B1G Tournament Wrap-Up – Day 3

B1G Tournament Wrap-Up – Day 3

After an exciting Day 2 which saw both Illinois and Nebraska pull upsets, Day 3 of the B1G Tournament started off with a bang – Michigan defeating top seed Indiana.  However, things settled down from there and the remaining top seeds all held serve.  Let’s take a quick look at each game and what it means for the teams involved.

 

Game 1 – Indiana vs. Michigan

This was easily the most exciting game of the day.  Indiana held a slim lead at half as these teams battled throughout the entire game with neither team holding more than a 5-point advantage.  Duncan Robinson hit a three from the wing for Michigan to tie that game at 69.  That set up a magical moment for Kameron Chatman as he buried a three pointer from the corner to win the game for the Wolverines, 72-69.

Michigan finished with four players in double figures led by Zac Irvin’s 17.  Indiana was paced by Troy Williams 16 points.  Yogi Ferrell contributed with 14 points and 8 assists.

What does it mean?

For Michigan this was a must win game.  Even after their victory over Indiana most bracket predictions have them out of the tournament in the “First Four Out” category.  They will need a semifinal win against Purdue and possibly more to secure an NCAA tournament berth.

Indiana currently sits as a 3-seed in most projections.  However, according to bracketmatrix.com they are the lowest ranked of the teams on the 3-seed line.  With the two teams closest on their heels—Kentucky and Purdue—still alive in their conference tournaments, Indiana will be looking over their shoulder for the remainder of the weekend.

 

Game 2 – Purdue vs. Illinois

Hot off their upset win over Iowa, Illinois came into the game looking for another surprise victory.  However, Purdue had other thoughts in mind.  Purdue utilized their size advantage inside to largely dominate the game from start to finish.  Purdue led 45-25 at the break, and led by as much as 44 in the second half.  The Boilermakers came away with an 89-58 win.

Purdue’s interior trio of A.J. Hammons, Isaac Haas, and Caleb Swanigan combined for 37 points on 18 of 25 shooting while grabbing 23 rebounds.  Illinois was led by Malcolm Hill who finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

What does it mean?

Purdue will face Michigan in the semifinal with a chance to improve their NCAA tournament seeding.  As mentioned earlier, they currently sit behind Indiana and Kentucky in most bracketologies for a chance at a 3-seed.  To have a chance they must beat Michigan and most likely win the B1G tournament.

Illinois finishes the season 15-19.  They will not qualify for post-season play due to their below .500 record.  The Illini fall to 75-60 under John Groce with decreasing win totals in each season under his leadership

 

Game 3 – Michigan State vs. Ohio State

Denzel Valentine’s near triple-double paced Michigan State as they pulled away from Ohio State for an 81-54 victory.  The Spartans led 33-26 at the break after a sloppy first half.  The second half was a different story as Michigan State outscored the Buckeyes by 20 and cruised to the lopsided victory.

Denzel Valentine led the Spartans with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists.  Three other players scored in double figures for Michigan State led by Eron Harris’ 13.  JaQuan Lyle was the only Buckeye to net double finished as he finished with 10 points.

What does it mean?

Michigan State advances to the semifinals to take on Maryland.  The Spartans are in hot pursuit of a 1-seed for the NCAA tournament.  Many projections have them as a top seed, but they are currently the highest ranked 2-seed on bracketmatrix.com slightly trailing Oklahoma and Virginia.  A conference tournament title should earn the Spartans a top seed, but nothing is guaranteed.

For Ohio State, it looks like they are headed to the NIT.  The Buckeyes wrap up the regular season at 20-13, but with an RPI of 71 most NCAA predictions have Ohio State on the outside looking in for the Big Dance.

Game 4 – Maryland vs. Nebraska

Maryland withstood a late rally by upset-minded Nebraska to pull out a 97-86 victory to advance to the semifinals.  The Terrapins led by 17 at halftime, 54-37, and by as much as 23 in the second half.  The pesky Cornhuskers would not go away and cut the lead to just 6 points with 1:40 remaining.  Maryland put the game away at the free throw line and walked away with an 11-point victory.

Jake Layman led five Terrapins in double figures with 26 points on 6 of 9 shooting from deep.  Diamond Stone added 23 points for Maryland.  Andrew White’s 25 points and Shavon Shield’s 19 points paced the Huskers.

What does it mean?

Maryland advances to the semifinals to take on Michigan State.  The Terrapins are currently projected as a 5-seed with a chance to move up with a win over the Spartans.  They slightly trail Duke who lost earlier in the day against Notre Dame.

The Cornhuskers finish the season 16-18 and will miss out on post-season play.  Nebraska is now 63-66 under head coach Tim Miles.

 

On Saturday, Purdue and Michigan will tip-off in Game 1 at 1:00 EST.  Michigan State and Maryland will tip-off around 3:30 EST in Game 2.  Both games with be aired on CBS.

 

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