10:15 PM – Make sure to stop back tomorrow for more live coverage from Indianapolis from WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell! A preview of tomorrow’s games will be up shortly to get you ready for all four excellent matchups.
10:00 PM – Gary Russell here from Indy finishing out today’s action. The second half started off with a flurry but Purdue really flexed its muscles in pulling away and beating Nebraska in the Husker’s first trip to the tourney by a score of 79-61. Today’s action reminded me of what the Big Ten is all about. While Minnesota’s overtime thriller was the best game of the day, the other games still showed us that the Big Ten has tremendous heart, determination, and class. Here’s to a great first day and an awesome second day.
9:00 PM – Gary Russell from Indy and Purdue is leading Nebraska 39-31 at halftime. Upset minded Nebraska kept it close early but they didn’t seem to have an answer for Purdue on the boards. The Boilermakers cashed in on their second chance points going up by 15 at one point. Bo Spencer hits a three and a lay up at the 2:03 mark shrinking the lead to 8. The teams trade baskets to close out the half putting us where we are at halftime.
7:40 PM – Northwestern’s dreams came to an end here in OT. A hot shooting Gopher squad made their free throws and some timely threes to post a 75-68 win. Shurna and Cobb combined for 45 of Northwestern’s points, while Andre Hollins lead Minnesota and all scorers with 25. Minnesota moves on to face TTUN tomorrow in game three of day 2.
7:20 PM – The Wildcats carried their two point lead into the final two minutes against an until-then-cold-shooting Gopher squad. Shurna and his teammates had opportunities to put the game away but missed a couple layups late only to see Minnesota tie it up at 61 with 55 seconds left. Both teams would trade misses at both ends before ending tied in regulation. Northwestern’s Big Dance dreams are still alive at 61-61.
6:20 PM – Game three of the day featured the B1G leading scorer in John Shurna. He didn’t disappoint in the first half going 4 of 6 from three – giving the Wildcats hope for their first Big Dance and the 36-34 lead at the half. The real story of the first stanza was the pace at which both teams played for the last few minutes, which caused the under four media timeout to not occur until the 1:30 mark. The Wildcats shot 9 of 20 from three, only slightly surpassed (percentage-wise) by Minnesota’s 7-15 shooting from range. The Gophers were led by Andre Hollins with 16 points, while Northwestern saw JerShon Cobb drop a career high 14 points on 5-5 shooting. Stay tuned to see if the Wildcats lead of 36-34 grows, or if Minnesota can end Northwestern’s hopes of attending the dance.
5:00 PM – The second slate of games are scheduled to start at 5:30 PM EST with Northwestern vs. Minnesota. Stick around for WVaBuckeye and Gary’s comments!
4:30 PM – Gary Russell here again live from Indianapolis. A close halftime score changes pretty quickly when Indiana opens the half on 16-2 run with an onslaught from the outside. Penn State starts cold and doesn’t score its third and fourth point of the half until the 12:03 mark of the second half. The middle part of the second half gets a little sloppy with both teams committing numerous fouls. The Lions show their heart by continuing to battle but they are unable to mount any kind of a come back. The Hoosiers win the second game of the day by a final 75-58.
3:00 PM – This is Gary Russell from Indianapolis and at the start of the second game Indiana comes out of the gate firing from all cylinders from the perimeter, but that didn’t scare Penn State as their grit and determination showed. The Lions hit a few of their own perimeter shots and keep driving to the basket. Indiana’s Verdell Jones went down at the mid point of the half with an injury but both teams finish the half with a couple of runs with Indiana on edging Penn St. 38-32 at the half.
1:30 PM – Iowa’s Matt Gatens out his team in his shoulders in the second half and assisted in a 20-7 run that put the Hawkeyes up by 7 at 60-53. Illinois finally answered with a three with about 2 minutes left to pull within four. Iowa made it interesting by missing the front end of one and ones and Illinois made a three o pull within one. That would be the end of the story as Gatens hits two free throws to finish with 20 points and seal the deal 64-61 and the Hawkeyes advance to face #1 seed Spartans tomorrow.
12:31 PM – Live from Bankers Life Field-house and the Fighting Illini tried to pull away from the Hawkeyes on a couple occasions to no avail. Meyers Leonard led all scorers with 10 points, and DJ Richardson hit a three at the buzzer to put Illinois up by four 31-27 at the break. Bruce Weber has been doing his best Tom Crean impression and almost got a technical for being in the way of an official. Good start to the tourney here in Indianapolis so far.