The Big Ten tourney semifinal field is set, and it will be No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 5 Ohio State and No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Michigan State. Hard to complain about those matchups, huh? Get Tom Dienhart’s previews to both games, plus vote for your winners, in this post.
We had plenty of outstanding performances in Friday’s Big Ten Tournament action. Michigan notched a win over Illinois on a game-winning shot. Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat Nebraska. And both Wisconsin and Michigan State looked outstanding in blowout wins over Minnesota and Northwestern, respectively.
Day Two of the Big Ten Tournament was filled with a little bit of everything. We had close games, blowout games and some incredible individual performances. Either way, it sets up what should be two outstanding semifinals Saturday, with Michigan vs. Ohio State and Wisconsin vs. Michigan State. Let’s take a look back at the best sights and sounds from Day Two of the Big Ten Tournament.
As expected, Michigan State had little trouble bumping Northwestern from the Big Ten tournament in Friday’s final quarterfinal.
Healthy again, Michigan State toppled Northwestern, 67-51, on Friday night in the Big Ten tourney quarterfinals. The win marked the third-seeded Spartans’ third win over the Wildcats this season. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to the game in this post.
(AP) Branden Dawson had 16 points and Gary Harris added 13 points to lead No. 22 Michigan State to a 67-51 victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Friday night. The third-seeded Spartans (24-7), who lost 3 of 4 games heading into the contest, will face No. 12 Wisconsin in one semifinal on Saturday.
No. 2 seed Wisconsin delivered a significant blow to No. 7 seed Minnesota’s NCAA tourney hopes in an 83-57 victory over the Gophers on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tourney. Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points to lead Wisconsin to the semifinal. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to Wisconsin’s win in this post.
There are some that read way too much into the first occurrence of something. Like the hubbub made over the choice of an opening day pitcher, or the superstition that you can tell how a season will go by the first play. We Geeks pride ourselves in believing no such thing. We value large sample sizes over the random outcome of a single event.
(AP) Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points and Frank Kaminsky had 12 rebounds to lead No. 12 Wisconsin to an 83-57 rout over Minnesota 83-57 in Friday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. The second-seeded Badgers (26-6) have won nine of 10 and will face No. 22 Michigan State or 11th-seeded Northwestern in Saturday’s semifinals.
Never count out the champion, right? Reigning Big Ten tourney champ Ohio State rallied from 18 points down in the second half to top Nebraska, 71-67, and advance to Saturday’s semifinals. The Buckeyes will play Big Ten regular-season champ and rival Michigan in the first of two semifinal games Saturday. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to Ohio State’s win in this post.
A central tenant of Nebraska’s offense under Tim Miles has been to embrace your inner ballhog (our words, not his). While this approach may not win you many friends at the YMCA, it’s a perfectly acceptable strategy in the world of college basketball. With fewer passes, you have fewer turnovers, and a low-turnover offense is in itself more efficient. Sure, you won’t shoot great percentages, and you won’t get many assists (Nebraska is near the bottom of DI in assists per made field goal), but I’d argue that this collection of Huskers just isn’t build to shoot high percentages anyway.
By now, you’ve probably seen our BTN2Go mini mascot ads. You know, the ones where Big Ten fans have their school’s mini mascot attached to them at special events. Well, one Minnesota fan mimicked the idea Friday at the Big Ten tourney. Watch the Minnesota ad and see a picture of the fan at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in this post.
(AP) LaQuinton Ross had 26 points and 13 rebounds and No. 24 Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat fourth-seeded Nebraska 71-67 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
It’s well past the point in which a Sam Thompson highlight should surprise any Big Ten fan. Still, his highlights are just as exciting as ever. For the second consecutive day, the Ohio State high-flyer elevated for a ridiculous alley-oop at the Big Ten tourney. This time, on Friday vs. Nebraska, Thompson went for an And-1 alley-oop. Watch the highlight in this post.
When they last met, Michigan blew out Illinois. This time the game was much closer, but No. 1 Big Ten tournament seed Michigan did what strong teams always do – make clutch shots. Illinois had a chance to win it in the end, but the Wolverines escaped.
Illinois’ bubble hopes are over after a last-second floater from Tracy Abrams came up short to hand Michigan the victory.
Michigan had another late game-winner in Friday’s quarterfinal victory over No. 9 Illinois. This time, it was Jordan Morgan lifting Michigan to an exciting late win. Earlier this season, Derrick Walton Jr. (at Nebraska) and Glenn Robinson III (at Purdue) did the same to help lead the Wolverines to the Big Ten crown and the No. 1 seed in the tourney. Watch the three game-winners in this post.
(AP) Jordan Morgan scored on a layup with 7.9 seconds left, giving No. 8 Michigan a 64-63 victory over Illinois in Friday’s Big Ten tournament. The Illini had a chance to win on Tracy Abrams’ shot, but it bounced off the front of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
The first two days of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament are over, and Saturday’s semifinals are set. It’s No. 1 seed Michigan facing No. 5 seed Ohio State at 1:40 p.m. ET, followed by No. 2 seed Wisconsin playing No. 3 seed Michigan State. Track all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard.
Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
We sit a mere two days from Selection Sunday, yet much is still to be determined in Indianapolis. Thursday’s quarterfinals saw Minnesota and Illinois keep hope alive. How much more do these teams, along with Nebraska, need to do to get into the Big Dance?
Thursday’s action will be difficult to top, as every game had drama. Friday will try to live up to that billing with four interesting tilts. Here is one though on each game.
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.
Former Flyin’ Illini and current BTN analyst Stephen Bardo is in Indianapolis for the Big Ten tourney, and he’s providing quick video previews. Get his thoughts on today’s quarterfinal games before the action tips off in this post.