Thursday’s opening day of the Big Ten tourney featured a game-winning buzzer-beater (Illinois over Minnesota) and an upset (No. 10 Nebraska over No. 7 Purdue). Catch up on the best performances, numbers and highlights from the opening day of action at the United Center in this post.
Time and again, Nebraska got right to the rim for easy baskets off of drives. Tim Miles’ squad shot 44.7 percent and hit 12-of-17 free throws. Conversely, Purdue shot 40 percent and hit just 7-of-14 free throws. That basically was the difference in a close game. The Huskers had a two-point halftime lead that they pushed to 11 at one point in the second half.
Shavon Shields scored 19 points, Brandon Ubel added 16 points and eight rebounds and Nebraska beat Purdue 57-55 Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. The Cornhuskers (15-17) hung on after Purdue’s Terone Johnson missed two shots in the closing seconds and will meet No. 10 Ohio State in the quarterfinals on Friday.
BTN.com offers something new for the 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament – deeper live box scores provided by Stats LLC. How are they different? The Stats’ SportVU Tracking System captures X/Y positioning coordinates of the players and the ball to deliver unique performance data by merging the in-depth tracking data with traditional play-by-play information. What do the new stats include? Read about it below in this post.
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These squads met in the first round of the Big Ten tourney last season, when Purdue prevailed. And just like the 2012 tourney, this year’s winner will advance to play Ohio State. The Boilermakers bring plenty of mojo to the United Center and could be a dangerous team capable of a run, as Matt Painter’s team is playing its best basketball of the season. See the highlights in this post from the last time these two teams played. Thursday’s game starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.