On the second to last day of the season, nearly every game had implications on B1G Tournament seeding and byes, as well as a couple with NCAA tournament implications. The first game of the day was one of the best of the season.
Game of the Day: Michigan State @ Indiana
The Michigan State Spartans were without Branden Dawson, who was still suffering concussion symptoms after taking an inadvertent hit to the head from Isaac Haas on Wednesday. In the end it wouldn't matter as MSU walked out of Assembly Hall with a wild 74-72 victory. The Indiana Hoosiers were down by double-digits in the second half, but they rallied late as MSU's free throw woes continued to plague this team. Up 73-71 with five seconds left, Travis Trice missed a free throw and then something crazy happened. Denzel Valentine inexplicably fouled Yogi Ferrell as he was running up the court, giving one of the best shooters in the entire league a chance to tie it with two freebies at the line. Yogi hit the first, but missed the second and the rebound came to Marvin Clark Jr. who was fouled immediately with .5 left on the clock. The Freshman missed his first and when trying to intentionally miss the second, he swished it instead. Thankfully for MSU and Tom Izzo's heart, IU's final heave missed and the Spartans escaped.
Trice led MSU with 21 points while Clark added 14. Sophomore Alvin Ellis III had a career day with 16 points coming off of the bench. For IU, Ferrell also had 21 points, to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Fellow Hoosiers James Blackmon Jr. and Nick Zeisloft both added 17 points. For the BTT, MSU has locked up the 3 seed and a double bye, while Indiana will be the 7 seed and will play on Thursday.
Northwestern @ Iowa
Aaron White continued to play at an All-B1G level for Iowa as he scored 25 points and added 8 rebounds. Fellow Senior Gabriel Olaseni had a remarkable senior day, for another reason, as his mother and sisters flew in from London to see him play his final game. Iowa cruised to a 69-52 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats. Tre Demps had a decent day for NU as he scored 15 points, meanwhile Alex Olah scored 7 and collected 10 rebounds. Iowa will either be the 4 seed or the 5 seed depending on the outcome of OSU-Wisconsin. Norhtwestern will also have to wait to see how games play out before they know their seeding.
Rutgers @ Michigan
The Wolverines rolled over Rutgers on senior night, 79-69. Michigan hit 14-31 threes, including 8-11 from Aubrey Dawkins. Dawkins would finish with 31 points, while senior Max Bielfeldt had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. For Rutgers, Kadeem Jack had a big game with 21 points and Bishop Daniels finished as the only other Scarlet Knight in double-figures with 11. Michigan will be the 9 seed in the tournament, and will face Illinois. Rutgers finished their first B1G season with just two wins and will be the 14 seed on Wednesday.
Illinois @ Purdue
The Boilermakers and the Fighting Illini both had a lot on the line in Saturday's game, in fact, some had referred to the match-up a virtual play-in game for the NCAA tourney. Illinois jumped out to a big lead early in the first, but a spark from freshman P.J. Thompson at the end of the first half gave the Boilers the momentum going into the second. Purdue came out and played great defense en route to a big second half and double-digit lead. Illinois never gave up the fight and closed up late and extended the game as long as possible, but they lost by a final of 63-58. Rayvonte Rice had a great game, scoring 25 points for Illinois, while teammate Malcolm Hill had 15. Purdue was led by Rapheal Davis with 18 and A.J. Hammons with 16 and 10 boards. Senior transfer Jon Octeus played his final game at Mackey while scoring 11 points. Illinois is locked into the 8 seed in Chicago, playing against Michigan. For Purdue, their seed depends on the outcome of tomorrow's Wisconsin-OSU game. With a Badger win, they will be the 4 seed and earn a double-bye, otherwise they will be the 5.