Before getting to today's games, here is a quick recap of yesterday:
Penn State 68, Nebraska 65
What a disappointing year for Nebraska. They actually began the season ranked and were thought of as a dark horse in the B1G. Now there will not even be an NIT bid. As expected, this was battled between D.J. Newbill, who had 26 points, and Terran Petteway, who had 29. Shavon Shields had 20, but Nebraska pretty much got a pile of diddly-squat from everyone else. Shields missed a three to tie as time expired. Now, no matter what, Penn State will have a winning record and could at least get an NIT bid.
Minnesota 80, Rutgers 68
And thus ends Rutgers' first year in the Big Ten. Now that they are losing their two best players it could get worse. I still have no idea how they beat Wisconsin when they played so poorly in every game afterwards. Joey King hit six three-pointers and had 20 points for the Gophers, most of which came during a critical second half run.
No. 8 Illinois vs. No. 9 Michigan, Noon, BTN
This game should be quite entertaining. Both games went to overtime during the regular season with each team winning at home. Illinois absolutely needs a win to have a chance at the NCAAs. Michigan is sitting at 15-15 and needs a win to have a shot at an NIT berth. Michigan has been the team that cannot close opponents out with four overtime losses since January 24, including one against Wisconsin.
No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 13 Penn State, 2:30pm, BTN
These two teams only played once and that was an overtime win for the Hawkeyes two weeks ago. Since Purdue gets the winner, a few overtimes so they are exhausted while we're resting is fine with me. Aaron White had a 21-14 double-double and was 11 of 12 at the line. It should be entertaining, at least.
No. 7 Indiana vs. No. 10 Northwestern, 6:30pm, ESPN2
Northwestern closed the season by winning 5 of 7 and showing they can play some pretty good basketball in the process. One of those wins was a 72-65 win over Indiana that was double digits for much of the second half. That's what showed that the Hoosiers were in serious trouble down the stretch. Can the Wildcats prolong that misery? Well, you can't spell "Indiana Basketball" without NIT.
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Minnesota, 9pm, ESPN2
Like the first two games of the day, this is a rematch of an overtime regular season contest. This was one of the first games where everyone realized that D'Angelo Russell is really, really good. He had 27 points, but Marc Loving won the game with six seconds left for the Buckeyes. Minnesota is still a good team with a lot of close losses. If they made it to Sunday they would have 21 wins and they would pick up three high quality wins along the way. It's not crazy to think that might be enough, is it?