Gary Russell and I are covering the B1G Tourney live again although it’s not actually from Chicago! Some last minute travel plans fell apart and we are hanging out at his house in Zanesville covering the games! Hope you enjoy the updates!
#6 Iowa versus #11 Northwestern
The first half of the day one night cap has been all Iowa. They hold a 36-22 lead at halftime and the score doesn’t reflect how dominating the Hawkeyes have been. The Wildcats didn’t score until the 12:30 mark of the first half. Iowa has been very balanced on the offensive end. 8 different players have scored for the Hawkeyes, and none of socred more than 7 points. As painful as it is to say, Iowa’s Aaron White leads all scorers with 7 points. Northwestern is being led by Freshman Alex Olah’s 6 points.
Iowa didn’t quite dominate the second half like they did the first half as they did their best impression of Michigan in letting a team hang around. The Wildcats refused to go away getting the lead under ten several times and even down to seven at one point. Unfortunately for Northwestern, timely three point shooting from Mike Gesell and Roy Devyn Marble combined with a Flagrant One foul by Reggi Hearn kept pushing the Iowa lead back to double digits. In the end, Iowa knocked off Northwestern 73-59.
Iowa will now face Michigan State tomorrow evening at apprixmately 9:00 EST. We hope you enjoyed day 1 of the Big Ten Tournament. Remember to check back with us tomorrow as we update with all the action from Day 2 of the tournament!
#7 Purdue versus #10 Nebraska
The day started off pretty slow but there been some great halves of basketball since and it hasn’t disappointed in game three. Nebraska has been on fire and Purdue has done an admirable job of hanging on.
Shabon shields leads all scoters at the half with 15 points and AJ Hammonds and Ronnie Johnson are tied with 8 a piece for the boilermakers. It’ll be hard to top the Illini/Gophers finish but these two teams are trying.
Purdue had the right idea in the second half in Chicago tonight. Slow down or stop Shields. They were successful in that regards and held him to 4 points but took their eyes off of Senior Brandon Ubel who finished the contest with 16 and held DJ Byrd in check for the most part. Byrd had two threes on the night but the Boilermakers had troubles shooting all together finishing the night an abismal 23 for 57 and only 7 of 14 from the charity stripe. Nebraska wasn’t much better from the floor 21 of 47 but took care of things on the line 12 of 17.
The Cornhusker reward for the small upset over the Boilers is to take on the #2 seed Buckeyes tomorrow in the United Center at 6:30 on BTN.
#5 Michigan versus #12 Penn State
The first half of this game of this game has been a lot more more exciting than the first half of game one. D.J. Newbill is leading the way for Penn State and Michigan is riding a strong performance by Mitch McGary as the Wolverines take a 35-33 lead into halftime of the second game from The United Center in Chicago.
The game was led off with a three point shot from Trey Burke but then Penn State went off for 14 straight points (12 of those from the paint). After the first TV timeout, the Nittany Lions led 14-7. After that it was the Mitch McGary show that turned the tide in favor of Michigan. The Wolverines had a 35-26 lead with about 3 minutes to go in the half, when guard D.J. Newbill stepped up leading his team on a 7-0 run to end the half.
The second half was the complete opposite of the first half. Penn State tried to hang with Michigan early on by keeping the game within 5 to 7 points but they weren’t able to keep it close. The Wolverines used tenacious defense and a very efficient offense to pull away in the second half. Led by Burke’s 21 and Tim Hardaway, Jr’s 15, Michigan trounced Penn State 83-66. The Wolverine’s had 5 players in double figures, while Penn State had three, led by Newbill’s 20.
Penn State’s dismal season comes to an end in Pat Chambers’ second season at the helm. Michigan’s win will move them to the second day of the Big Ten Tournament and moves their all time tournament record to 8-12. The Wolverines will face Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon at approximately 2:30 as they look to try boost their NCAA Tournament seeding. Next up on today’s schedule is 7th seed Purdue and 10th seed Nebraska who battle at 6:30 EST for the right to face Ohio State tomorrow evening.
#8 Illinois versus #9 Minnesota
From the pathetic opening toss by Boroski to the 7 to 7 tie at the halfway mark of the half, it was a pretty uneventful first half of the B1G Tourney. Took Brandon Paul a while to get warmed up and hit a shot inside a minute to go to give him 12 for the half and the John Groce’s Illini go to the half with a 25 to 16 lead.
The Golden Gophers need to pick up their intensity to have a chance to close the gap in the second half and keep up with the hot handed Paul. Officiating was a little ticky tack in the half as all three officials needed to reach for some the calls they made. It didn’t effect the game so much as both teams should be in good shape down the stretch!
Minnesota finally woke up and went on a nice run to catch up to and pass the Illini in the second half. The Hollins brothers took over on the edge and Trevor Mbakwe inside gave the Gophers the edge they needed down the stretch. That wouldn’t be enough as Richardson hits a three with :44 left in the game and the Gophers turn the ball over on the other end(#19 for the game) and give it back to Brandon Paul and the clutch Illini hits a shot at the buzzer to win the game 51 to 49. Paul finished with 25 points including the game winner and was the only Illinois player in double fogures.
The Hollins brothers were the only ones in double figures for the Gophers as Austin had 16 and Dre 13. It’s the end of the tournament road for the Gophers and they will probably be an NIT participant. The Illini get the top seeded Hoosiers at Noon tomorrow in Chicago and desperately need the win and into the semi’s Saturday to have a shot at the NCAAs.