Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Nebraska are the top four seeds in the 2014 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, the conference office announced on Sunday night. The 17th annual event will be played March 13-16 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Why wouldn’t a season as wild as this one end with a crazy upset in the final game of the regular season? Nebraska upset No. 9 Wisconsin in the conference’s final game to highlight a busy day. In other action, Minnesota ran past Penn State, Ohio State nipped No. 22 Michigan State and Northwestern dropped Purdue. Catch up on all the action and video highlights in this post.
Minnesota honored its senior players prior to Sunday night’s game vs. Penn State. The Williams Arena faithful showered Maverick Ahanmisi, Austin Hollins, Oto Osenieks and Malik Smith with plenty of love. Ahanmisi and Hollins were the lone four-year players, while Osenieks played three years and recently decided to call it a career and Smith was a one-year reserve. Watch the Gophers honor their senior in this post.
The upcoming Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament promises to be full of intrigue and potentially wide-open. Five of the last seven No. 1 seeds have won the Big Ten tourney. The last time someone lower than a No. 3 seed won it was Iowa, which turned the trick as a No. 6 seed in 2001.
Michigan State used a run out of intermission to create separation from Iowa in an eventual 10-point win. Both teams scored nearly at will in this one, but the Spartans’ outstanding three-point shooting masked a high turnover rate that is becoming worrisome.
Michigan won the Big Ten title outright last night on the strength of a shockingly easy win at Illinois. Sure, the Illini don’t have an impressive record, but John Groce’s team came into the matchup on a three-game winning streak, during which no opponent broke 0.9 points per trip. This was a hot team whose defense was absolutely stifling conference opponents. Talk had even begun of this Illinois team somehow sneaking back onto the bubble in the season’s final week.