2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament
Big Ten Tournament Recap: Opening Round
Iowa 64 Illinois 61
Iowa rode their senior leader Matt Gatens and his 20 points to a victory over Illinois in the first game of the day. Aron White was the only other Hawkeye in double figures, as the freshman tallied 13 points in his Big Ten Tournament debut. Illinois was led by their standout sophomore center Meyers Leonard. The future NBA lottery pick shot a sparkling 9-11 from the floor while also posting six rebounds.
Illinois had a shot to send it to overtime as time expired, but DJ Richardson’s three-ball couldn’t connect. The Illini’s nightmare or a Big Ten Season mercifully comes to an end, while Iowa’s dream of making the NCAA Tournament lasts at least another day.
Indiana 75 Penn State 58
As expected, Indiana rolled over an overmatched Penn State team. Jordan Hulls poured in 20 points for the Hoosiers, who got their first Big Ten Tourney win since 2006 in the process. Co-Big Ten freshman of the year Cody Zeller continued his stellar season, totalling 19 points and 10 rebounds. Penn State was able to keep it close at the half trailing by only six, but were unable to sustain it in the second. The Lions were led by Tim Frazier’s 26 points.
In a game that could pass as a conference tournament final, Indiana will face Wisconsin tomorrow in the 4-5 matchup. Penn State’s season officially came to an end on Thursday.
Minnesota 75 Northwestern 68 OT
The pain just never seems to end for Northwestern fans. Squandering a lead with two minutes left against Minnesota today might have been the last nail in the Wildcats NCAA Tournament coffin. The Gophers’ Andre Hollins was spectacular, scoring 25 points that included a clutch three pointer in overtime that put Minnesota ahead for good. The Wildcats were led by JerShon Cobb’s 24 points and 8 rebounds.
Northwestern’s chance of dancing is now completely out of their hands. They will have to sit and hope their name gets called on Sunday, while Minnesota will face the No. 2 seed Michigan Wolverines on Friday.
Purdue 79 Nebraska 61
In the day’s final game, Purdue was able to easily dispatch of Nebraska. The Boilermakers were able to overcome a bit of a sluggish start by leading for most of the game. Freshman Anthony Johnson scored a career high 17 in the win, with Ryne Smith adding 15 points on five makes from beyond the arc. Nebraska was led by guard Bo Spencer who scored 22 points in his last game as a collegian.
Matt Painter’s Boilermakers advance to play Ohio State in what should be another quality quarterfinal matchup. With the loss, the Cornhuskers have officially wrapped up their first season as a member of the Big Ten.
Quarterfinal Games Tomorrow
1 Michigan State vs 8 Iowa, 12:00 pm ET
4 Wisconsin vs 5 Indiana, 2:30 pm ET
2 Michigan vs 10 Minnesota, 6:30 pm ET
3 Ohio State vs 6 Purdue, 9:00 pm ET
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