On Wednesday, the 2015 Big Ten Tournament tipped off with two exciting games that were competitive for the most part. In the first game, Nebraska nearly pulled off the comeback late, but Penn State defeated the Cornhuskers and will move on to Thursdayy. In the second game, the score went back and forth, but Minnesota scored a key win over Rutgers to avoid an upset.
Now, with the two games completed, we can take a look at the updated Big Ten Tournament bracket. With six more Big Ten teams in action starting on Thursdayy, today's games could play a big part in who advances tomorrow. There are also some interesting matchups on Thursday and beyond that should not only impact the conference, but potential NCAA, NIT, and CBI bids.
Here is the 2015 Big Ten Tournament bracket.
2015 B1G Tournament Bracket:
With Penn State's win, they move on to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday. They faced off just once in the regular season and it was a late February game at Penn State that ended up going to overtime. The Hawkeyes did eek out the victory, but it was a tight battle where the Nittany Lions looked like they could pull it off at one point.
On the bottom half of the bracket, Minnesota won their game and will move on to face Ohio State. Like Iowa and Penn State, this will only be the second time these teams face off this season. Plus, the only time the two teams faced off, the game went to over time at Minnesota with Ohio State winning. It really is bizarre how similar these matchups will be on paper on Thursday.
The only other update after the first day of conference action is the fact that Nebraska and Rutgers were both eliminated from play in Chicago. Neither team had high expectations for this week, but considering that both are not in position to get NCAA or NIT bids, it could very likely be the end of the year for both programs. It will certainly be sad to see players like Kadeem Jack, Myles Mack, David Rivers, and Leslee Smith finish off their careers. However, it also means a time to build in the offseason and recruit for next year and beyond. Perhaps by next season, these two will avoid the first day of the Big Ten Tournament.
BTP will have more B1G Tournament updates as the week continues so stay tuned.