Well, that was a fun opening day of the Big Ten tourney, wasn’t it? Officially, there was a pair of upsets, although No. 9 Illinois’ win over No. 8 Indiana isn’t all that much of a stunner.
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.
Iowa’s tailspin to close the regular season has carried into the postseason in the form of a stunning loss to Northwestern, 67-62.
Needing a victory to keep its at-large hopes alive, Minnesota gutted one out against a persistent Penn State squad. Although the Gophers’ lead touched double digits at times, the Nittany Lions kept fighting and had opportunities down the stretch to make a real game of it. An Andre Hollins three with 12 seconds left would ice it, and Minnesota fans could finally exhale.
In a game it needed to win to keep its NCAA tourney hopes alive, No. 7 Minnesota was able to hold off Penn State, 63-56, Thursday night in Indianapolis. The Gophers, led by Austin Hollins’ 18 points, meet No. 2 Wisconsin at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday on BTN/BTN2Go. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction in this post.