Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals Preview
Teams are finishing their morning shoot around’s and now we wait for the fans to make their way into the United Center this morning. Today is day two of the Big Ten Tournament and that means the quarterfinals are on today’s schedule.
The schedule looks like this:
11am: #1 Indiana VS #8 Illinois
Approx. 1:40pm: #4 Wisconsin VS #5 Michigan
5:30pm: #2 Ohio State VS #10 Nebraska
Approx. 8pm: #3 Michigan State VS #6 Iowa
Indiana received a first round bye yesterday by being the top seed in this year’s tournament. The Hoosiers were ranked #1 in the AP Top 25 three times this year. They are clearly the favorite to win the entire tournament. But the Fighting Illini have other plans. They beat Indiana during the regular season and they are motivated.
Yesterday in the first round, Brandon Paul propelled the Illini into the second round with a last second game winning jump shot against Minnesota. John Groce’s team is motivated and they are looking to sneak into this year’s NCAA Tournament. Indiana would be foolish to underestimate the Illini.
Wisconsin also received a first round bye yesterday, they are another favorite to prosper in this year’s tournament. But they will have their hands full as the Michigan Wolverines are on a mission of their own. The Badgers defeated the Wolverines in a nationally televised overtime game in January.
Michigan learned from that game, and after yesterday’s domination of Penn State in the first round, the boys in the maize and blue will be ready for whatever Wisconsin will bring.
The most lob sided game of the day will be between Ohio State and Nebraska. Being the number two seed, OSU was the third team to receive a first round bye. Nebraska on the other hand squeaked out a two-point victory over Purdue yesterday. While I don’t expect the Cornhuskers to have the same success against the Buckeye’s today, they will give it everything they’ve got.
The most intriguing match up will take place tonight between Michigan State and Iowa. Michigan was the fourth and final team to get a first round bye. Iowa on the other hand, beat Northwestern for the third time this season. The Hawkeyes are a very dangerous team and should not be taken lightly.
The Spartans will need to bring their A game to avoid an upset. Here is a full report on yesterday’s first round schedule. And here is a full recap of yesterday’s games.
Let the games begin……