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Coming live from the Madhouse on Madison, I am indeed inside the United Center for Day 1 of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
We'll be here at least through the first three games, including Minnesota-Illinois, which feeds into Indiana's pod tomorrow. Stay tuned, and we'll keep you rolling all day.
Zach Osterman // IU Athletics beat reporter // Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZachOsterman
Steve Helwagen has laid down his Big Ten Tournament prediction. Indiana fans would not be opposed, I think.
OK, my full column is coming later today. Here are my picks for the Big Ten tournament:
[b]Big Ten Tournament Schedule[/b]
Some notes on Illinois-Minnesota ...
*The two teams have met four times in the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois has won all four meetings, most recently in the 2008 semifinals, when the Illini took down Minnesota 54-40.
*Minnesota and Illinois broke the season series in half. Interestingly, both teams won on the road, Minnesota 84-67 in Champaign and Illinois 57-53 in Minneapolis.
*Minnesota's overall Big Ten Tournament record, adjusted for voided appearances in 1998 and 1999, is 11-13.
*Illinois' overall Big Ten Tournament record is 23-13.
*Illinois has won the Big Ten Tournament twice, as the No. 2 seed in 2003 and as the No. 1 seed in 2005. Minnesota has never won the Big Ten Tournament.
*The Illini have been to the final game of the tournament five times, most recently as the No. 10 seed in 2008. Minnesota has advanced to Sunday once, as No. 6 seed, in 2010.
Courtside for Illinois-Minnesota. Go time.
We have tipoff, but we do not have points 90 seconds into the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
Illinois brings a hard double on Mbakwe. He beats it and earns a Joe Coleman layup. Brandon Paul hits a long two, and we have points. It's all going off now.
Mbakwe has two fouls, and Minnesota is doing Minnesota stuff (turning the ball over with questionable decisions).
A D.J. Richardson 3-pointer has leveled the score at 7-all in a game that isn't exactly an offensive explosion. 11:19 left.
Minnesota's offense, whatever it is, has completely stalled. Gophers struggling to get the ball into the paint and that's a problem. Also, the seven turnovers don't help.
The difference I am seeing in Minnesota today and when the beat IU is that since Mbakwe went to the bench no one has stepped up. When he went to the bench with foul trouble vs. IU, Eliason and the rest of the Gophers picked up the slack and chopped into IU's lead. Not happening today, and I'm not sure how long Tubby can wait to bring Mbakwe back.
Ed Magoni // Publisher of Inside Indiana Magazine // Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EMagoni
This looks like an 8/9 game. It's not hopelessly disperate, but it's not that pretty either. 17-2 run by Illinois has been halted, sort of, but Minnesota can't do a thing offensively. It's not pretty basketball.
Joe Coleman just airballed a shot from the free-throw line.
OK sorry, had to step away for a few minutes. Second half has seen the Gophers shoot their way back into this thing. Brandon Paul just shanked a 3-pointer. It is all going off. 34-all.
Ed Magoni just rained some knowledge on y'all.
Well, this is getting fun. Or close, anyway.
Minnesota is starting to exercise its athletic dominance inside (read: Trevor Mbakwe is doing really good basketball stuff), and Illinois is still cutting into a rather suspect center of the Minnesota defense.
47-46 with five minutes left, Gophers up.
Same score at the final media timeout. First one to 50 doesn't win, except maybe it does.
This game is awful, yet also awesome. It is everything that is badgood about the Big Ten.
Eight seconds on the shot clock, 16.3 on the game clock, Minnesota has the ball and the game is tied.
Sorry I haven't been posting, been writing up some pre-Illinois stuff.
Anyway, Michigan leads Penn State by two, 35-33, at halftime. Trey Burke is 3-of-9 with eight points, and nobody but Mitch McGary is in double figures (he has 10) for the maize and blue. As a team, Michigan is shooting just 34.2 percent from the floor.
D.J. Newbill has 12 points for the Nits, who shot 15-of-30 (that's 50 percent for us non-math majors) in the first half and matched the Wolverines with 21 rebounds apiece.
And hey, Tom Crean quotes pre-Illinois:
“We know Illinois will be a tremendous challenge tomorrow at the United Center. They play with great intensity, passion and execution. Playing the Illini in Chicago should excite the HoosierNation. We are going to need our fans to bring their colors, their energy and their voices.”
“We will be facing an excellent coach in John Groce with an excellent staff. There ball movement and spacing are very good. The pressure defense of the Illini is tough to prepare for. They really get into you and play with quickness. Illinois is very athletic. What they do is they take the lane away from you very well. I have a lot of respect for their defense
“For us on the defensive end, we’ve got to keep our chest in front of the ball and we’ve got to keep communication high You've got to have that commitment to what makes you good, which for us is early help, early recovery, and understanding what their strengths are, which is their three-point shooting.”
“When you're going against great talent, which this tournament is full of, you've got to stay engaged for 40 minutes. We have had a good week of practice and like I said last week, everything is a one-game season from here on out. That’s how we are preparing.”
Will have a more well-thought out Illinois preview eventually, and something on Brandon Paul as well. Stay tuned.
The Crean quotes come from IU media relations, by the way. We won't be talking to Tom today that I'm aware of.
Penn State is just outworking Michigan right now, in part, I think, simply because it knows it can. Michigan still leads by one with 15 left.
Penn State now fading, down seven and having just turned the ball over.
So Penn State went down 83-66. Not a huge surprise, but it's always tough to watch that team lose, as hard as it plays.
We're in a break in the action at the moment, so I'm catching up on the VIP Room and other stories for tomorrow. Get excited y'all.
mkillian247 on twitter..... I say a lot of stuff you wont care about.
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