Northwestern has advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament, beating Minnesota 75-65, with the Gophers adding a passel of garbage points at the end. The Wildcats hit nine three-pointers, with Michael Thompson's five giving him 35 points. For Minnesota, Trevor Mbakwe led the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats will next get Ohio State, the nation's No. 1 team. Northwestern very nearly gave the Buckeyes their first loss of the season on January 29, falling 58-57 at home. The Cats couldn't get much going in that game, but did sink a lot of threes. It's kind of their thing.
Northwestern plays Ohio State at noon Friday on ESPN2. The winner of that game advances to the semifinals.
For more on this game, Northwestern fans should join Sippin' On Purple and SB Nation Chicago. Gophers fans should join The Daily Gopher and SB Nation Minnesota.
Here is the full Big Ten Tournament 2011 bracket (all times EST):
First Round: Thursday, March 10
No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats def. No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers,
No. 7 Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes, 25 minutes after Northwestern-Minnesota, ESPN2
No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers, 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
Quarterfinals: Friday, March 11
No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Northwestern, noon, ESPN2
No. 4 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini, 25 minutes after Ohio State game, ESPN2
No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers vs. Michigan State-Iowa winner, 6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers vs. Penn State-Indiana winner, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Semifinals: Saturday, March 12
Ohio State/Northwestern winner vs. quarterfinals game 2 winner, 1:40 p.m., CBS
Quarterfinals game 3 winner vs. quarterfinals game 4 winner, 25 minutes after first semifinal, CBS
Championship game: Sunday, March 13
Semifinals winners, 9, ESPN
For more on the 2011 Big Ten tournament, stay tuned to this StoryStream and join BT Powerhouse, Off Tackle Empire, and SB Nation Chicago. Browse our 298 team blogs for a community devoted to your school, and visit our NCAA basketball hub for more on other conference tournaments.