Wisconsin thrashes Northwestern, gains Big Ten title game
In its first ever Big Ten Tournament semifinal, Northwestern fell flat in a major way. Wisconsin enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed, earning a first-round bye along with Minnesota. The Wildcats got as close as four points a few minutes later but could never reel in the surging No. 2 seed Badgers, who dominated in all phases of the game to avenge their home loss to Northwestern in February. Second-seeded Wisconsin beat No. 6 Northwestern, 76-48, to advance.
MI has won three games in three days, an impressive feat especially since they had complications getting to Washington D.C. for the tournament.
The Badgers play at 2 p.m. Sunday against No. 8 MI (23-11), an 84-77 victor over No. 4 Minnesota earlier Saturday. Jordan Murphy almost had a double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds, and the entire Gophers starting five finished the game with double figures.
With the loss, the Buckeyes assured that they will not make the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Though the Badgers shot the lights out in the second half, it was the defense that looked most impressive in the semifinal. More importantly, Happ finished 8-for-11 at the free throw line, an area he has struggled at in the past.
Zak Showalter was fabulous.
The Badgers really locked in defensively today and shut down Bryant McIntosh, who had previously destroyed them in a game earlier this year.
Instead of perseverating about the miscue, Brown came back and hit a three-pointer and then blocked a shot by Barrett Benson. His activity on the glass was contagious.
Scottie Lindsey scored 16 points to lead Northwestern and was the only Wildcat in double figures.
Freshman guard D'Mitrik Trice had six points and three assists. The Badgers are also holding their opponents to the 7th-lowest points per game average in the country, allowing just 61.1 points per game this season. According to a UW official, Iverson flew home to OH late Friday because of a death in the family. That's basically the floor for this MI offense - and a really impressive floor at that - but it is a reminder that it's just really hard for MI to manufacture points against the Badgers. Such was the case in the first half against Minnesota, when center D.J. Showalter, with help from Jordan Hill, helped limit McIntosh to 4-of-12 shooting and eight points. The numbers tell the story on both ends. We've got his back.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Maryland is a slim favorite today, as the Terrapins are getting odds of -1.5 points against Northwestern.
Facing No. 25 Maryland on a court that was anything but neutral, Northwestern added another milestone in an already magical season.
UW had an immediate response.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The University of MI men's basketball team went through a whirlwind over the past 24 hours but rose to the occasion in its first game of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament, earning a remarkable 20-point win, 75-55, over IL on Thursday afternoon (March 9) inside the Verizon Center.
Sixth-year senior Tracy Abrams then caught fire for the Illini, scoring the first 10 points of a 12-0 IL run to make it a single-digit game, 31-23, with 4:30 on the clock. Maryland shot only 3 for 9 on 3-pointers, two of them from National Basketball Association range by the 6-7 freshman, who also added three assists and two steals.
For the first time in what seemed like forever, the Buckeyes started hot, scoring the first six points of the contest and jumping out to an early 15-5 lead. MI outscored IL 9-6 in the final four minutes, highlighted by five points from Abdur-Rahkman, and U-M led 40-29 at the halftime break.
UW finally put on the afterburners to eliminate any doubt.
The second half turned into a laugher as the gap ballooned to as much as 33 points down the stretch and Wisconsin coasted to the finish.
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