6A - Thursday, March 8, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
fiA - Thursday, March 8, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Top-heavy Big Ten begins tournament,
By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
Daily Sports Editor
With only one team truly on
the bubble, the 2012 Big Ten
Tournament has fewer implica-
tions on the NCAA Tournament
field than last year.
The conference is top heavy,
and this weekend's tournament in
Indianapolis will have more to do
with how the Big Ten's elite will
position themselves for an NCAA
seed, rather than which teams
will get into the tournament.
Only Northwestern is on the
brink - hoping to reach its first
tournament in school history -
and is facing perhaps the most
pressure of any Big Ten team this
Looking out for No.1
Michigan State picked a bad
time to hit the skids. After being
in control of the conference for
most of the season, the eighth-
ranked Spartans lost two straight
games to close the year, and Ohio
State and Michigan won their last
two to draw even and tie for a con-
This slide could be cause for
worry, as the postseason is not
an ideal time for a team to head
south (except for this year, when
the Final Four is in New Orleans),
but it might not be so bad. The
back end of Michigan State's
schedule included a visit to Indi-
ana - which had beaten now-No.
1 Kentucky and then-No. 1 Ohio
State in Assembly Hall - as well
as a contest with the Buckeyes.
To add injury to insult, fresh-
man guard Branden Dawson -
the team's third-leading scorer
- was lost for the season (and
likely next season) to a knee inju-
ry last weekend. Still, the Spar-
Senior guard Zack Novak and the Michigan men's basketball team will face the winner of Minnesota and Northwestern.
tans have the top seed in the Big
Ten Tournament and are looking
to vault themselves to the top of
the NCAA field.
Best case: No. 1 seed in the
Worst case: No. 3 seed in the
Ohio State was the runaway
favorite to win the conference at
the start of the year, and though
the Buckeyes did win a share of
the title, they performed well
below expectations. Whether
because of a reduced support-
ing cast or simply for lack of
improvement, star forward Jared
Sullinger leveled off this season
and lacked dominance at times.
It's been Deshaun Thomas that's
stepped up and carried the Buck-
eye offense for much of the year.
Still, No. 7 Ohio State has the
toughest frontcourt in the confer-
ence, and when guard William
Buford's shot is on, the Buckeyes
can be the most dominant team
in the Big Ten. A No. 1 seed is still
within reach if Ohio State wins
the tournament this weekend, but
the Buckeyes will likely settle for
Best case: No. 1 seed in the
Worst case: No. 3 seed in the
Not much to lose, not much to
A year ago, Michigan had to
sweat out Selection Sunday, but
this year's team can rest easy. The
Wolverines won a share of the Big
Ten and look to be headed for a
On Feb. 25, the Wolverines'
title hopes seemed to be dashed
when Purdue came in on senior
night and gave Michigan its first
home loss of the season. At that
point, the Wolverines needed to
win out and would need a lot of
help to attain their goal of win-
ning a conference championship.
In a series of games that usu-
ally are left to fantasy, the breaks
went Michigan's way and a soft
late-season schedule brought
the Wolverines their first banner
Michigan would likely jump
to a two-seed by winning the Big
Ten Tournament, while a winless
weekend might bump the Wolver-
ines down a notch.
Best case: No. 2 seed in the
Worst case: No. 4 seed in the
Wisconsin looked like it might
be headed for the NCAA bubble
early in the Big Ten season. Fol-
lowing a blowout loss to Michi-
gan, the 14th-ranked Badgers
had lost three straight and were
uncharacteristically shaky at
home. But order was restored and
Bo Ryan took the Badgers to a
fourth-place finish. Senior Jordan
Taylor regressed from last year,
but Wisconsin is still able to grind
down top competition.
The Badgers don't seem to have
peaked this season and the post-
season may treat them very well.
Best case: No. 3 seed in the
Worse case: No. 6 seed in the
Indiana has masqueraded as an
elite team, beating three top-10
opponents this year,but ithas also
had trouble away from Assembly
Hall. This weekend will provide
something in-between home and
the road, as the tournament will
be held in Indianapolis. But the
15th-ranked Hoosiers could sur-
prise as a five-seed, especially if
its hot-and-cold shooters start
Best case: No. 3 seed in NCAA
Worst case: No. 6 seed in
In and around the bubble
Purdue should ease into the
NCAA Tournament, but a first-
round loss to Nebraska could
shake things up.
Robbie Hummel has been on
fire lately, and Purdue may be
nearing its peak.
Best case: No. 6 seed in the
Worst case: Barely sneaks in.
Northwestern is ever-so-close
to letting coach Bill Carmody
answer questions about some-
thing other than the fact that
the Wildcats have never reached
the Big Dance. One win will put
Northwestern square on the
bubble and a second win against
Michigan should put the them in.
Best case: In the NCAA Tour-
Worst case: NIT.
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- The Michigan Daily
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
The Michigan football team
picked up its 14th commitment of
the 2013 class on Tuesday - line-
backer Mike McCray from Trot-
wood, Ohio - but the compliance
department was later alerted to
two possible minor recruiting vio-
lations made by wide receiver Roy
Roundtree and linebacker Kenny
Both instances occurred on the
players' Twitter accounts.
Roundtree is an alum of
McCray's high school, Trotwood-
Madison High School. On Tues-
day, he tweeted congratulations to
"S/O to my lil brotha Mike
McCray @MJM92013 for com-
mitting to Michigan today,"
Later, Demens followed suit.
"@MJM92013 Welcome to the
Maize & Blue my dog," Demens
Both tweets have since been
deleted. The Twitterspeak, how-
ever innocuous it seems, is in
violation of an NCAA rule that
prohibits players connected to a
program from contacting recruits
before National Signing Day.
"NCAA rules do not allow com-
ments about possible recruits on
an institution's social media page
or a page belonging to someone
affiliated with the institution," the
NCAA rule states. "In addition,
these pages cannot feature photos
of prospects and messages can-
not be sent to recruits using these
social media technologies other
than through their e-mail func-
Notre Dame ran into similar
trouble last week, when tight end
Tyler Eifert tweeted his impres-
sions of a recruit thatvisited South
Bend. The Fighting Irish reported
the potential violation.
The violations by Michigan and
Notre Dame are not expected to
earn much of a punishment.
A message seeking comment
from the NCAA has not received
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
The Michigan football team
scored big in Scout.com's first
ranking of the top-300 2013
recruits in the nation.
The Wolverines, who have
already picked up 14 commit-
ments for the 2013 recruiting
class, saw 12 of those commits
land on the top-300 list. The only
other school to reach double-
digit recruits was Texas (11).
Three members of the class
- offensive lineman Patrick
Kugler, quarterback Shane Mor-
ris and safety Dymonte Thomas
- earned five-star rankings from
The Longhorns are the only
other program with multiple
five-star commits (2).
Most notable is that while
Michigan had 12 recruits in the
top-300, the rest of the Big Ten
fielded just eight total commits.
Ohio State had five, while Michi-
gan State, Nebraska and Penn
State each picked up one.
It appears the battle is back
on: The Little Ten and the Big
The individual rankings of
each Michigan ranked commit,
MICHIGAN, 12 recruits:
Kugler (No. 25), Morris (28),
Thomas (35), offensive lineman
Kyle Bosch (49), offensive line-
man Chris Fox (137), tight end
Jake Butt (147), offensive line-
man Logan Tuley-Tillman (153),
fullback Wyatt Shallman (179),
linebacker Mike McCray (202),
cornerback Jourdan Lewis (251),
offensive lineman David Dawson
(264), wide receiver Jaron Dukes
5 6 T 8 9 10 11 12 13
24 26 2
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49 50 51 52
54 66 56
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