After a pair of upsets headlined the Big Ten Tournament as Michigan embarrassed Illinois and Penn State surprised Iowa Thursday, the tournament returned to form with the four top seeds advancing to the semifinal round after Friday's games. Michigan played powerhouse Wisconsin tough, but the Badgers proved to be too much for the Wolverines as they advance to play Purdue, who beat Penn State Friday 64-59, ending D.J. Newbill's Nittany Lions career.
Maryland edged out a win against 7-seed Indiana 75-69 and Michigan State outlasted 6-seed Ohio State 76-67 to advance to the semifinals and round out the Big Ten Tournament bracket.
Let's take a closer look at those still standing:
Courtesy of the Big Ten.
Game 1: 1-seed Wisconsin (29-3, 17-2) vs. 4-seed Purdue (21-11, 13-6)
Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
Online streaming: cbs.com
Wisconsin, behind Sam Dekker's 17 points and Frank Kaminsky's 16, defeated Michigan in a hard-fought bout with the 9-seed Wolverines. The Badgers have their eyes set on not only winning the tournament but also clinching a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament. With Virginia and Duke, both of which are expected to be one seeds according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi, lost Friday, effectively being eliminated from the ACC Tournament, giving Wisconsin a significantly better chance to increase its standing. The 29-3 Badgers have a team that matches up quite well against sizey Wisconsin in their way in Purdue.
Purdue bested Penn State in the Boilermakers first game of the Big Ten Tournament. No one came close to stopping the tide of A.J. Hammons, a 7-foot wrecking ball down low for Purdue, who scored 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Wisconsin and Purdue matched up once against each other this year and the Badgers defeated the Boilermakers in early January in Madison. Purdue has its eyes set on hoisting the Big Ten Tournament trophy for the first time since Robbie Hummel's 2009 team laid claim to the prize.
Game Two: 2-seed Maryland (27-5, 15-4) vs. 3-seed Michigan State (22-10, 13-6)
Game time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Online streaming: cbs.com
Maryland enters the game riding an eight-game win streak behind the re-emergence of Maryland superstar Dez Wells. Wells, who missed seven games in non-conference play with a wrist injury, was slow to recover to game form, but now Wells is playing better than any Maryland fan can remember. The senior is averaging a shade more than 19 points per game and shooting an incredible 53 percent from the field since that eight game winning streak started. Sprinkle into the formula one of the best freshman in the country in Melo Trimble and athletic stretch-four Jake Layman and Maryland is right where they want to be.
Michigan State used a big game from Denzel Valentine to surge past the Buckeyes Friday night. The Spartans are eyeing a repeat Big Ten Tournament crown, as Michigan State won last year's event as the same 3-seed they are now. Maryland got the best of the Spartans twice in the beginning of the year, winning a double-overtime thriller in East Lansing and handily beating Michigan State in College Park. Led by Valentine and Travis Trice, the Spartans are well-coached and play hard defensively thanks to anchor Branden Dawson.