Round No. 1's four games of the Big Ten tournament are in the books, setting up another slate of four games in the quarterfinals on Friday. Below we have some of the best reactions from bloggers around the SB Nation network on Thursday's games.
The first game of Thursday saw No. 8 Iowa defeat No. 9 Illinois to receive the honors of playing No. 1 Michigan State. Here's an excerpt of what Adam Jacobi from Black Heart Gold Pants had to say about Iowa's win:
Iowa bottled up Brandon Paul for the entire game, harassing the Illini's leading scorer into 4 points on 2-11 shooting and 7 turnovers, and terrifying man-giant Meyers Leonard pretty much disappeared down the stretch when Illinois faded.
So now Iowa is in the second round of the tournament for the first time since [COACH REDACTED] was in town -- seriously -- and Michigan State looms large in the next game, Friday at 11 a.m. CT. Say, isn't Michigan State due for its annual inexplicable loss to Iowa? Just sayin'.
Following Iowa's win, No. 5 Indiana beat down Penn State for its first Big Ten tournament win since 2006. Unfortunately, the Hoosiers lost senior Verdell Jones III to a knee injury, which overshadowed the win, according to The Crimson Quarry:
The monkey is finally off the Hoosiers' back. A six year losing streak in the Big Ten Tournament is finally over. Unfortunately, a moment that IU fans expected would be fun or a relief is utterly overshadowed by a knee injury suffered by Verdell Jones III about 6 minutes into the game. The official word from IU is a "knee sprain" and that Jones will be evaluated further. Without speculating on matters outside my expertise, let's just agree that it looked really bad.
In the third game of the day, Minnesota upset Northwestern, which desperately needed at least one win in the tournament to (potentially) get to the Big Dance, to which Sippin' on Purple could only say, "FML." The Daily Gopher thought this was a "gutty win" by their Golden Gophers:
This was a gutty win by the Gophers. In the first half Northwestern hit 9 / 20 threes and fortunately Rodney Williams hit a deep (and rare) three to keep the deficit to just two at the half. But the Gophers came out in the second half with a more aggressive man-to-man. The man-to-man limited NU to just five three-point attempts in the second half and 33.3% overall shooting.
Minnesota will play Michigan at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
In the fourth and final game of the first round, Purdue made relatively easy work of "Nebrasketball," which leaves Corn Nation (still) wondering if head coach Doc Sadler has just coached his last game for the Cornhuskers. Purdue will play No. 2 Ohio State Friday night after the Michigan game.
Here is the updated 2012 Big Ten tournament bracket.