People in Chicago call the United Center the Madhouse on Madison. On Day 1 of the Big Ten Tournament, it certainly lived up to the billing.
In the first game, Illinois defeated Minnesota 51-49 on a Brandon Paul buzzer beater that sent the orange-clad Illini fans in the United Center into a frenzy. Neither team shot particularly well for the game, but Paul was the star for Illinois. He led the way with 25 points, accounting for half of his team’s point total. The Illini will square off against the top seeded Indiana Hoosiers tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. CST.
In Game 2, the Michigan Wolverines faced off against a tough Penn State squad which had defeated them earlier this season in State College. Mitch McGary provided a spark off the bench as he recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds – one of five Michigan players in double figures. The Wolverines will take on the Wisconsin Badgers at 2:30 p.m. CST.
In Game 3, the Nebraska Cornhuskers matched up against the Purdue Boilermakers. Neither team seemed to want to win it as both sides missed key free throws and several opportunities down the stretch. Ultimately, Nebraska did enough to win, defeating the Boilermakers by a score of 57-55. Shavon Shields led the Huskers with 19 points. They will face the second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. CST.
In the final game of the night, the 6-seed Iowa Hawkeyes took on a Northwestern Wildcats squad which had been depleted by injuries and other bad luck throughout the season. Iowa took care of business, defeating Northwestern 74-59 and now looks forward to a matchup with the Michigan State Spartans on Friday night.