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Big Ten looms large

Top dogs are throwing their weight around in NCAA tourney

March 24, 2013|RedEye

The Big Ten was the big man on campus entering this NCAA tournament, with seven teams in the Big Dance. Four are left standing after the first weekend. Who came up big in the clutch? We rate the Big Ten teams' performances on our Madness Meter.

Illinois (4 out of 10)

You get your money's worth with the Illini. For every scoring drought they put you through, they give you a stretch where they look as potent as the Miami Heat. That said, Illinois couldn't get hot long enough to upend the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday. At least the Big Ten should be a cakewalk next season. Oh, wait ...


Michigan (7 out of 10)

There wasn't much suspense in the Wolverines' two wins in the tournament so far. But they brought their dunking shoes with them. Between Michigan and Florida Gulf Coast, it's a tossup (alley-oop?) as to who wins the title of Lob City, NCAA.

Michigan State (5 out of 10)

It almost doesn't matter whom the Spartans play or what seed they are—they find a way to the Sweet 16. Same story this weekend. Dispatched Valparaiso. Let Memphis hang around before putting the hammer down in the second half. Yawn. Wake us when they play a 4 seed or higher.

Ohio State (10 out of 10)

Buckeyes fans might still be holding their breath. Their team's first game was easy, a 25-point win over Iona. The second? Not so much. Second-seeded Ohio State needed a 3-pointer from Aaron Craft with less than a second left to knock off 10th-seeded Iowa State on Sunday. This after the Buckeyes benefited from a controversial offensive foul call on the Cyclones moments earlier. Whew!

Indiana (9 out of 10)

President Obama's pick for national champ is still alive! The top-seeded Hoosiers, who trailed most of the game against ninth-seeded Temple on Sunday, found a way to sneak into the Sweet 16. Victor Oladipo drained a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left and won 58-52. Just like that Gene Hackman flick, right?

Minnesota (3 out of 10)

The 11th-seeded Golden Gophers were good for one upset, beating sixth-seeded UCLA on Friday. They couldn't solve Florida on Sunday though, bowing out by ?? points. They still have hockey season though!

Wisconsin (0 out of 10)

The Badgers are the tortoise of college hoops. The slower they play, the better they feel. But their strategy backfired Friday when they were outscored 35-21 in the second half and lost to Mississippi. Gonna be a long spring—which is really just a milder winter—up in Madison.

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