Illinois is playing Michigan and this comes after the game against Indiana and this if for the quarterfinals in the tournament and Illinois and Indiana are playing in the Big Ten tournament first round on Thursday and the game is streaming online from the Big Ten Network and comes live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and has the Hoosiers looking salvage their season and the game starts up live at 12 pm noon and is streaming online from the BTN website and now on ESPN.
The Hoosiers come into the game after losing to Michigan to end the season and that helped solidify the conference title for the Wolverines and now Indiana is looking to make a run as they try and state a case to get into the tournament. Last season the team had high expectations and flamed out, leaving President Obama without his finals pick and now they have the chance to upset a team, as Illinois finished with one more win this season than Indiana, while both had 7-11 records in the conference.
Indiana comes in scoring over 70 points per game and they finished eighth this season in a strong conference and they lost two of their final four games and those were against Michigan and Nebraska, while Indiana was able to get two nice wins before that against ranked teams in Ohio State and Iowa, although they lost to Wisconsin in the previous game on the schedule. The team has a win earlier this season against Michigan as well as the Badgers and that experiencer will come in handy if the team is able to advance.
The conference was one of the deepest in the nation and four ranked teams are in the top five of the standings, with Michigan winning the title in the regular season over Wisconsin, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State. Indiana is ranked in the top 25 in rebounding and they are grabbing nearly 40 per game while allowing 67 points per contest and they also are averaging over four blocks per game this season. The team has already won over Illinois and that came in January, while they lost to the Illini earlier in the season in overtime on December 31.
Michigan comes into things as champions of the conference in the regular season and they have the number one seed in the conference tournament. The team won its first sole title in over 20 years and Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Nebraska are all in the quarters already with byes and the Wolverines now have won the title in two of the past three seasons and they are shaping up to be a top contender with Nik Stauskas. The Big Ten tournament historically has been won by a number of different teams and that makes it very interesting this season, as four teams ranked in the top 25 are coming in and they all have legitimate shots to win and Stauskas will be the focus after he won the conference player of the year award.