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Big Ten Friday Recap: A Day Full of Close Games and an Illinois Victory

The conference went 4-3 on the day with two close losses to Top 25 teams.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Black Friday is more fun when you stay in a watch basketball. Especially when the Big Ten ends up with more wins than losses.

Game of the Day: Nebraska Cornhuskers 61, #24 Cincinnati 65

Everyone's favorite New Zealand-born point guard scored 21 points in the loss. Tai Webster also added in 8 rebounds and 3 assists while only committing 1 turnover. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to upset the Bearcats. It was a tight game throughout, and at the half it was all knotted up at 25-25.

Late in the game, Cincy managed to pull away just enough to hold off a late surge by Nebrasketball, who pulled within 3 with under a minute left before falling 65-61. Husker senior Shavon Shields scored 14 points in just 20 minutes played. Cincinnati was led by Troy Caupain with 17, and they will play George Washington in final today at 2:30 after Nebraska-Tennessee.

The Rest:

#3 Michigan State Spartans 77, Boise State 67

Michigan State continues to look like a team capable of returning to the Final Four. Denzel Valentine went off again, scoring 32 points, grabbing 9 boards and dishing out 6 assists. After a close first half, the Spartans never trailed in the second in route to a championship berth against Providence and Kris Dunn in the Wooden Legacy final. Freshman Deyonta Davis added 12 points off the bench for MSU.

Iowa Hawkeyes 62, #17 Notre Dame 68

Both teams suffered disappointing losses in their previous game, and looked to redeem themselves and avoid two losses in the Advocare Invitational. Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, they only got 3 points from their bench and missed the chance to hand the Fighting Irish their second upset loss in a row. Jarrod Uthoff scored 20 and Adam Woodberry added 14 and 10. Iowa will get another shot at a top 25 team as they play Wichita State on Sunday.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 93, Omaha 90

Minnesota was the only Big Ten team to play at home yesterday, and they needed the boost as Omaha almost pulled off the upset. The Mavericks got quite a few shots up in the last 30 seconds, but none of them fell as the Gophers' defense stood tall. Joey King went 4-4 from the line and behind the arc on his way to 18 points. Teammate Bakary Konate added in a career-high 14 and 10 rebounds.

Michigan Wolverines 78, Texas 72

Michigan built on their dismantling of Charlotte with a good win against Shaka Smart and the Longhorns. The Wolverines may no longer be considered legit title contenders in the Big Ten, but they are definitely a talented team. Caris LeVert did what he does and led his team with 19 points on the day. Duncan Robinson added in 14 with 4-5 shooting from three. The Wolverines finished with 56% shooting from deep on the day. They ended their trip to the Bahamas with a 2-1 record.

Ohio State Buckeyes 76, Memphis 81 OT

Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop hit a three with a minute to go to send the game into overtime, but the Buckeyes could only manage one point in the extra period. Freshman JaQuan Lyle continues to look good with 18 points and 8 assists on the day. Junior Marc Loving scored 17 points of his own, but it wasn't enough as Ohio State fell to the Tigers.

Illinois Fighting Illini 72, UAB 58

Maybe Springfield is the problem? Down in Florida, Illinois finally looked like a team capable of winning some Big Ten games. Oh, and getting Kendrick Nunn and Leron Black back helped too. Nunn and Black scored 18 and 12 points off the bench respectively. Maverick Morgan and Malcolm Hill also chipped in 12 a piece as the Fighting Illini overcame the Blazers and will face #4 Iowa State in the Emerald Coast Classic final tonight.