Thursday the greatest tournament in sports commenced. March Madness kicked off and the entire Big Ten conference did not disappoint.
No. 10 seed Minnesota started the party with a shocking 86-76 upset over No. 7 seed Louisville. Coined as the “Pitino Revenge Game” the Pitino family got their justice as Louisville was run out of the gym. Minnesota’s starters combined for all 86 points in the win, very impressive indeed.
Despite a blowout in the first game there were some close calls in the next two.
No. 2 seed Michigan State was tested by No. 15 seed Bradley. However, Cassius Winston and the fighting Izzo’s were too much for Braves. Winston led the way for Michigan State with 26 points in a 76-65 win.
Additionally No. 6 seed Maryland was forced to make an epic comeback against No. 11 seed Belmont. The Terrapins led by Jalen Smith overcame a six-point deficit at halftime to steal this one from the Bruins. Smith’s thunderous dunk was the turning point in the game for Maryland as they won 79-77.
There would be little drama in the evening games.
No. 2 seed Michigan would crush No. 15 seed Montana 74-55. Michigan’s Charles Matthews appeared healthy as he dropped 22 points and recorded 10 rebounds in the victory.
Meanwhile No. 3 seed Purdue locked No. 14 seed Old Dominion down on defense. The Boilermakers held Old Dominion to just 19 first half points in a 61-48 victory. Center Matt Haarms had a nice game for Purdue recording 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks.
At the end of the first day the Big Ten remained undefeated.
Tomorrow the Big Ten has three teams playing that can potentially extend the conference’s record to 8-0.
- No. 10 seed Iowa vs. No. 7 seed Cincinnati (12:15 p.m.)
- No. 5 seed Wisconsin vs. No. 12 seed Oregon (4:30 p.m.)
- No. 11 seed Ohio State vs. No. 6 seed Iowa State (9:50 p.m.)
Play of the Day:
This steal and dunk by Ignas Brazdeikis really demoralized Montana. This play shows how athletic the Big Ten Freshman of the Year is. Overall this was a great defensive play which translated into a flashy dunk.
Fail of the Day:
Speaking of flashy dunks this is definitely not one of them. Fail of the day goes to Michigan State’s Aaron Henry who botched this dunk in a one-point game. This came after Tom Izzo chewed him out earlier in the game for an unspecified reason. Hopefully he can turn it around in the Round of 32