Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, March 14, 2014
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.
BEST WIN: No. 5 Ohio State beating No. 4 Nebraska, 71-67. The Buckeyes, the reigning Big Ten tourney champs, trailed by 18 points in the second half before rallying to pull off the biggest comeback in Big Ten tourney annals. That's impressive no matter the opponent; it's even more impressive when it comes against a white-hot team that had won eight of its last nine and was looking to bolster its NCAA tourney hopes.
Honorable mention: No. 3 Michigan State defeating No. 11 Northwestern, 67-51. Tom Izzo made it public knowledge that this year's Big Ten Tournament may very well be the most important one of his career. That's because his team has been so banged up and they need as many games as possible to play with each other before the big dance. The Spartans dominated in every aspect of this game, from start to finish.
BEST SHOT: Jordan Morgan's game-winner with 7.9 seconds left to give Michigan a 64-63 win over Illinois. The Illini had a chance to pull off the upset before the buzzer, but Tracy Abrams' runner caromed off the rim.
BEST PLAY: Denzel Valentine's behind-the-back pass to Matt Costello for the huge slam. Moments later, Costello added another powerful dunk to complete one of the most impressive sequences of his career.
Honorable mention: Sam Thompson's alley-oop dunk over Nebraska's Walter Pitchford. Every game, it seems, this guy is good for at least one highlight-reel dunk.
BEST PLAYER: LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State – 26 points, 13 rebounds, 9-18 shooting (50 percent). That's two impressive double-doubles in two games, if you're keeping score at home. This guy has to be the early leader for Big Ten tourney Most Outstanding Player.
BEST QUOTE: Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan on earning a possible 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament – "I never answer anything about seeds. Sunflower seeds, when I used to play baseball, I chewed them. That's the only seeds I know anything about."
BEST FAN COSTUME(S): Northwestern "geeks."
BEST FAN JERSEY: Young Huskers fan sporting a Shavon Shields Nebraska jersey.