If Jared Sullinger had his way, he’d be nowhere near the United Center this week. Thing is, the Ohio State product was sent to the Big Ten tourney by the Boston Celtics, his current employer. Sullinger, a first-round pick in last year’s NBA draft, underwent season-ending back surgery last month, and while he’s recovering, the Celtics decided to send him to Chicago to test his basketball IQ, if you will.
The Badgers were able to dictate the pace, playing a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair. Michigan? It wanted to play this game in the 70s or 80s—but it never was able to get on track with its array of high-flying perimeter talent. Wisconsin shot just 38 percent but hit eight 3-pointers to Michigan’s three.
Ben Brust scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and No. 22 Wisconsin knocked off sixth-ranked Michigan 68-59 in the second round of the Big Ten tournament on Friday. Traevon Jackson had 16 points for the Badgers (22-10), who will play top-seeded Indiana in the semifinals on Saturday. Ryan Evans added 12 points, six rebounds and six assist.
The Hoosiers came out playing rugged defense, forcing Illinois into myriad bad shots in limiting the Illini to 21 first-half points and 25.9 percent shooting and forcing eight turnovers. And that theme continued in the second half in a game that never really was that close, as Illinois shot just 34 percent and had 12 turnovers. Brandon Paul had 16 points but hit just 2-of-13 shots.
The tournament opener between Illinois and Minnesota didn’t offer much in the way of aesthetically pleasing play, but a buzzer beater has a way of upping the entertainment value. The Gophers turned it over on a season-worst 35 percent of their possessions, allowing the Illini to stay in the game dispute big Minnesota advantages in every other category.
Cody Zeller scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 3 Indiana past Illinois 80-64 Friday in the Big Ten quarterfinals. The top-seeded Hoosiers (27-5) are off to a good start after claiming their first outright conference title in two decades and earning a first-round bye.
Turns out, a Big Ten team will wear the new adidas camouflage (Zubaz?) uniform this postseason. Michigan tweeted a photo of the team’s uniform for Friday’s quarterfinal game vs. Wisconsin, and it’s the school’s version of what Cincinnati and Notre Dame, among others, have worn this week. See a photo of the picture in this post.