The Big Ten tourney kicks off in a few hours and I’m in Indianapolis ready to watch all the games up close and personal. Like so many of you, I’ve been following this Big Ten season from the very start. Before the first game tips on BTN/BTN2Go, here are four quick thoughts on today’s matchups. I’ll be posting to BTN.com all day from press row – follow me on Twitter @BTNTomDienhart.
It’s almost tourney time so watch our experts in Indianapolis make their predictions in this post. Plus, our TV producers and editors worked long and hard to compile a glorious six minutes and 33 seconds of the best images from the 2013-2014 Big Ten basketball season. We’ve embedded it in this post, too.
Ohio State invaded Evan Turner’s new home, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Thursday for the Big Ten tournament. Turner, who was traded to the Pacers at the NBA trade deadline, and the rest of his teammates were around the arena for much of the first session Thursday. That meant the former Ohio State star and 2010 national player of the year was able to meet up with Thad Matta.
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The Big Ten Tournament opens Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. If this year’s Big Ten season is any indication of what’s to come this weekend, we are all in for one wild conference tournament. At this point in the year, teams have figured out both their strong points and weaknesses. And so, there isn’t a team in the Big Ten that doesn’t have some area that could be improved.
Before the Big Ten tourney tips off Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis, the BTN.com team offered its predictions. Who’s going to win it all? Who’s going to take Most Outstanding Player? And what about one bold prediction?
The Big Ten tournament tips off Thursday at noon ET, and it appears to be a wide open field, at least if you trust efficiency margin as a predictive tool. The last time the conference had only one team ranked in the KenPom top 10 was in 2010, when 6-seed Minnesota made a run to the tournament final to secure an unlikely at-large bid. Might we see something similar this time around?
The Big Ten tourney kicks off on Thursday in Indianapolis with four games. Teams seeded No. 5-12 will play. The bad news for these clubs: Just one team seeded lower than No. 4 ever has won the Big Ten tourney: No. 6 Iowa in 2001.
CHICAGO – The unpredictable nature of the 2013-14 Big Ten men’s basketball season sets the tone for what should be an exciting Big Ten Tournament for the nation’s most competitive men’s basketball conference. BTN will be there every step of the way, featuring three of the four nationally ranked Big Ten teams and offering complete coverage throughout with pre- and post-game analysis, highlights and more.
The Big Ten has revealed the bracket for its tourney, which kicks off on Thursday in Indianapolis. There are many interesting storylines, as Michigan looks for its first Big Ten tourney crown since the inaugural event in 1998. In fact, that’s the only time the Wolverines have won the tourney.
The Big Ten tourney bracket is set. Tip-off is early Thursday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The top four seeds: 1. Michigan; 2. Wisconsin; 3. Michigan State; 4. Nebraska. Those four, of course, all earn first-round byes. Here’s a quick look at what each team has on the line in Indy.
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Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Nebraska are the top four seeds in the 2014 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, the conference office announced on Sunday night. The 17th annual event will be played March 13-16 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
This is the Buckeyes’ third Big Ten tourney title in the last four years and fourth in seven years. No Big Ten team has more. Ohio State’s march to this point is impressive when you consider they lost Jared Sullinger and William Buford off of a Final Four team from last season. To win today, it was all about defense. In fact, these are the two best defensive teams in the Big Ten. And it showed. How rough was it? The Buckeyes shot just 38.5 percent.
DeShaun Thomas scored 17 points and No. 10 Ohio State used its stout defense to beat No. 22 Wisconsin 50-43 on Sunday for the Big Ten tournament title. Thomas was 6 for 19 from the field, but made some big free throws down the stretch to lead the Buckeyes to their fifth tournament title in nine appearances. Aaron Craft had nine points and six rebounds, and LaQuinton Ross also delivered a couple of huge plays for Ohio State (26-7).
Indiana and Wisconsin tipped things off on Saturday in a back-and-forth affair that did not go according to script. For one, Indiana was supposed to be the athletic offensive rebounding powerhouse, but it was Wisconsin that was crashing the offensive glass early, collecting 43 percent of its misses in the first half.
And then there were two. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Wisconsin will meet in the Big Ten tourney title game at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The Buckeyes advanced to their fifth consecutive title game by topping No. 3 Michigan State, while the Badgers eliminated No. 1 Indiana.
The Buckeyes overcame a sluggish first half to push past Michigan State and advance to the Big Ten tourney title game for a fifth season in a row and seventh time in eight years. Is there any doubt who is the best program in the Big Ten? Of course not. OSU hit just 34 percent of its shots in the first half but rebounded to knock down 52 percent in the second half.
If it’s highlights you’re looking for, the Big Ten tourney was the place to be. From Brandon Paul’s buzzer-beater in Thursday’s opening round to Keith Appling’s drive and posterizing dunk on Friday, there was no shortage of highlight-reel plays. Watch some of our favorite Big Ten tourney plays from the first three days in this post.
The last time Indiana beat Bo Ryan and Wisconsin, the calendar had just flipped to 2007. The date, to be exact, was Jan. 31, 2007. Since then, the Badgers have won 12 consecutive over the Hoosiers, the latest coming in Saturday’s Big Ten tourney semifinals.
Aaron Craft came on strong in the second half to finish with 20 points and lead No. 10 Ohio State past No. 8 Michigan State, 61-58 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
The Badgers slowed down the prolific Indiana attack, keeping the Hoosiers under 60 points. And this was an Indiana squad that came in averaging 80.8 points in all games. Wisconsin did a great job denying entry passes to the post and rarely offered open looks from 3-point range. Bottom line: It was a textbook Wisconsin victory. You see, this is why Bo Ryan was the Big Ten coach of the year. And, that’s 12 wins in a row for Wisconsin over Indiana.
Ryan Evans scored 16 points to help Wisconsin upsetIndiana 68-56 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Saturday. The Badgers allowed only seven points after the top-seeded Hoosiers pulled within one with 9:45 left. They earned their 12th consecutive win against Indiana, tying a record for any school against the powerhouse program, and will play Ohio State or Michigan State in Sunday’s final.
Scouting matters. Have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t know your opponent, you’ll get sliced up. So credit Indiana for blowing up Illinois’ offense by stretching its defense well out to the perimeter in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. There was no space to breathe for Illinois’ shooters, and consequently just 6 of Illinois’ 27 field goal attempts were three-pointers in the first half.