It is day 3 of the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago and Purdue will finally take the floor. last year we were the final team of the 14 to take the floor for the first time, but this year we’re the 13th out of 14. We get the third game of the day against Minnesota, who had to work overtime to make it this far.
Here is your quick recap of day 2:
Ohio State 79, Indiana 75
It was a Loser Leaves Town match for the NCAA Tournament and it looks as if Indiana’s Tourney hopes are done. They fell behind by 20 and weren’t able to come all the way back. For most of the game they looked completely disinterested except for Devonte Green, who had 26 points. The victory did solidify Ohio State’s place in the field and got them to 19 wins overall. if they can beat Michigan State today that will help even more.
Indiana definitely qualifies as the most disappointing team in the Big Ten, if not the nation. They were in the top 25 and at 12-2 and leading the Big Ten at 3-0. They then fell completely apart. To have an all-Big Ten senior in Juwan Morgan and a lottery pick in Romeo Langford, yet miss the tournament with that start is essentially coaching malpractice. Let’s give Archie Miller an extension!
Nebraska 69, Maryland 61
Somehow, the Cornhuskers are still alive. If they get a stunning win today over Maryland they might even have a chance at the NCAA Tournament. They have clawed their way above the 50 line in the NET rankings and a win over Wisconsin would give them a fourth Quad 1 win. they seem like a longshot at best, but it is a chance. No one has ever gone from Wednesday to Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament, but they are 40 minutes away from that. A game against a deliberate Wisconsin team can save their legs, too.
Minnesota 77, Penn State 72 OT
This game had a lot of epic dunks, but it was a 15-14-5 from Jordan Murphy for the Golden Gophers that was the difference. It also probably secured Minnesota’s spot in the NCAAs. They re now at 20 wins overall and at 57 in the NET rankings. Even better, Penn State moved up to 47 and that means it was a Quad 1 win, their fourth on the year. Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Iowa are NCAA locks from the Big Ten. Ohio State and Minnesota are close, but can likely become locks with wins today. Ohio State is 55 and Minnesota is 57 in the NET, and each gets a shot at a Big Ten champ today.
Iowa 83, Illinois 62
The Hawkeyes win the first walkover game of the tournament and ended their losing streak. Nicholas Baer had 17 for them in a pretty dull game as Illinois played like they have for most of the season. It sets up an intriguing Michigan-Iowa rematch after Iowa beat them in Iowa City.
#1 Michigan State (25-6, 16-4) vs. #8 Ohio State (19-13, 8-12) 12:30pm, BTN
I don’t think Ohio State absolutely needs this game, but winning it would probably lock them into the field. If anything, they have established themselves as a team above Indiana in the pecking order. Would I put them in over Belmont right now? Personally, I would not. I would have them ahead of Minnesota, however. Beating Michigan State would definitely give them a boost.
#4 Wisconsin (22-9, 14-6) vs. #13 Nebraska (18-15, 6-14) 3pm, BTN
Surely Nebraska can’t make the tournament now, right? If they beat Wisconsin that would give them 19 wins, four in Quad 1, and a top 50 NET ranking. Wins over Wisconsin and in the semifinals would get them to 20, 5, and maybe even into the top 40. At some point fatigue will become a factor for this team, but Wisconsin is not going to run them. That makes them a fascinating watch today.
#2 Purdue (23-8, 16-4) vs. #7 Minnesota (20-12, 9-11) 7pm, BTN
Purdue did not play well in the four point loss to Minnesota a week and a half ago. Carsen Edwards, Trevion Williams, and Matt Haarms were awful. We need to get them going today or we’re going to lose again. These two teams split during the season and Minnesota had us on the ropes in Mackey. That has me concerned. At least Purdue is rested, and Minnesota is a bit shorthanded. We need to take advantage of that. I think a win secures a 3 seed for next week, while a loss opens the door to fall to a four.
#3 Michigan (26-5, 15-5) vs. #6 Iowa (22-10, 10-10) 9:30pm, BTN
This game has the least compelling storylines because both teams are solidly in the field. Weird stuff often happens in the last game of the day, however. Hopefully we can get past Minnesota, then sit back and watch this one. An interesting note: should Purdue and Michigan win the Boilers would then have a chance to beat all of the other 13 Big Ten teams in one season, something that has not yet happened for any team in the 14-team era.