Big Ten: Look Back at Friday, Ahead to Saturday

By Phil Kasiecki - March 10, 2007

CHICAGO - We're about ready for the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. All but one of Friday's games had the higher seed move on, and the day ended with a classic that went to overtime.

Before we look back at yesterday, here are links for the game notes: Purdue and Ohio State. (Note: Purdue has no update, so this is the same we had yesterday.)

Stats from Michigan State/Wisconsin:

  • Wisconsin shot over 51 percent from the field, including 8-17 on three-pointers.
  • Wisconsin was 16-27 from the foul line; Michigan State took just 11 free throws the entire game.

Stats from Illinois/Indiana:

  • Both teams had 10 turnovers for the game, so the offensive struggles weren't in that area.
  • Illinois shot below 36 percent, Indiana over 31 percent from the field.
  • Indiana's Earl Calloway and Roderick Wilmont combined to shoot 2-17 from the field.

Best Players of the day:

  • Greg Oden, Ohio State: 22 points on 8-12 shooting, 8 rebounds
  • Ron Lewis, Ohio State: 16 points
  • Carl Landry, Purdue: 20 points, 11 rebounds
  • David Teague, Purdue: 15 points, 8 rebounds
  • Alando Tucker, Wisconsin: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Warren Carter, Illinois: 17 points, 7 rebounds
  • Shaun Pruitt, Illinois: 16 points on 6-9 shooting, 12 rebounds
  • D.J. White, Indiana: 14 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocked shots

Are they in yet? We can pretty much figure that Michigan is off to the NIT again after losing to Ohio State today, and the same would be true of Iowa. In fact, Iowa coach Steve Alford was asked about getting ready for the NIT in the postgame press conference. Purdue might be in, although it wouldn't hurt if they could knock off Ohio State on Saturday. Michigan State should be in good shape despite the loss to Wisconsin, and Illinois might well be in with their win over Indiana.

Top Line? Ohio State might well have sealed a No. 1 seed with its win earlier today, in light of recent losses by other possible No. 1 seeds. They may control their own destiny as far as being the top overall seed.

Other Notes

  • Alando Tucker is now one point behind Michael Finley on Wisconsin's all-time scoring list. He should surpass him early in Saturday's semifinal.
  • The Illinois/Indiana game is just the second overtime game in the tournament's history.
  • Illinois point guard Chester Frazier didn't score like he did on Thursday, but had another solid outing with six assists and two turnovers.
  • Can we stop asking coaches about whether or not they think they're in the NCAA Tournament? I don't blame coaches who duck the question; it's not their call and at the end of the day, we don't really know how the committee will make the call. They have more information than coaches have for making this decision. As mentioned earlier, Tommy Amaker wanted no part of the subject. Tom Izzo said he's sick of answering questions about that, and I don't blame him. Purdue head coach Matt Painter had a good way of answering it, saying, "I felt that we belonged in the tournament before (the win over Iowa). It doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get in." He later added, "You can't control that. The only thing you can control is how you prepare your team and get them ready, and we're just getting ready for Ohio State, and if it's enough, it's enough. If it's not, then there's not a whole lot you can do about it."
Posted by Phil Kasiecki at 01:16 PM on March 10, 2007

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