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2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball

 
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Big Ten Basketball Weekly Recap


 

Scores

Tuesday, February 28

Indiana 70 Michigan State 55

Wisconsin 52 Minnesota 45

Wednesday, February 29

Ohio State 75 Northwestern 73

Purdue 80 Penn State 56

Iowa 62 Nebraska 53

Thursday, March 1

Michigan 72 Illinois 61

Saturday, March 3

Northwestern 70 Iowa 66

Minnesota 81 Nebraska 69

Sunday, March 4

Ohio State 72 Michigan State 70

Wisconsin 70 Illinois 56

Michigan 71 Penn State 65

Indiana 85 Purdue 74

The Big Ten Conference's regular season ended with a big burst of color, as unexpected plot twists enabled three teams to hang championship banners from the rafters of their respective arenas next season. The Michigan State Spartans had already clinched a share of the Big Ten crown and the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but rousing developments on the final day of the regular season enabled four other colors to join the Big Ten's championship parade: scarlet, gray, maize, and blue. Yes, Ohio State outfought Michigan State in a classic contest to give the Buckeyes - and the Michigan Wolverines - a share of the league title along with Michigan State. Ohio State rejoiced at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan, after outdueling the Spartans thanks to a ballsy William Buford jumper with one second left in regulation, but Michigan fans - normally the last to root for Ohio State - also exulted when the Buckeyes stopped coach Tom Izzo's Michigan State men.

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In the first half, Ohio State looked like a team that wasn't ready to win this game. The Buckeyes faltered badly a week ago against Wisconsin and showed signs of fraying at the edges. However, a huge performance from unlikely backup big man Evan Ravenel (7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in eight crunch-time minutes down the stretch) gave Ohio State the extra dimension it had been missing. Buford scored 25 to lead Ohio State, while Jared Sullinger chipped in 14 points and 10 boards. Draymond Green scored 19 points for Michigan State, but he hit only 6 of 18 field goals on what was a subpar day for him. Michigan State's lack of offensive balance came back to bit the Spartans, but even Izzo couldn't have imagined how well Ohio State's bench was going to play in this game. The Buckeyes managed to regroup in a big way, transforming their emotional state and giving themselves a fresh injection of confidence before the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State would have preferred to win the Big Ten outright while also getting a No. 1 seed (that's probably unlikely for the Spartans at this point), but it can still go into March Madness knowing how much it needs to improve. Michigan, for its part, should be thrilled to share the Big Ten, an outstanding achievement for coach John Beilein.

Also from the past week, the Northwestern Wildcats, who have never made the NCAA Tournament, stayed in the conversation by beating Iowa on Saturday. The Wildcats could have used a win over Ohio State on Wednesday but lost on a Jared Sullinger bank shot with 3.1 seconds left. They must win one game at the Big Ten Tournament just to stay alive, and they'll probably need two wins to make the field of 68. Illinois is done after losing two more games, and Wisconsin locked up a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament this past week.

Big Ten Conference Tournament Matchups:

First Round:

Game 1: (9) Illinois vs. (8) Iowa

Game 2: (12) Penn State vs. (5) Indiana

Game 3: (10) Minnesota vs. (7) Northwestern

Game 4: (11) Nebraska vs. (6) Purdue

Quarterfinals:

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. (1) Michigan State

Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. (4) Wisconsin

Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. (2) Michigan

Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. (3) Ohio State

Semifinals

Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner

Championship

Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner

 

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer

 

 

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