Five things for Friday March 14: Big Ten Tournament Tips off
1. The first round of Big Ten tournament games were yesterday, and there was only one major upset. It was the 11th-seeded Northwestern beating the 6th-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes. Northwestern got 20 points from Tre Demps and 15 from Dave Sobolewski in the win, and the Wildcats shot 11-23 from three-point range. Iowa is spiraling out of control, losing their sixth game in their last seven contests, many of which were to mediocre teams. I still think they make the tournament with their RPI at 45 and SOS at 22, but it may only be a one-game venture if they don't correct their defensive issues.
2. Looking forward to today's games, MSU will play Northwestern. The Spartans have won their games this season by 14 and 15 points. This is a really good matchup for Michigan State. I believe that the more games MSU plays this weekend, the more beneficial it will be for a group of players that haven't played together a ton lately. Michigan State should be able to get by the Wildcats and face the winner of the Minnesota/Wisconsin game.
On the top half of the bracket, Michigan plays Illinois and Nebraska plays Ohio State.
3. The girls high school basketball semifinals resume today, and two local teams are playing today. Grand Ledge plays Canton at 1 o'clock, and Eaton Rapids plays Flint Powers Catholic at 7:50.
4. With only sixteen games remaining in the regular season, the Red Wings need to play almost flawless hockey to make the playoffs. There is a massive logjam in the middle of the eastern conference standings, and the Wings are currently two points behind the Flyers for the final playoff spot.
Detroit plays Edmonton tonight, and the Oilers are traveling to Detroit from St. Louis on the second day of a back-to-back. St. Louis is arguably the most physical team in the league. Also, the Oilers are not good. The Wings must have two points here, because the schedule gets much tougher from here on out.
5. There were some excellent games yesterday, including Seton Hall upsetting #3 Villanova on a buzzer-beater. Kansas beat Oklahoma State in Overtime, Cincinnati escaped UCF, and Baylor upset Oklahoma. There is a ton of great basketball today too. You have to love March.
Steve Miller is on-air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. producing ‘Mad Dog in the Morning’ on The Game 730 AM. He also co-hosts Prep Basketball Weekly from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays, and can be heard on high school basketball broadcasts. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMilllerWVFN.
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