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.
The opening day of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Chicago had its fair shares of thrills. Now that four teams are headed home and four others are headed on, let’s look at all four of Friday’s tournament matchups.
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.
This was no shock, as Iowa was expected to take care of business vs. the Wildcats. And, it did with efficiency. The Hawkeyes overwhelmed an undermanned Northwestern team with a balanced attack. This is a team on a mission, as Iowa fights for its first NCAA bid since 2006. The Hawkeyes have won three in a row and four of five.
The emphatic Gus Johnson was a busy man during the first two games of the 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament as he called both of BTN’s Thursday games with analyst Shon Morris. That duo will team up again to call Friday night’s games. Our BTN.com editors went ahead and stitched together some of Gus Johnson’s best calls from both Thursday games for the video compilation 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.
Devyn Marble scored 19 points to help Iowa hold on for an important 73-59 victory over Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday night. Mike Gesell added 11 points, including a clinching three-point play with 1:41 left as the Hawkeyes (21-11) continued their late-season push for a spot in the NCAA tournament with their eighth victory in 10 games.
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.
Michigan’s win over Penn State on Thursday in the opening round of the Big Ten tourney sets up an enticing No.4-No.5 quarterfinal matchup Friday at the United Center. The fifth-seeded Wolverines will battle No. 4 Wisconsin, and everyone remembers what happened the lone time these two teams met during the regular season. If not, watch this highlight. The Badgers went on to win in overtime.
Penn State stunned Michigan in State College (84-78) and gave them a tight game (79-71) in Ann Arbor. But there would be no nail-biting for Michigan in this meeting. The Wolverines trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and led by just two points at halftime. But Michigan broke open the game in the second half, shooting 33 percent from three-point range (6-of-18) for the game and hitting 19 free throws to Penn State’s five over 40 minutes.
The Fighting Illini didn’t shoot well (32 percent) but forced 19 turnovers and had 21 points off of those turnovers. Early foul trouble for Minnesota big man Trevor Mbakwe helped Illinois, as the sixth-year senior had just eight points and played only 27 minutes. The Gophers have now lost three in a row but still appear to be a lock for the NCAA tourney.
Trey Burke scored 21 points and No. 6 Michigan beat Penn State 83-66 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday, avenging a shocking loss to the Nittany Lions during the regular season. Find videos, photos, stats and more in this post.
Brandon Paul scored 25 points and hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lead Illinois to a 51-49 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.watch the video of the shot in this post and listen to Gus Johnson and Shon Morris on the call. Illinois (22-11) led by as much as 12 but was trailing by three when D.J. Richardson nailed a 3 with 47 seconds left to tie it at 49. That basket came after the Illini missed four shots on the possession. Find videos, photos and links in this post.
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.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Iowa is the school seemingly with the most on the line in the Big Ten tourney, as it is the lone Big Ten team on the bubble. Many seem to think the Hawkeyes need to win just two games to get an at-large berth. Meanwhile for Northwestern, speculation swirls about the job status of Bill Carmody. Could this be the last game he coaches for the Wildcats? Watch the highlight from their last meeting in this post. Thursday’s game starts at approximately 9 p.m. ET
Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports
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.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
How cruel and tough is the Big Ten? When Jordan Morgan’s last-second put back rimmed out against Indiana on Sunday and Michigan lost to the Hoosiers, the Wolverines went from being co-Big Ten champs to being the No. 5 seed in this tourney and having to play an opening-round game. Penn State has no fear of Michigan, beating the Wolverines once and almost knocking them off another. See highlights of the last time they played in this post.
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
Most every mock bracket already has these teams in the NCAA tourney. So, what are they playing for in Chicago? Probably just NCAA seeding. No doubt, more was expected from each team entering the season. So, the tourney is a new beginning and chance for redemption for these veteran teams that each went 8-10 in Big Ten action. Don’t be shocked if either one makes an extended run. See highlights of the last time they played in this post. Thursday’s game starts at noon ET and airs on BTN/BTN2Go.
BTN delivers team coverage of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday-Sunday from Chicago’s United Center and continues through the NCAA Tournament selection announcement on Sunday. For all tournament games, senior writer Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart), web editor Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina), and Big Ten Geeks blogger Josh Reed (@bigtengeeks) will be court side delivering insights and analysis on BTN.com and via Twitter.
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament is back at the United Center in Chicago for the first time since 2007. Before the action tips early Thursday, here’s a look at what the Big Ten tourney court looks like in the Chicago Bulls’ stadium.
BTN puts the full court press on the Big Ten Tournament, including four live BTN games featuring Gus Johnson, as well as pre and post-game shows, post-game press conferences, and a Sunday night special following NCAA Tournament selections.