INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers during the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 9, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

2012 Big Ten Tournament: Ohio State, Michigan State Clash For Title

After Northwestern and Illinois each fell in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State and Michigan State emerged as the two teams that will play for the conference championship.

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Ohio State Vs. Michigan State Score Update: Spartans Lead 34-32 At Halftime

The Michigan State Spartans are holding a tiny 34-32 lead over the Ohio State Buckeyes going into halftime at the Big Ten Championship Game. Both teams were part of a three-way tie for the Big Ten regular season title along with the Michigan Wolverines, and are considered to be among the nation's best.

The first half of Sunday's game was back-and-forth, with neither team being able to really exert its might. Ohio State dominated Michigan in the tournament's semifinals, but it's having far more trouble dealing with Michigan State. The Spartans began the game by leading 7-2, and they haven't been able to extend the lead beyond that.

The Spartans shot well for the half, making 52 percent of their shots while draining 3-of-8 attempts from three-point range. The Buckeyes shot 45 percent in the first half, but they missed all six of their attempts from long range. Ohio State has had the advantage on the boards, though..

William Buford leads the Buckeyes with 10 points and two blocks while Aaron Craft has added six points, five rebounds and three steals. Jared Sullinger had a quiet half, putting up four points and three rebounds. Michigan State has been led by Draymond Green and Brandon Wood, who scored seven points apiece.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Championship 2012: Time, TV Schedule And More

Both the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans are obviously locks to make the 2012 NCAA Tournament, but Sunday's Big Ten Championship between the two teams still could have major ramifications on this year's tournament bracket. If the Spartans win, it would be hard to imagine them not getting a No. 1 seed after also winning a share of the regular season conference championship. But if the Buckeyes are victorious, they would have a claim to a top seed as well, though it's more likely that both teams would end up as No. 2 seeds.

Sunday's game will be the rubber match between the two, who split the season series in 2012, with both teams winning road games. In the first match up, on Feb. 11, the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes in Columbus 58-48 in a game where Ohio State shot 26% from the field. That victory by Michigan State snapped the Buckeyes' 39-game home winning streak. The Buckeyes got their revenge, though, in the final game of the season when William Buford hit a fade away jumper in the final seconds to give Ohio State a 72-70 victory over the Spartans in East Lansing.

Game date/time: Sunday, March 11, 2:30 p.m. CT

Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

TV: CBS

Odds: Ohio State by 1.5

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012 Schedule And Bracket For Day Three

Though an all-chalk final four of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament means that the tournament lacks a Cinderella angle, it also means that fans should get to see close to the best basketball possible, as the top four seeds in the tournament battle for the conference's championship and automatic bid into the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The tournament's two games will take place Saturday afternoon, with the Michigan State Spartans (1) and Wisconsin Badgers (4) leading off and the rubber match between the Michigan Wolverines (2) and Ohio State Buckeyes (3) following that. The Spartans have defeated the Badgers in both meetings this season, while the Buckeyes and Wolverines both beat the other at home in 2012.

Here's tomorrow's full schedule and an updated bracket:

Michigan State Spartans (1) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (4), 12:40 p.m. CT, CBS

Michigan Wolverines (2) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (3), 3:10 p.m. CT, CBS

Screen_shot_2012-03-09_at_11

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.


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Big Ten Tournament Bracket Update: Michigan Survives Minnesota And More

The 2012 Big Ten Tournament continued on Friday with four quarterfinal games and the top four seeds in action. The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines were the lone top seed to flirt with disaster. The No. 10 Minnesota Gophers held a 23-20 lead at halftime, but the Wolverines did enough to outscore the Gophers by three points in the second half, sending the game to overtime. Trey Burke led the way to a 73-69 victory with 30 points while Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in 20 points.

The No. 1 Michigan St. Spartans cruised to a 92-75 victory over the No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes. Draymond Green powered the offense with 21 points and 10 rebounds while three other scored at least 10 points.

The Spartans will play the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday. The Badgers defeated the Indiana Hoosiers, 79-71, with 13 three-pointers. Rob Wilson scored 30 points off the bench, dropping seven three-pointers for 21 of those points.

The Ohio St. Buckeyes defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 88-71. Jared Sullinger came up with a huge game, scoring 30 points and pulling down 12 boards. Deshaun Thomas added 12 points.

Here is an updated bracket:

Big10_medium

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Schedule And Bracket For Day Two

With both the Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats eliminated from the Big Ten Conference Tournament, Chicago no longer has a particularly local representative, but the tournament carries on nonetheless. After a day full of games on Thursday, things continue with a full slate of games on Friday as the quarterfinals are played out.

For the first time, the top four teams in the Big Ten will play after receiving byes from the first round. Here's the schedule for Friday's games (and the Big Ten bracket can be found here):

11:00 p.m. CST: No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Iowa

1:30 p.m. CST: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 Indiana

5:30 p.m. CST: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 10 Minnesota

8:00 p.m. CST: No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Purdue

The more anticipated games are likely Wisconsin-Indiana and Ohio State-Purdue given the increased likeliness for competitive play, but both Iowa and Minnesota do retain some upset potential. It'll be interesting to see how the tournament plays out in one of this year's most talented conferences.

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Minnesota Vs. Northwestern Final Score: Minnesota Runs Away From Wildcats In Overtime To Win 75-68

In a game that was nip and tuck from the opening tip off, and one that the Northwestern Wildcats had to have if they wanted to avoid being on the wrong side of the bubble on NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday, the seventh-seeded Wildcats couldn't hold on in overtime, losing to the Minnesota Gophers 75-68. Northwestern's chances of earning an NCAA Tournament bid suffered a serious blow with this loss.

Northwestern held a narrow 36-34 lead over the 10th-seed Minnesota Gophers at the break and the contest stayed on-the-edge-of-your seat close throughout the second half, ending in a 61-61 deadlock at the end of regulation. Minnesota jumped out early in the overtime session and outscored the Wildcats by a 14-7 margin.

Minnesota freshman guard Andre Hollins poured in a game-high 25 points, including five in overtime. Sophomore guard JerShon Cobb led Northwestern with 24 points.

With the victory, Minnesota (18-13, 6-12) advances to the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Basketball Championship, where they will go up against No. 2-seed Michigan (23-8, 13-5) on Friday.

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Northwestern Vs. Minnesota Halftime Score: Wildcats Lead Gophers 36-34

Thursday's game against Minnesota is a pivotal one for Northwestern's NCAA tournament hopes, and so far the three-pointers are falling for the Wildcats; still, they have a battle on their hands with the Gophers and lead by a slim 36-34 margin at the half.

Related: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Game Thread

It was the Gophers who jumped out early with some hot shooting, and they also had good success from beyond the three-point arc throughout the half. Andre Hollins led that charge for Minnesota with 16 points on 6-7 shooting, including a 4-5 effort from three-point range.

JerShon Cobb and John Shurna were outstanding for Northwestern in the half, scoring a combined 26 points. Cobb was 3-3 from downtown, Shurna 4-7.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple, and for more on Minnesota, check out The Daily Gopher. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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VIDEO: Big Ten Tournament 2012 Analysis With Nick Fasulo

The opening round of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament concludes tonight with Nebraska vs. Purdue at 7 p.m. locally, which will give way to a host of top 25 teams in action tomorrow. Before the big boys of the conference like Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan take the floor in Indianapolis, SB Nation college hoops expert Nick Fasulo joined Dan Rubenstein to discuss several of the chief narratives surrounding the conference tournament.

Check out the video for a full breakdown of what to expect from the 2012 Big Ten Tournament and be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple, and for more on the Illini, check out Hail to the Orange. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Illinois Vs. Iowa Final Score: Illini Fall 64-61 To Hawkeyes

The 2011-2012 Illinois Fighting Illini saw their season end in a fitting way this afternoon in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament: with a whimper of a loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes, the type of defeat that has become routine for the Illini over the last few seasons of the Bruce Weber era. That era may be over now. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois 64-61 on Thursday to improve to 17-15 overall, 9-10 in the Big Ten and advance to the next round of the conference tournament. Unless they receive a bid to the NIT, Illinois will end the season 17-15, 6-12.

The Illini had no answer for Matt Gatens, Iowa's senior guard. Gatens went 7-of-12 from the field to finish with 20 points and three rebounds to key the victory for the Hawkeyes. Forward Aaron White added 13 points and nine rebounds int the win.

If this is the final college game for Meyers Leonard, at least it was a good one. The Illini's sophomore center went 9-of-11 from the field to finish with 18 points and six rebounds. Guards D.J. Richardson and Joseph Bertrand each scored 11 for Illinois in the loss.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Illini check out Hail to the Orange. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Iowa Vs. Illinois Score Update: Illini Lead Hawkeyes 31-27 At Halftime

The 2012 Big Ten Tournament is finally underway, and in the first game of the day, the No. 9 seed Illinois Fighting Illini lead the No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes 31-27 at the half. Meyers Leonard got off to a great start, as he hit five of six shots for 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists as well. D.J. Richardson hit 3-5 three-pointers -- the only three the Illini hit all half -- and added nine points from his backcourt spot to augment Leonard's performance.

Iowa got nine points on 4-5 shooting from guard Matt Gatens to stay within striking distance, but they are only shooting 44 percent as a team and have yet to grab an offensive rebound. The only reason the Illini haven't pulled away is because they have been a bit sloppy with the ball (seven turnovers) and can't seem to find a stroke from beyond the arc (3-12 as a team). The winner of his game will take on the top-seeded Michigan St. Spartans on Friday morning.

You can catch the rest of this game on the Big Ten Network.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple, and for more on the Illini, check out Hail to the Orange. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Tournament Bracket 2012: Northwestern Vs. Minnesota Time, TV Schedule And More

For the Northwestern Wildcats, it all comes down to this. All eyes will be on the Wildcats today when they tip-off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at 4:30 p.m. locally. Northwestern is the quintessential bubble team this year, and it's all surrounded by the fact that the Wildcats are the only power conference team never to make the NCAA Tournament. If Northwestern is to break their historic streak, they will certainly need a victory today against Minnesota.

Northwestern and Minnesota have met twice this year, splitting the season series. The Gophers won the first meeting on Jan. 22 on their homecourt by defeating the Wildcats 75-52. More recently, Northwestern topped Minnesota on its home floor 64-53.

The winner plays second-seeded Michigan on Friday.

Game date/time: 4:30 a.m., Thursday, March 8, 2012

Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

TV: ESPN2

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Tournament Bracket 2012: Iowa Vs. Illinois Time, TV Schedule And More

The Illinois Fighting Illini face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday morning to kick off the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Indianapolis. Illinois is hoping to sneak into the NCAA Tournament with a series of upsets in the conference tournament after stumbling to end the regular season.

After starting with a strong 15-3 record through 18 games, Illinois fell apart by losing 11 of its remaining 13 games. With a 6-12 record against Big Ten foes, the Illini are the No. 9 seed in the conference despite being at the top of the conference standings at some point.

Iowa, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, finished the year with a 16-15 overall record. They pulled off numerous upsets, though beating Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin twice over the course of the season. Since the end of January, the Hawkeyes are the only team to lose to the Fighting Illini.

Game time: 11:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2012

Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

TV: BTN

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple, and for more on the Illini, check out Hail to the Orange. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Schedule And Bracket For Day One

This year's Big Ten Conference Tournament begins on Thursday afternoon with the first round of games. Only the bottom eight seeds in the bracket will be playing, as the top four seeds get a bye into the second round, which will be played out on Friday.

Here's a list of the four first round games to be played on Thursday:

  • 11:30 a.m. EST: No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Illinois
  • 2:00 p.m. EST: No. 5 Indiana vs. No. 12 Penn State
  • 5:30 p.m. EST: No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Minnesota
  • 8:00 p.m. EST: No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Nebraska
  • The four teams that received byes into the second round are Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The winner of Iowa-Illinois will go on to play Michigan State, the winner of Indiana-Penn State will go on to play Wisconsin, the winner of Northwestern-Minnesota will go on to play Michigan and the winner of Purdue-Nebraska will go on to play Ohio State.

    A complete bracket of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament can be found here. For more, stay with SB Nation Chicago. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Announces 2012 All-Conference Teams; Illinois And Northwestern Players Honored

With the 2011-12 regular season now in the books, the Big Ten on Monday announced its all-conference teams. Northwestern and Illinois players were honored, including Northwestern's John Shurna, who became the school's first first-team All-Big Ten selection since 2004.

The first team looks like this:

First Team
Draymond Green, Michigan State
John Shurna, Northwestern
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin

Related: 2012 Big Ten Tournament Schedule And Bracket Released

Northwestern's Drew Crawford and Illinois' Brandon Paul earned third-team honors, and Northwestern's Dave Sobolewski made the all-freshman team. Meyers Leonard received an honorable mention.

Michigan State's Draymond Green was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, while Tom Izzo took home the Coach of the Year nod. Indiana's Cody Zeller is the Freshman of the Year, Ohio State's Aaron Craft is the Defensive Player of the Year and Purdue's D.J. Byrd is the 6th Man of the Year.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple, and for more on the Illini, check out Hail to the Orange. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Illinois Tries To Make Up For Miserable Second Half In The Conference Tournament

The Illinois Fighting Illini are down but not out. The Illini take on Iowa in the Big 10 Tournament on Thursday.

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2012 Big Ten Tournament Schedule And Bracket Released

Northwestern and Illinois will look to make a deep run in the Big 10 Tournament, which begins on March 8

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