Starting fives: Tirico, Dakich recall favorite Super Tuesday Big Ten games

Analyst Dan Dakich (l) and play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico have called many
Dan Dakich (l) and Mike Tirico have called their share of “Super Tuesday” thrillers. (Phil Ellsworth/ESPN)

ESPN’s Super Tuesday has all the makings of another magical schedule – action-packed games, down-to-the-wire finishes and all-around great Big Ten and SEC college basketball.

ESPN play-by-play veteran Mike Tirico and analyst Dan Dakich have worked the last two Big Ten Super Tuesday seasons together. Tonight, they are calling Indiana at No. 3 Michigan State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN); Texas A&M visits No. 14 Kentucky in the SEC portion (9 p.m., ESPN). The 2013 Super Tuesday series averaged a 1.2 US household rating, marking the highest-rated college basketball weeknight series on ESPN last season.

Front Row asked each to recall his top five Super Tuesday moments.

Mike Tirico
“We have been fortunate to call marquee matchups in what has been the best conference in the country the last three seasons. All credit to the players, coaches and the best conference for environment in college basketball. I also credit Dakich. . . his presence changes games! In chronological order, I submit these five, knowing some great games hit the floor here.”

Jan. 10, 2012: Our first Super Tuesday game together (the night after the college football national championship game) and Brandon Paul scored 43 as Illinois beat then-No. 5 Ohio State.

Jan. 17, 2012: The first ranked-meeting of then-No. 19 Michigan and No. 9 Michigan State in 14 years, the Wolverines won in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Feb. 19, 2013: Then-No. 1 Indiana won at No. 4 Michigan State with [former ESPN NBA analyst and MSU alum] Magic Johnson calling the game in East Lansing, Mich.

Feb. 26, 2013: Fans storming the floor as Minnesota beat then-No. 1 Indiana in The Barn [Minnesota’s Williams Arena].

Jan. 14, 2014: Unranked Indiana stopped then-No. 3 Wisconsin in Assembly Hall.

Dan Dakich (in order of preference)
Jan. 7, 2014: Then-No. 3 Ohio State goes down in OT at No. 5 Michigan State after giving up a double digits lead late.

Jan. 10, 2012: Brandon Paul scores 43 as unranked Illinois beats then-No. 5 Ohio State at home.

Jan. 14, 2014: Even fans of unranked Indiana expected a rout by No. 3 Wisconsin last week, but the Badgers lost 75-72. The IU crowd rushed the floor after.

Feb. 26, 2013: Minnesota’s upset of then No. 1 Indiana. I never heard The Barn so loud as the Gophers outplayed IU. Our table literally shook.

March 5, 2013: Then second-ranked Indiana falls to No. 14 Ohio State at home on Senior Night. OSU’s defense was too tough, sending 17,000-plus IU fans home sad.

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