Ohio State 71, Penn St. 60: BTT Championship Rapid Reaction


The surprising Penn State Nittany Lions stuck around for as long as they could, but the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes proved to be too much to handle in a 71-60 win for their third Big Ten Tournament Championship in the last five years.

William Buford led the way with 18 for the Buckeyes and Talor Battle paced the Nittany Lions with 24 points on 9-of-20 shooting.

By: Nick Grays

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Big Ten Tournament: Notes, Quotes and Nuggets

psu hoops

Another Big Ten Tournament will soon be entirely in the books, and with it 7 NCAA Tournament bids from the conference. Yes 7! And the only way that could have happened is…with the exact scenarios that did transpire.

The final college basketball tournament bracket S-Curve, what Joe Lunardi uses for bracketology, has that Big Ten muddled mush of middle (Illinois Fighting Illini, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans and Penn State Nittany Lions) all in the mid 40s when it comes to their overall seed.

-No clear favorite for BTT MOP, but candidates include Talor Battle, Juice Thompson and Jared Sullinger. Juice is only on that list because he set a tourney record with 35 points on Thursday.

-Please use these hashtags today #PennState #BigTenTourney #TalorBattleforWoodenAward #TalorBattleforNaismithAward

By Paul M. Banks

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Penn State 61, Michigan State 48: BTT Semis Rapid Reaction

tom izzo michigan state

And there was two as the Penn State Nittany Lions shocked the Michigan State Spartans with a 61-48 win in the Big Ten Tournament Semi-Finals.

Talor Battle went for a game-high 25 points to help Penn State advance to the Big Ten Championship where they will meet the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.

By: Nick Grays

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Can The Purdue Boilermakers Salvage a #3 Seed?


The Purdue Boilermakers were dealt a serious blow on Friday Night when they were quite simply embarrassed by Michigan State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. This comes directly after losing in Iowa to close out the regular season.

These two steps in the wrong direction could come back to hurt the Boilermakers come Sunday when the committee considers where to draw the line between the 2, 3 and 4 seeds.

By: Nick Grays

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Penn State Stuns the Wisconsin Badgers 36-33: Rapid Reaction


In what can only be described as one of the worst offensive performances in Big Ten Tournament history, the Penn State Nittany Lions edged out the #13 Wisconsin Badgers by the low-low score of 36-33.

The 69 combined points were the lowest in the 14-year history of the tournament.

Leaders Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor partnered for 26 of the team’s 33 points and took a combined 37 shots.

By: Nick Grays

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Michigan State Blows Out #9 Purdue, Secures NCAA Tournament Bid

izzo-on-broadway

I guess MSU Coach Tom Izzo  finally got his Michigan State Spartans to realize that March is here? In their 74-56 rout over the #6 Purdue Boilermakers, State finally played like a preseason #2 team in national college basketball.

And of course they did it in March, a month in which they’re known to be at their best. It took all the way to the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals, but it did happen.

This was about as complete a game, at both ends of the floor that State has played all season. And the win, in very convincing fashion, over a top opponent has clinched their way into the NCAA Tournament.

By Paul M. Banks

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Darius Morris is Michigan’s Main Weapon


Just when the Michigan Wolverines looked like they were down and out, Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. sparked a rally in the second half to cut a 12-point deficit and upend the Illini 60-55 to earn the opportunity to face #1 Ohio State on Saturday.

The Wolverines were sitting firmly on the bubble before, but their new and best win of the season versus Illinois probably ensures them a spot in the Big Dance.

By: Nick Grays

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Illinois Fighting Illini Choke Away BTT Game to Wolverines

Bruce Weber Illinois

There’s only one program to have reached (or received a bye into) the Big Ten Tournament quarter-finals every year in the tourney’s inception, and that’s the Illinois Fighting Illini. In fact out of the 13 conference tourneys, they’ve reached the semi-finals in every year except one. Make it two after today’s epic choke job.

The Illini (who have the most BTT wins all time with 23) were living and dying by the perimeter game all day and it came back to bite them. They stopped getting looks inside, forced up terrible shots and committed loads of turnovers down the stretch as the Wolverines ended up beating them 60-55.

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Ohio State Buckeyes Aaron Craft Maturing Before Our Eyes


On Friday, the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes experienced two things their team rarely experiences; an off-shooting performance and a close game resulting in overtime. Luckily for the Buckeyes, they were able to hold on and knock off the pesky Northwestern Wildcats by the score of 67-61 in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

Freshman Aaron Craft was particularly great on Friday with his hard-nosed defense and a sense of confidence which has you constantly asking how old is this kid.

Senior glue-man David Lighty summed up Craft perfectly by saying “He’s not a freshman, his play speaks for itself. He comes in and plays his role to perfection.”

By: Nick Grays

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Illini Need to Play Loose (And Wiffleball) to Advance On

ready for the dance illini

What did Yogi Berra once say about half of the game being 90% mental, or something thereabouts? For the Illini Fighting Illini to make a long run in March this college basketball season, it’s all about getting/keeping their head right.

And that means playing free and loose. Which means playing some wiffleball?

“I think the biggest key to tonight’s win was wiffleball last night. We played wiffleball last night instead of doing the scouting report…what the heck, we’ll try anything,” Illini Coach Bruce Weber said following their win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.
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Michigan State Survives Iowa 66-61: Rapid Reaction


The Michigan State Spartans keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 66-61 first-round win over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday.

Spartans Head Coach Tom Izzo said it best when he said, “It wasn’t the prettiest of games,” as the Spartans  and Hawkeyes combined for 28 turnovers in a back-and-forth affair which came down to the very last minute of play.

But it was a pair of Spartans who made the difference with Durrell Summers hitting a couple of clutch free throws down the stretch and Draymond Green putting forth a monster double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds.

We all know what this means for the Spartans, but where do the Hawkeyes go from here?

By: Nick Grays

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Will Minnesota Gophers Trevor Mbakwe Leave For the NBA?


Minnesota Golden Gophers starting forward Trevor Mbakwe put together a more-than respectable season in his first year in the maroon and gold.

Mbakwe averaged a double-double with 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. His number of boards were good enough to make him the Big Ten rebounding champion and he earned Second-Team All Conference as well.

With NBA scouts in attendance to catch a glimpse of Purdue’s JuJuan Johnson and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger in the Big Ten Tournament, did Mbakwe do enough against Northwestern to put his self on the radar of prospective pro teams?

By: Nick Grays

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