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Big Ten in the Big Dance: Game Scores for Every Big Ten Team in March Madness

A recap of every first-round Big Ten game in the NCAA Tournament
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Wisconsin vs. Colgate

Day two was a clean sweep for Big Ten teams, as the Wisconsin Badgers sealed a win over the Colgate Raiders, 67-60. The 14-seed Raiders led for the majority of the first half, with Nelly Cummings gaining momentum with two key jumpers. At nine minutes left, a switch flipped for the 3-seed Badgers, and the team started fighting back. A three-pointer by Johnny Davis tied the game, followed by a layup by Tyler Wahl to give Wisconsin their first lead of the day. From there, both teams matched each other in scoring until the end of the first. Wahl kicked off the second with two consecutive successful shots, but Colgate responded quickly hitting four three-point jumpers in a row. However, the Raiders had a seven minute scoring drought giving the Badgers a chance to extend their lead, Steven Crowl with a three-point bank shot. In the end, it was too late for Colgate to come back, and Wisconsin found themselves moving on to the round of 32. The Badgers look to play the the Iowa State Cyclones Sunday, March 20.

Michigan State vs. Davidson

The Michigan State Spartans edged out the Davidson Wildcats 74-73. The 10-seed Wildcats went shot-for-shot with the 7-seed Spartans throughout the entire game. Michigan State forward Joey Hauser had a night putting up a career-high of 27 points. The largest lead of the day was set by the Spartans, who were up by eight with just one minute left on the clock. But, Davidson didn’t let up, and Foster Loyer hit an and-1 layup closing in on Michigan State’s lead. Both teams demonstrated some major intensity in the second half as the audience held their breath. Loyer then hit a three-pointer to put the Wildcats just two points behind the Spartans. But, as the clock ticked down, all of the Spartans' final points were from free throws. Tyson Walker made the last two to put the Spartans' lead just out of reach for the Wildcats. Davidson was scrappy, but even with a Hyunjung Lee’s last-second three, it was Michigan State who took the win. The Spartans will look to play the 2-seed Duke Blue Devils Sunday, March 20.

Illinois vs. Chattanooga

The 4-seed Illinois Fighting Illini clinched a second-round spot in the NCAA tournament beating the 13-seed Chattanooga Mocs 54-53. The Illini found themselves in a 12-point deficit to the Mocs early on. Chattanooga was quick on defensive rebounds, Darius Banks at the forefront with 13, putting their offense in position to outscore Illinois. With the Illini unable to pick up the pace, it looked like the Mocs would take the game over the favored 4-seed. But, Illinois proved itself as a second-half team. Scoring 15 points overall, Alfonso Plummer nailed 13 of them in the second half. Plummer’s back-to-back threes were able to bring make it a one-point game in the middle of the second. Kofi Cockburn also started heating up, putting up 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Illini. Chattanooga and Illinois went basket for basket, but it was a foul on Mocs forward, Silvio De Sousa, that gave the Plummer the chance to edge the Illini ahead by one point. When the clock ran down it was 54-53 with Illinois taking the second-round spot over Chattanooga. 

Purdue vs. Yale

The Purdue Boilermakers kept up the Big Ten success rate, beating the Yale Bulldogs 78-56. The Boilermakers showed out with an “Ivey” league of their own with sophomore guard Jaden Ivey putting up 22 points and four rebounds. Purdue edged ahead from the start, but Yale was able to match their energy with Azar Swain going four-for-four on field goals. However, as the clock ticked down, Zach Edey nailed multiple rebounds and took the ball back to Bulldog territory putting the Boilermakers in front at the end of the first, 46-33. Yale demonstrated a surge of energy at the beginning of the second, EJ Jarvis and Jalen Gabbidon hitting back-to-back layups to soften Purdue’s lead. Both teams fell into an almost three-minute scoring drought, letting the defense take center stage. But, the Boilermakers started to rev back up and snuck in some key jumpers to push the team’s lead to 26-points at its highest. By then, there wasn’t much hope for the Bulldogs and Purdue took the win. The Boilermakers will look to play the winner of the Texas Longhorns vs. Virginia Tech Hokies game on Sunday, March 20.

Ohio State vs. Loyola Chicago

The 7-seed Ohio State Buckeyes are still dancing after they outscored the 10-seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Both teams showed up big on the defensive front and had a slow shooting start, making for a low-scoring game. But, for all its hard work on defense, the Ramblers could not carry the energy into their offense. Loyola Chicago shot about 27% from the floor, allowing Ohio State to take the lead with ease. With Kyle Young back on the court after recovering from a concussion and E.J. Liddell’s accuracy, the Buckeyes were a force. Malaki Branham held it down in the first, pairing his two steals with powerful breakaway dunks. Towards the end of the first, Loyola Chicago found an offensive spark with a clutch three from Braden Norris but, as the clock ticked down they missed 4 layups, letting Ohio keep its lead. Moving onto the second, Norris tried to carry the team as Lucas Williamson could not find the basket for the Ramblers. Williamson ended with 4 points total, making for a very out-of-character performance for Loyola Chicago’s winningest player. In the end, no amount of luck from Sister Jean could redeem the Ramblers, and the Buckeyes sealed the win with a final score of 54-41.

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Indiana vs. St. Mary’s

The Indiana Hoosiers suffered a blowout loss to the St. Mary’s Gaels marking the end of another Big Ten team’s fleeting journey in the March Madness tournament. As the best defensive team in the Big Ten, the 12-seed Indiana Hoosiers met their match with the 5-seed Gaels who are also known for their top knotch defense. St. Mary’s struggled defensively in the first, but made up for it big time on offense with key assists from Tommy Kuhse and inside shots from Logan Johnson. The Gaels average about 19 seconds per possession taking valuable time away from the Hoosiers and developing a significant lead. Even with Trayce Jackson-Davis taking control of the court for Indiana, St. Mary’s came out on top at the end of the first 40-28. The Gaels had an explosive second half right out of the gate, Kuhse hitting three consecutive 3-pointers and Johnson, a powerhouse on defense. From there, no amount of energy the Hoosiers mustered could seem to put a stop to the Gaels’ rhythm. St. Mary’s surged ahead until the end, outscoring the Hoosiers 82-53. Moving on to the round of 32, the Gaels will go up against the winner of UCLA vs. Akron. 

Iowa vs. Richmond

The Iowa Hawkeyes fell to the Richmond Spiders who made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011. The 12-seed Spiders kept up a close game standing out defensively and slowing down the 5-seed Hawkeyes. Coming off a Big Ten Championship win, the Hawkeyes were a trending Final Four pick, but it was the older team that came out on top. Jacob Gilyard held it down for the Spiders with 24 points, six assists, and six rebounds. It was a 1-point game at the end of the first, and Iowa came out strong after halftime. A huge block by Filip Rebraca ignited the momentum for the Hawkeyes, and Patrick McCaffery started heating up with back-to-back threes. But, Iowa’s energy was short-lived as Nathan Cayo started recovering Richmond’s deficit from the inside. Both teams were neck-and-neck until Cayo hit a clutch and-1 to push the Spiders to a 6-point lead with 30 seconds left in the game. It boiled down to Gilyard nailing his last four free throws to push Richmond just in front of Iowa with a final score of 67-63. With a huge first-round upset, less than 2% of brackets remain perfect in the NCAA Tournament. The Spiders will look to play the Providence Friars Saturday, March 19.

Michigan vs. Colorado State

The 11-seed Michigan Wolverines are still dancing after taking down the 5-seed Colorado State Rams 75-63. The second-round spot in the tournament looked dim for the Wolverines as the Rams came out strong in the first half. Colorado State put up a 10-0 scoring run on Michigan led by Mountain West Player of the Year, David Roddy. The Wolverines were 0-7 on 3-pointers in the first and the Rams were aggressive on offensive rebounds pushing a 15-point lead. But, with a significant breakaway dunk by freshman guard, Frankie Collins with four minutes left in the first, Michigan started to show signs of redemption. Standing in for starting guard, Devante’ Jones, who was out with a concussion, Collins helped get Michigan back into the mix with help from Hunter Dickenson who boasted 21 points and six rebounds. Dickenson made it look effortless from inside the paint and Michigan was able to find its first lead of the day at 12:44 in the second. In the end, the Wolverines ran with the momentum and pushed the Rams to the point of no return with a 12-point lead. 

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