Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
We sit a mere two days from Selection Sunday, yet much is still to be determined in Indianapolis. Thursday’s quarterfinals saw Minnesota and Illinois keep hope alive. How much more do these teams, along with Nebraska, need to do to get into the Big Dance?
If you’re a fan of college basketball, then you have to appreciate how entertaining Day One of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament was. Four games were decided by a total of 24 points, with No. 11 Northwestern closing out Thursday’s session with a memorable 67-62 upset victory over No. 6 Iowa.
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.
Illinois rode a strong defensive effort to a victory over Indiana in the opening game of the 2014 Big Ten tournament. From the outset, it was clear that the Illini were going to aggressively double-team Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh on every touch, with the idea that a packed-in defense would force the Hoosiers to win the game from the perimeter.
(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.