If you like chalk, you will love the 2015 Big Ten Tournament. There were a few seed upsets in the early days, but four teams were awarded double byes to Friday for a job well done over the 10 week regular season. All four teams won on Friday.
Wisconsin 71, Michigan 60
Michigan played really well for most of the day, but for the last five minutes of each half it was like Wisconsin remembered it was Wisconsin. They were simply clinical to close each half and closed out as well as you can. This is definitely a No. 1 seed in my mind.
Purdue 64, Penn State 59
Let's give it up for D.J. Newbill, who played his ass off all year for a bad team and deserves a postseason berth of some kind, be it NIT or CBI. Rapheal Davis did a great job defending him, but he still put the fear of God into me even late when Penn State went over 8 minutes without scoring. Yes, Purdue sealed up an NCAA bid with the win, but Newbill is a hell of a ballplayer.
Maryland 75, Indiana 69
I have to admit, the "we don't even have the remote semblance of a post player" Indiana is kind of fun to watch. They get up and down the floor and shoot the basketball without regard defense. If they weren't IU it would be fun. They fought hard, but they are headed to Dayton at best with a long 48 hours to wait.
Michigan State 76, Ohio State 67
Michigan State was damned impressive with the team I fear the most in Big Ten play. They hit just enough free throws for the win, but that is still going to be an issue the rest of the year. They probably looked the best of anyone today.
Semifinal 1: No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Purdue, 1pm, CBS
It is a win-win situation for Purdue. A win means they can play for a championship on Sunday. A loss puts them likely in a 6/11 or 7/10 game and they can avoid a No. 1 seed the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. We have wanted a second shot at Wisconsin since playing them close in Madison, well, we have it. The Badgers should win because they are really, really good, but you know what? We might as well go after this and try to win it.
Semifinal 2: No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 3 Michigan State, 3:30pm, CBS
Michigan State probably wants to get out of the 8/9 game themselves, and a Big Ten Tourney title would do wonders for that. The way they looked against Ohio State it looks like a typical Izzo team getting hot in March. If they can finally hit free throws, holy crap.