- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
- Oh my God! Costco lists Bible as fiction, Ron Burgundy memoir as gospel
Deep field could mean big thrills for Big Ten
CHICAGO (AP) - Indiana is standing tall again.
Michigan and Michigan State are right there with the Hoosiers, and Ohio State and Wisconsin aren’t exactly backing down from anyone, either.
The Big Ten tournament starts Thursday, and it’s not hard to see why Spartans coach Tom Izzo declared it one of the best ever. And by best ever, he didn’t just mean best Big Ten tournament.
“We’re looking forward to one of the great conference tournaments of all time, if you ask me,” Izzo said. “When you look at the ranked teams and the teams that aren’t ranked and everyone else, it should be a heck of a Big Ten tournament in Chicago.”
The league is tops in the Sagarin ratings and boasts five teams ranked in the Top 25, including four in the top 10.
One of those top 10 teams _ No. 6 Michigan _ didn’t even get one of the four first-round byes. Instead, the Wolverines face Penn State on Thursday after falling a point short of sharing the conference championship with a 72-71 loss to Indiana on Sunday.
They need to regroup and figure out a way to get past the Nittany Lions, a team that rallied from 15 down in the second half to beat Michigan a few weeks ago.
Besides Penn State, Michigan might also need to get by Wisconsin and Indiana to reach the Big Ten tournament title game. Those three teams have combined to hand the Wolverines (25-6) four of their six losses, and No. 22 Wisconsin (21-10) is lurking in the second round on Friday after taking the fourth seed.
No. 3 Indiana (26-5), the top seed after winning its first outright conference title conference championship in two decades, will face the Illinois-Minnesota winner. No. 10 Ohio State (23-7), the second seed, gets Purdue or Nebraska, while eighth-ranked and third-seeded Michigan State (24-7) awaits Iowa or Northwestern.
“Michigan’s playing for a share for a title. Unfortunately, they slide out. Now, they have to play on the first day. It just shows you how deep this league is, how good this league is,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “The top four teams get that bye, which is critical, and I know Michigan wanted that. But it’s pretty amazing how tough this conference has been.”
Standing at the top right now is Indiana after a long climb, and winning the conference tournament would be another notch for a program knocked to the ground not too long ago. It’s something the Hoosiers haven’t done since the Big Ten started holding a tourney back in 1998.
“You just told me something that I didn’t know,” coach Tom Crean said. “That’s how little concerned we are about the negatives, what hasn’t happened. It’s really not anything we’ll reflect on.”
He did, however, reflect on how far Indiana has come since he took over in 2008. That’s something he’s not shy about doing.
Indiana endured crippling NCAA sanctions in the wake of the phone call scandal involving his predecessor Kelvin Sampson and struggled to get back to the top. The Hoosiers won just six games his first season, but they made a big jump a year ago, orchestrating a turnaround that matched the biggest in Big Ten history on their way to a 27-9 record and a trip to the Sweet 16. With star Cody Zeller leading the way, they were ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll and spent a good chunk of the season there.
When they rallied from five down in the final minute to beat Michigan on Sunday, it was just another big step for a program that had picked itself up and dusted itself off. Now, the Hoosiers are again staring at some major obstacles, and as they prepared to take that next step, Crean couldn’t help but take a look back.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- President Obama acknowledges living with illegal immigrant uncle: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
White House pets gone wild!