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Big Ten Tournament Bracket 2011: Michigan State Basketball Meets Penn State

Ohio State has already advanced to the 2011 Big Ten tournament championship game. The Buckeyes' opponent will be determined this afternoon when Michigan State and Penn State meet in a semifinal nobody expected.

Michigan State, the No. 7 seed, barely got past Iowa on Thursday. On Friday, however, the Spartans looked like the team everybody thought they would be coming into the season by blowing out Purdue. Michigan State's Kalin Lucas dropped 30 points on the Boilermakers, and in general the Spartans were dominant.

I don't know if I would call Penn State's performance against Wisconsin on Friday night dominant, but it was something. The Nittany Lions held Wisconsin to only 33 points in a 36-33 victory. Neither offense could get going in this slow-paced affair, and Penn State won, or perhaps I should say survived the ugly game. (On Thursday, Penn State beat Indiana, the No. 11 seed.)

Michigan State and Penn State split the regular season series. The first game was a 66-62 victory at home for Penn State back on Jan. 8. The second meeting came in East Lansing on Feb. 10 and was a 75-57 win for the Nittany Lions. This third matchup will decide which team plays in the Big Ten tournament championship game, and for the Nittany Lions it very well could decide whether or not they are going to the NCAA tournament.

Here is a look at the updated 2011 Big Ten tournament bracket with one semifinal left to play:

No. 1 Ohio State beat No. 4 Michigan, 68-61


No. 7 Michigan State (beat Purdue, 74-56, in quarterfinals) vs. No. 6 Penn State (beat Wisconsin, 36-33, in quarterfinals)

For more on the 2011 Big Ten tournament, check out SB Nation Detroit's StoryStream.