Day One of the Big Ten Tournament is officially in the books. Just as the regular season was, the opening round of the tournament was anything but predictable. No. 11 Northwestern upset No. 6 Iowa, Ohio State and Minnesota recorded narrow wins over Purdue and Penn State, respectively, and Illinois topped Indiana, who many believed could make a run in this tournament.
Iowa’s tailspin to close the regular season has carried into the postseason in the form of a stunning loss to Northwestern, 67-62.
No. 9 Illinois dropped No. 8 Indiana, 64-54, in the opening game of the Big Ten tourney Thursday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. With the win, the Illini advance to the quarterfinals and will face Big Ten champ and No. 1 Michigan on Friday. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to the Illini’s win in this post.
It was just one year ago when Brandon Paul hit an unforgettable buzzer-beater to lift Illinois to a memorable 51-49 victory over Minnesota in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.
(AP) Tracy Abrams had 25 points to lead ninth-seeded Illinois to a 64-54 win over eight-seed Indiana on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Illini (19-13) used runs of 9-0 in the first half and 11-0 in the second half to improve to 6-2 all-time against Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Big Ten tourney kicks off in a few hours and I’m in Indianapolis ready to watch all the games up close and personal. Like so many of you, I’ve been following this Big Ten season from the very start. Before the first game tips on BTN/BTN2Go, here are four quick thoughts on today’s matchups. I’ll be posting to BTN.com all day from press row – follow me on Twitter @BTNTomDienhart.