Michael Mersch scored two goals and Joel Rumpel totaled 24 saves as Wisconsin kicked off the second day of the Big Ten Men’s Hockey Tournament with a 2-1 victory over Penn State. The Badgers will advance to the championship game where they will play Ohio State. That game is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET and can be seen on BTN/BTN2Go.
Ohio State dropped a tight one against an in-state “Little Brother,” which had to make the loss all the more frustrating. There wasn’t anything especially unique about this loss—once again, Ohio State’s offense stalled out when it had to play in the half-court. The outside shooting was tepid (3 of 12 on 3s), and the ballhandling was suspect (the Buckeyes turned it over on 21 percent of their possessions; Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross each had five of their own). And on the 27 occasions when Ohio State had an opportunity to rebound one of its frequent misses, Thad Matta’s team came up with the ball just three times.
The 2014 Big Ten Men’s Hockey Tournament kicked off with a bang as we had two outstanding games on Thursday. No. 6 Penn State opened with a memorable 2-1 victory over No. 3 Michigan in double overtime. Ohio State followed with an impressive 2-1 win over Michigan State in overtime. We tweet this links during games via Twitter @BigTenNetwork.
The first full-fledged day of NCAA tournament action was a success for the Big Ten. Yes, No. 11 Iowa lost a play-in game to No. 11 Tennessee on Wednesday. And No. 6 Ohio State fell to No. 11 Dayton today. But neither loss was a stunner. But the fact the defeats came early in the tourney, it caught the attention of critics. No matter, the Big Ten’s “Big Three” opened with victories today. And they looked good doing it.
Penn State Athletics
The first day of the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships is complete, and Penn State sits in first place. The Nittany Lions are one of two teams with 10 wrestlers still alive as they seek their fourth straight NCAA title. Penn State leads the team race with 26.5 points, just ahead of Oklahoma State and Minnesota, who are tied for second with 21.5 each.
Traevon Jackson scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds and Ben Brust added 17 points and four boards as they teamed up to lead No. 12 Wisconsin to a 75-35 victory over American on Thursday at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Today at 12:40pm ET, Wisconsin will begin its bid to get Bo Ryan that elusive Final Four appearance with a matchup against American. This one will be played in Milwaukee, so the crowd figures to include a heavy contingent of Badger faithful. That will help, but this is a game where Wisconsin doesn’t figure to need much of a boost.