After another day of close games at the Big Ten Tournament, the conference's heavyweights come to play on Friday. If the underdogs remain as game as they have been, we could be in for a third straight day of drama in Indianapolis.
Top-four seeds Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland and Purdue will all be in action, but they're facing a motley crew of underdogs. Michigan sees Indiana after fending off Northwestern in overtime. No. 12 seed Illinois will face Purdue after shocking Iowa on Thursday. Michigan State plays Ohio State, which just knocked off Penn State, establishing a strong potential for "Blank State" Taylor Swift puns. And Maryland, perhaps most surprisingly, gets Nebraska, and not white-hot Wisconsin, in the day's final quarterfinal.
Three of the four second-round games on Thursday were decided by four points or fewer, with only Nebraska's surprising 70-58 upset of the Badgers being decided by double figures.
Michigan is the only Big Ten team near the outside of the NCAA Tournament picture that could plausibly be looking in without hoisting a trophy in Indianapolis, but upsetting Indiana might be enough to get the Wolverines a pair of dancing shoes. The top-four seeds are all playing for positioning, with Michigan State, in particular, still in the hunt for a No. 1 seed and a shot at a path to the Final Four that would run through Chicago.
Keep up to date with the Big Ten Tournament bracket, schedule and scores here.
Friday, March 11 (Quarterfinals)
Game 7: No. 8 Michigan 72, No. 1 Indiana 69
Game 8: No. 4 Purdue 89, No. 12 Illinois 58
Game 9: No. 2 Michigan State 81, No. 7 Ohio State 54
Game 10: No. 3 Maryland 97, No. 11 Nebraska 86
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Best Tournament Player: Was it Carmelo Anthony or Christian Laettner?
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