Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, March 21, 2015
The Big Ten went 5-2 in its NCAA tournament opening games Thursday and Friday.
The two losses were close ones, too, as Purdue lost by one in overtime to Cincinnati and Indiana fell by five to Wichita State.
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All in all, it was a strong opening effort by the Big Ten.
Now, it's time to see what the conference can do Round of 32 games. Before those games tip off, though, I wanted to highlight the Big Ten's top individual performers from the opening round.
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year, poured in 28 points, the third-most by a Big Ten freshman in NCAA tourney history, and added six rebounds, two steals and two blocks in Ohio State's win over VCU.
Mike Gesell, Iowa. Gesell didn't just score 15 points, more than he had in the previous 12 games, he dished out six assists and, most importantly, had zero turnovers in Iowa's blowout win over Davidson.
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State. Valentine is used to contributing across the board, and he put up a Valentine-like 16-point (on just nine shots), six-rebound, six-assist, one-turnover line in Michigan State's victory over Georgia.
Aaron White, Iowa. White could do no wrong in Iowa's rout of Davidson, shooting 11-of-14 (79 percent) on his way to scoring a postseason career-high 26 points, including 13 consecutive early in the second half to help the Hawkeyes bury Davidson.
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin. See the graphic below? Yeah, Kaminsky is one of two Big Ten players ever to score at least 27 points, grab at least 12 rebounds and dish out at least four assists in an NCAA tournament game. Again, that's the second ever!