March Madness: Memorable moments in recent Big Ten tournament history
With the Big Ten tournament relocating to Washington for the first time in conference history, it's as good a time as any to look back on some of the most memorable moments that the event has provided over the years.
And as NCAA.com's Mike Lopresti notes, there are plenty of storylines to follow as the Big Ten Tournament kicks off:
- Regular-season champion Purdue could strengthen its case for a top-four seed
- Maryland could play in its first Big Ten tournament championship game
- Iowa, Illinois and Indiana could play their way off the bubble
- Michigan State could erase any lingering doubts about its bid
- Northwestern could get to the semifinals for the first time in history
- Minnesota could make a run, one year after a miserable 8-23 season
- Rutgers could win its first conference-tournament game.
- In the end, the Big Ten could prove it's better than what the naysayers think
2010: Evan Turner’s heave saves top-seeded Buckeyes
Final score: Ohio State 69, Michigan 68 (Quarterfinal)
Arguably the most iconic moment in Big Ten tournament history in this decade — bar none. And the fact that this finish involved the two Big Ten schools with potentially the biggest rivalry in college sports is just gravy. An off day from the field for Evan Turner came up roses with his final shot of the day — a near 40-foot heave from just inside half court. The try proved true and helped the Buckeyes oust the Wolverines in the process.
2011: Penn State dumps Wisconsin in lowest scoring game in Big Ten tournament history
Final score: Penn State 36, Wisconsin 33 (Quarterfinal)
Sure, a combined score of 69 points is nothing to write home about, but this ballgame between Penn State and Wisconsin is one of the more oft-overlooked finishes in recent memory. And just because it was low-scoring doesn’t mean it wasn’t memorable. In fact, the three-point win actually helped propel a run that got the Nittany Lions into the Big Dance despite a 19-14 overall record. Talor Battle’s team-high nine points helped the Nittany Lions come out on top of the lowest-scoring game in the near 20-year history of the Big Ten tournament.
2013: Brandon Paul's jumper lifts Illinois, ousts Minnesota
Final score: Illinois 51, Minnesota 49 (First round)
In the first round of the 2013 Big Ten tournament, it was time for the Illini turn to produce some postseason magic of their own. And although Illinois led by 12 at one point in the ballgame against Minnesota, things tightened up in the waning moments. The Illini needed a late 3-pointer from D.J. Richardson to tie things at 49 before Brandon Paul got a chance to finish off his Big Ten foe. Paul canned the game-winning bucket — a fadeaway jumpshot at the buzzer — to cap a 25-point night and banish the Gophers.
2016: Michigan's wild ride to the Big Dance
Final score: Michigan 72, Northwestern 70 (OT)
Both Northwestern and Michigan came into this bout a year ago needing wins to boost their tournament résumés. The only problem was that one of these teams had to lose. But boy was it entertaining basketball in the interim.
A 20-win Northwestern team looking to make the school's first trip to the NCAA tournament saw its postseason livelihood flash before its eyes when guard Tre Demps' short jumper bounced high off the rim, but center Alex Olah proved to be johnny-on-the-spot as he corralled the rebound and dropped in a putback as he fell to the floor. The bucket with 0.1 seconds left in regulation would send the game to overtime. The two teams traded baskets in the extra session before Michigan guard Zak Irvin iced things with an 18-footer from the right elbow. But Michigan's antics at the 2016 Big Ten tournament were just getting started.
Final score: Michigan 72, Indiana 69 (Quarterfinal)
If one buzzer-beater is nice, then two is better. That's just plain logic right there. And if you were a Michigan basketball fan who tuned into the 2016 Big Ten tournament, you got plenty to satiate your need for frenetic finishes.
The second team that fell prey to Michigan in a last-second fashion was the Indiana Hoosiers. And the hero on this day was one of the Wolverines' unlikeliest of options: sophomore guard Kameron Chatman.
Chatman, who has since transferred to Detroit, played sparingly off the bench in his two years with the Wolverines, but he was ready when his number got the call against Indiana. A 3-pointer from the corner with 0.2 seconds left gave the Wolverines another last-second win to bolster their tournament prospects.