Big Ten Goes 1-2 On First Full Day Of NCAA Tournament, Michigan State Comeback Comes Up Short

With upsets happening all over the brackets, the Thursday went strictly by chalk for the Big Ten conference's three teams in action.

Penn State played hard right down to the wire with the No.7 seeded Temple Owls. The game was neck and neck the entire way, and with less than 20 seconds left in the game, Talor Battle, often known for his late game heroics, drained a three pointer to tie the game at 64. Coming out of the time out though, Temple's Juan Fernandez drained his own buzzer beating jump shot to give the Owls the 66-64 victory. It is a rough way to go for Talor Battle, who made his first NCAA tournament ever this year.

Wisconsin had a rather unexciting but dominating win over the Belmont Bruins.Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer once again led the Badgers with over 20 points apiece in the 72-58 Wisconsin victory. The Badgers left their scoring drought in Indianapolis, as they scored over 30 in both halves against Belmont and blew their opponents off of the boards, 29-17.

Michigan State, a team that has gone to two straight Final Fours, had to work to get into this year's NCAA Tournament, and fell behind dramatically early against the UCLA Bruins, trailing 42-24 in the first half. The second half was a flurry of runs as MSU would cut the lead to 10 points to start the half, then UCLA extended the lead to  23 at one point, before the lead was cut to four points with less than a minute to go. That the Spartans were able to pull as close as they did was a sign that a team with this much tournament experience was not going to go down without a fight. Down the stretch UCLA had plenty of opportunities to salt the game away with free throws, but could not close the deal, to the point where Michigan State was able to pull within one point off of a Kieth Appling three pointer, with just eight seconds to go. On a missed free throw Kalin Lucas had the chance to get a shot off, but traveled, and sealed the game for UCLA, 78-76

 

For Tom Izzo it is a disappointing end to a season with a high expectations, and a sad end to career of one of the best point guards in recent Big Ten memory Kalin Lucas. For the Big Ten overall, the day could have gone better, but only Wisconsin was favored. Tomorrow as Ohio State, and Purdue enter games where they are heavy favorites, and the Illini are involved in a toss up game, Friday could be a better result

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