon

    Round 08 : 1 – 0
    #06 Minnesota beats #04 Middle Tennessee

    Round 04 : x – x
    #06 Minnesota plays #01 Washington


    So Ohio State and Minnesota are carrying the B1G banner now.

  68. Brian says:

    Thankfully UL beat UF. I couldn’t stand the prospect of OSU losing to UF in the NCAAs again (if the beat SU, obviously).

    • duffman says:

      Tied at half, but SU is picking up more fouls, so advantage OSU in second half

      • Brian says:

        And OSU pulls one out in the tournament for a change. Congrats to Matta for getting over the hump again after 2 straight early exits.

        So how does the B10/BE comparison look now?

        S16 games went 2-1 BE but 1 game was a virtual tie. B10 was 1-0 over the BE in the E8. Both #1 seeds lost to the eventual regional champ from the other conference.

        Played above their seed:
        BE – UL, UC, USF 33%
        B10 – OSU, PU 33%

        Played to their seed:
        BE – MQ, UConn, WV 33%
        B10 – WI, IN 33%

        Played below their seed:
        BE – SU, G, ND 33%
        B10 – MSU, MI 33%

        I’d say both did well and there is no clear cut winner based on head to head so far. The BE achieved a little more in the tournament, but they’re bigger and had more teams. Unless OSU plays UL for the title, I think it’s a tie.

        • zeek says:

          I pretty much agree with that assessment. Plus, as many have stated before, the tournament is all about matchups.

          Considering that the two conferences were vying for top conference acknowledgment, both had solid showings. At least it didn’t go like last year when both arguably underperformed even though UConn won the title.

  69. Richard says:

    I think it will be UK vs. the ‘Cuse-OSU winner in the title game.

    • Brian says:

      KU already beat OSU once this year. UNC is hard to read because of the injury. If they make the F4, Marshall should be OK to play. I’ll assume OSU will lose until they prove otherwise.

      UK should handle UL, but anything can happen.

      • hinode says:

        KU won at home, with Sullinger out injured for the entire game. Ohio State would be favored in a rematch.

        • Brian says:

          Yes it was at KU and yes Sullinger was hurt. OSU was also #2 and had just finished crushing Duke at home the previous week. OSU hasn’t been playing like that lately, so I don’t know that they’d be favored (they might, it just isn’t automatic to me). I’m guessing it’s a small spread.

  70. zeek says:

    We’re probably going to end up with good conference/geographic representation here. Big East and Big Ten are both locked in, and SEC versus Big 12, ACC versus Big 12, left to go.

    As for Ohio State-Syracuse, it went pretty much as you’d imagine that game to go without Fab Melo. Ohio State dominated on the glass, and even though both teams were thrown off their game plans early due to foul trouble issues, Ohio State was able to get to the line early and often which in turn made Syracuse a lot less aggressive on offense.

    • Brian says:

      That foul trouble is why Matta’s short bench drives me nuts. It almost always happens to someone in the tournament and I’d prefer more experience for the players that have to fill the void in such an important game.

  71. B1G Jeff says:

    An interesting pair of stats just flashed on SportsCenter. Syracuse, under Boeheim, is 1-7 against the B1G in the NCAAs and the B1G is 5-0 against the Big East in Regional Finals. Go figure.

  72. zeek says:

    Watching that KU-UNC game, it totally felt like a KU home game. UNC looked like they only had the 1 section behind their bench; everywhere else was blue/red…

  73. jj says:

    So it has come to this.

    Go OSU. Or Kansas.

  74. duffman says:

    B1G in NCAA 11 wins and 5 losses ~ 69% :

    Round 64 : 5 – 1

    #02 Ohio State beats #15 Loyola
    #04 Indiana beats #13 New Mexico State
    #04 Wisconsin beats #13 Montana
    #01 Michigan State beats #16 Long Island
    #04 Michigan lost to #13 Ohio
    #10 Purdue beats #07 Saint Marys

    Round 32 : 4 – 1

    #02 Ohio State beats #07 Gonzaga
    #04 Indiana beats #12 VCU
    #04 Wisconsin beats #05 Vanderbilt
    #01 Michigan State beats #09 Saint Louis
    #10 Purdue lost to #02 Kansas

    Round 16 : 1 – 3

    #02 Ohio State beats #06 Cincinnati
    #04 Indiana lost to #01 Kentucky
    #04 Wisconsin lost to #01 Syracuse
    #01 Michigan State lost to #04 Louisville

    Round 08 : 1 – 0

    #02 Ohio State beats #01 Syracuse

    Round 04 : x – x

    #02 Ohio State plays #02 Kansas this saturday


    B1G in NIT 6 wins and 2 losses ~ 75% :

    Round 32 : 3 – 0
    #04 Northwestern beats #05 Akron
    #06 Minnesota beats #03 LaSalle
    #07 Iowa beats #02 Dayton

    Round 16 : 1 – 2
    #04 Northwestern lost to #01 Washington
    #06 Minnesota beats #02 Miami FL
    #07 Iowa lost to #03 Oregon

    Round 08 : 1 – 0
    #06 Minnesota beats #04 Middle Tennessee

    Round 04 : 1 – 0
    #06 Minnesota beat #01 Washington in OT

    Round 02 : x – x
    #06 Minnesota plays #03 Stanford this thursday


    Ohio State and Minnesota still carrying the B1G banner now.

    If you missed the Minnesota game, you missed a good game.

  75. bullet says:

    Kentucky in, 1 finalist to go. UK won 1st vs. UL 69-62 and dominated the boards. This game was 69-61 but UL dominated the boards.

  76. bullet says:

    Surprisingly few upsets this year. I didn’t pick many and I think this is the 1st time I’ve ever got the final 2. Got 3 of the final 4 (had Syracuse). Would have had all of the final 8 if I could have figured out the Florida schools (had FSU beating Cincy and Ohio St. and FL losing to Marquette). For a change, March wasn’t particularly mad. And two teams who weren’t officially conference champs meet in the finals (both won the regular season but lost in the conference tourney). Both repeated regular season wins. UK beat KU 75-65 back on November 15.

    • Brian says:

      If history holds, KU will choke but UK will have the season vacated. Calipari can become the first coach to have F4 trips with 3 different teams vacated.

  77. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Updated NCAA men’s basketball championship standings:

    UCLA – 11
    Kentucky – 8
    North Carolina & Indiana – 5
    Duke – 4
    UConn & Kansas – 3
    Florida, Michigan State, Louisville, NC State, Cincy, San Francisco & OK State – 2

    By Conference:

    Pac-12 – 16 (6 teams)
    ACC – 12 (4 teams)
    Big East (7 teams) & SEC (3 teams) – 11
    Big Ten – 10 (5 teams)
    Big XII – 5 (2 teams)
    Everybody else – 9 (8 teams)

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