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Thursday Happy Hour Is Ready for the Tourney

Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE
Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE

The first round of the Big Ten tournament kicks off today, and later this evening Michigan will know its first round matchup. Michigan hasn't won the Big Ten tournament since 1998 --- the first year the Big Ten adopted the new postseason format --- but with the way cold streaks have been falling this year, anything is possible.

2012 Big Ten Tournament Preview

Ready to steal the show: Tim Hardaway Jr.

Michigan’s sophomore scoring wing has struggled with his perimeter shot all season but he’s showing flashes of regaining his stroke. Hardaway has knocked down 7 of his last 10 triples after converting just 20 of his first 92 three point attempts in Big Ten games this season. Hardaway is the sort of player that has the ability to carry Michigan deep into the tournament if he gets hot from the perimeter.

Dylan from UMHoops with his BTT preview. I agree completely with his evaluation of Hardaway Jr. If Tim catches fire over the next month Michigan is a legit threat in both tournaments. If he struggles I wouldn't expect to win more than two games in each tournament.

Big Ten Tournament Preview: Thursday Early Session - Our friends over at Big Ten Powerhouse take a stab at previewing the Illinois vs. Iowa and Indiana vs. Penn State games.

Can the Gophers Make a Dramatic Run in the Big Ten Tournament? - No. The author really doesn't think so either, but man, hypotheticals are just so much fun.

Darius Miller, Jorge Gutierrez nab's All-Glue Team honors

[Cazzie] Russell understood what all great players know: It takes a lot more than big-time scorers to build a winner. As Russell later told, "I looked at him [Zack Novak] and told him if I were going into an alley to fight, he would be the first guy I would grab."

Seth Davis presents his all-glue team, and it really wouldn't be complete without an appearance from Novak.

Holdin' The Rope: Miscellaneous Minutiae, 3/8/2012 - Fouad over at Holdin' the Rope does his rundown of happenings around the college sports scene in the past week. Go for the Cosby jokes, stay for the insight.

The odd couple: Michigan's Mike Martin befriends Ohio State players in draft prep

"He’s an all right guy, actually," Martin deadpanned during a recent interview. "There’s just so much animosity and hatred toward each other('s programs), so there were a lot of things that needed to be said."

Does not compute.

Tremendous: Eldridge Massington Update

When I asked Eldridge where Michigan was at on his list after the offer, his answer was simple: "At the top". Note that Eldridge was also offered by Notre Dame today

Why yes, I do like knowing that Michigan is the out and out leader for a four star receiver from Texas.

Touch the Banner: Scouting Report: Patrick Kugler - TTB does his scouting report on Michigan's last offensive line commit and the results are right in line with what everyone else has said: versitile player could play anywhere on the line, but still a good fit at center. Not a spectacular athlete but polished, mean, and plays to the whistle.

From 5 Stars to First Rounders, the Predictably Uncertain Path from Recruit to Pro

Across all positions, each additional star more than doubles your likelihood of being drafted. It’s not only true in the aggregate but at the position level, as well. There isn’t a single position where a 3 star recruit is more likely to be drafted than a four star.

Speaking of recruiting, how much do those pesky star ratings actually matter on an individual level? The Mathlete breaks it down and shows that while there are plenty of specific cases of players outperforming low rankings, the odds are much better that you get drafted if you are a four- or five-star coming out of high school.

Picture Pages: Revisiting The Hash To Hash Drop | mgoblog

Getting rained on like this is a frequent problem in the current college football metagame. Offensive coaches are always searching for ways to get bad matchups; defensive coaches are looking for free rushers and no holes. The hash-to-hash thing leapt off the page in the opener because it was strange and seemed really hard.

There is absolutely no excuse not to read this. Brian at MGoBlog has always been great at breaking down film and plays --- and while not always getting the right answer --- he at least knows how to ask the right questions. In this case a certain defensive breakdown showed up early last year, and now that Brian has spent some time at various coaching clinics with the staff he can tackle what the problem was head on. If you have any interest in football strategy, you've gotta read this.

Pre-Snap Read: Michigan State Year in Review - Pre Snap Read runs down Michigan State's 2011 season and ends up devoting somewhere near 1/4 of the piece to Michigan and Ohio State. Just about what you would expect.

Big East Pays the Price for Not Embracing Football

Success invariably breeds overconfidence. This may be why the Big East founders were so opposed to having Plan B. Who needed Plan B when Plan A was working so fabulously? They did not contemplate a situation in which the Big East would be scrambling, in which basketball wouldn’t be enough to sustain the conference.

Did you know the Big East actually turned down Penn State in the late 80's? Talk about your all-time backfires.