Welcome to March.
Are you ready? Ready for tournament time?
The coaches are. Some of the coaches don’t usually care about the Big Ten Tournament – particularly Tom Izzo. The tournament rarely changes anything heading into the NCAA tournament, and the Regular Season Championship is considered more precious. But Tom Izzo seemingly changed his mind this season after being forced to share the regular season title with the Buckeyes and Wolverines,
We’re going to go win our championship back.
He’s ready for March. Are you?
You’d better be. This Big Ten Tournament promises to be one of the best yet. The field is deep with teams that want to win. Consider Northwestern, who has never been to the NCAA’s, and Minnesota, who would like to prove what they can do as a young team missing a key player. How about Purdue, with Robbie Hummel’s last go around. And that’s not even including Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan who would all love to be able to hold the tournament championship over their co-regular season title holders.
Just to name a few.
JoeD, WVaBuckeye, Dave, and I put our heads together and shared some of our thoughts on the Thursday matchups to get you ready for the first day of action.
Coming off a tough home loss to the Michigan State Spartans, the Buckeyes were looking to try to get back on track in the Big Ten. Getting a big road win, especially with the kind of focus the Buckeyes displayed in the victory, was important to see after how poorly the team looked against Michigan State. For a while the Bucks looked like they had the game easily under control, but give the Gophers credit for making a fight of it by the end of the game.
William Buford got it going early for the Buckeyes. He sank two quick outside shots, including a three pointer, and a nice floater on the left side before any other Buckeye even attempted a shot. Buford looked extremely focused all game and clearly wanted this win in a big way. He eventually scored 10 straight points without missing a shot before Minnesota began to find a way to defend him better. However, how Buford start’s a game is a good indicator of how the whole game will go – and Buford again had an excellent game.
Minnesota wasn’t just going to let that happen in their house lying down. Andre and Austin Hollins (unrelated) sank a couple sweet long range shots to help the Gophers keep the score close early. The vast majority of of the Gopher’s early points came from outside in the first few minutes as the OSU defense did a good job of shutting Minnesota down in the paint. It came as no surprise with Trevor Mbakwe out for the season.
The Buckeyes travel to the Barn to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the teams’ only meeting this season! The game is on ESPN, scheduled to tip at 9 PM EST. Leading off on ESPN is Florida at Alabama, only a moderate risk of an overtime game.
While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.
Tubby Smith’s troops took one in the chin last year, but you can bet that they’re ready to go this time around. Unfortunately, they’re a little light in experienced ball players this year around, and are missing a couple of key players from last season. Al Nolen, Blake Hoffarber and Colton Iverson (transfer to Colorado State) are all gone from what could have been a very successful team last season.
Take this as a compliment, but I for one am fervently thankful that Hoffarber has graduated and moved on from Minnesota. Easily one of the most dangerous sharp-shooters in the Big Ten last year – and considering the company that puts him with, that’s saying something – Hoffarber drove defenders, and me, nuts with his devastating three-balls. Every time he would spot up for a trey you simply knew it was going down, and it was honestly a surprise when it didn’t.
Well, ok, that only really ever happened against the Buckeyes, but it was still very annoying.
We continue our preseason Big Ten conference previews with the Hoffarber-less Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota fans, we’ll wait while you avert your eyes. I’m sure you don’t want to relive this crime against your basketball team again, and I can’t say I blame you. Read More
It’s that time of the year again folks! With the football season now a week away, it’s time to take you deep into the heart of Midwest football as we preview the Big Ten Conference.
Despite last year’s play resulting in a three way tie for the conference crown, this upcoming season in the Big Ten could be one of the toughest through and through for competing teams. Gone are the days of best records, three way ties, and
BCS controversy. Welcomed are a brand new institution in Nebraska that brings great competition to the conference, two new divisions with the worst names in college football, and a championship game that propels the winner into the best bowl game the conference has to offer.
Today Eric (Legends) and I (Leaders) break down the conference by division to get you ready for Ohio State’s upcoming opponents, and some great games on the schedule for 2011.
As the sun came up today, it was the dawn of the first day of “real” conference basketball tournaments! That’s right, folks, it is finally Day 1 of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament!
Each day this week, we will offer a brief rundown of the day’s matchups. It’s just a little something for you to whet your appetite with while you wait for the Buckeyes to take the hardwood.
Make absolutely certain you don’t take any of these predictions to your favorite betting locale. If you do, we’re not responsible for the results – unless you win.
The Big Ten tournament, as a whole has been a particularly unpredictable beast. Teams at the bottom of the seeding, knowing that their fates on in their own hands and their season is coming to a premature end, tend to play beyond themselves. It is not unusual for a team that plays in the first round to make it to the Championship game, though that’s also not particularly common either.
For our rundown of today’s games, Read More
Welcome to your Minnesota LiveBlog! Today’s game is the rematch of the game played a month ago in Columbus that ended in a 67-64 Ohio State victory. This time around, Minnesota is holding the home court cards but is missing out on their Senior point guard, Al Nolen.
For the preview of this game, click here.
The game tips at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, LiveBlog starts at 1:30. See you all here! Go Bucks!
Ohio State travels to the Twin Cities to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers tomorrow night, hoping to continue their unbeaten streak. This is, of course, the second meeting between these two teams. The first saw Ohio State squeak by the Gophers by three as a last second Minnesota three pointer bounced out. We’ll focus on what has transpired with the Gophers since the Bucks last saw them, so check out the preview of the first game for more.
The Gophers have played a total of 6 games since facing off with the Buckeyes in Columbus (then ranked #2 in the country). Following their close loss to Ohio State, Minnesota picked up a win at home over Purdue by the same margin, improving their chances in the conference title race. Their subsequent wins over Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern had fans feeling good about the team as a whole.
But there was only one problem. Senior PG Al Nolen had been injured at Michigan. While playing defense late in the first half, Nolen rolled his foot badly. He was quoted as saying that it felt like he had been stabbed. Serious pain for a rolled foot – which turned out to be broken and required surgery. Nolen is not expected to be back until at least March, and hopes to have rehabbed enough to participate in the NCAA Tournament.