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2014 Big Ten Tournament: Day 1 Highlights

The first day of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis was business as usual.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As I have said here many times before, I try not to write as a member of the media. Instead, I try to write like a fan that has been granted incredible access behind the curtain for events such as the Big Ten Tournament. Even with Purdue now out, the Big Ten Tournament is my 4-day reward for working so hard at this site year-round. It lets me enjoy four days of great basketball and everything that comes with it. With that, here are some of the lighter side highlights of the first day:

Illinois 64, Indiana 54

  • All basketball fans complain about officiating, but judging by the people sitting behind me, Illinois is the most inept basketball team in the history of the game. The Illini apparently committed some sort of infraction on every possession regardless of who had the ball, and often they committed multiple infractions on the same play. Pretty sure I heard "Crimes against Humanity" at one point.
  • I sat 15 feet behind Tom Crean. The dude needs some medicinal weed to mellow out.
  • The shortened nickname for "Yogi" is "Yo", as if a grown man going by the name "Yogi" wasn't bad enough.
  • Indiana, in person, is completely schizophrenic, even more so than Purdue. They can look fantastic for stretches, then completely inept in a heartbeat.
  • Is Illinois suddenly a bubble team if they beat Michigan? The overall profile is not bad, if you ignore that they went 1-10 in an 11 game stretch and took January off.

Tweet of the Game from each SBNation site:

Ohio State 63, Purdue 61

  • I am very happy Purdue went for three and the win on the last possession. 1. Why prolong the agony if you're going to lose in overtime, and Purdue probably would have lost, as it was down to 8 scholarship players and four of them had four fouls. SOMEONE was fouling out in overtime, and we were moments away from a Stephen Toyra and Jon McKeeman backcourt attacking Craft. 2. I had to pick my son up at day car by 5:30 and would have been late otherwise. 3. Either prolong the season by another day or not at all. None of this five minutes crap. We went through that with Northwestern, Minnesota, and Michigan.
  • Aaron Craft just has a way of making heady plays. The steal off of A.J. Hammons with a minute left may have won the game for Ohio State.
  • Ohio State fans behind me, during the lengthy review before the final play, said Purdue cheats. If so, we're the worst cheaters in the history of cheating since we finished dead last in the conference in football and basketball.
  • Up close, Purdue's body language was awful.You got the sense these guys wouldn't even pick each other in a pickup game.

Tweet of the Game from each SBNation site:

Minnesota 63, Penn State 56

  • This game was boring as hell until the final minutes when Penn State got within four. They even had two possessions where they miss layups.
  • The Penn State press conference was the saddest thing I have ever attended. Tim Frazier was the only player that came out, then fielded only one question because no one had any. Pat Chambers came out, didn't give an opening statement, and also fielded one question with maybe a 20 word response before leaving. Not a single person cared that Penn State was giving a presser and both questions were out of pity.
  • Penn State did have a very vocal contingent of students that somehow were seated in the lower bowl behind me. They were great.
  • Minnesota brought a strong student section complete with flag.
  • Richard Pitino is basically a younger clone of his dad.

Tweet of the Game from each SBNation site:

Northwestern 67, Iowa 62

  • My goodness, there were a lot of Iowa fans in the building. It is like they bought all of the Indiana fans' tickets on the street once the Hoosiers were out.
  • Loved the gesture of the Iowa players wearing warm-up shirts in support of Fran McCaffery's son.
  • Iowa closed the season losing 6 of 7, beating only last place Purdue. Are they a Bubble team now?
  • Did Purdue awaken a sleeping giant in Dave Soboleski? He was shooting 25% from the floor and 16% from three with only 11 total points in Big Ten play, but he had 8 vs. Purdue and 10 vs. Iowa, including a teardrop runner. Folks, when Dave Sobolewski is hitting teardrop runners, it is your night.
  • Is Northwestern at the beginning of the most amazing run in college basketball history? I am definitely pulling for them tonight.

Tweet of the Game from each SBNation site: