Friday night's slate of games in the Big Ten Tournament offered a variety of outcomes. The No. 1 seed Indiana Hoosiers were shocked by a last second shot in the opening game of the Quarterfinals, Purdue flexed its muscles against the injury plagued Illinois Fighting Illini, Michigan State handled Ohio State for the third time this season and
Throughout the day's action, there were a plethora of focal points that stood out for each game. Let's take a look at the key points from the day's action.
1. Michigan is one win shy of securing an NCAA Tournament berth.
The Wolverines came into Friday's tilt with Indiana right on the bubble in the latest Bracketology reports, per ESPN. The Wolverines are now 22-11 after their 72-69 victory over the Hoosiers. Michigan entered this season with lofty expectations, but with the injury to Caris LeVert, the promising season that fans expected died down.
There is still a solid chance for a tournament berth - and perhaps a tournament run with the crazy season that has transpired this year. Michigan has wins against Texas, Maryland and Indiana. A win against Purdue is possible, as they earned a 61-56 victory last month. The Wolverines shoot nearly 40 percent from three point range, so if a Big Ten Tournament championship game appearance is in the works, the Spartans will need to take advantage of their impressive team three point shooting percentage.
2. Purdue flexed its muscles and showed they can be a team who can make a run.
Purdue is another Big Ten program in the conference that started the season with lofty goals and expectations, and after hitting a rough stretch of games, the Boilermakers could be in the process of picking it up at the right time. There aren't many programs in the country who can matchup with Purdue's frontcourt depth, and the Illinois Fighting Illini were the latest victim to their towering interior.
Isaac Haas led the way against Illinois with 16 points, which makes their offensive attack even more lethal when he can lead the way in the scoring column. Perhaps one of the key stats that led to victory for Purdue was their 42-24 advantage on the glass.
Another key which could help Purdue's chances going forward in the NCAA tournament is their bench production. Dakota Mathias and Ryan Cline combined for 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the perimeter. If shooters can capitalize and more guys off the bench can contribute, the Boilermakers could make a serious run the rest of this month.
3. Michigan State is working towards a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Tom Izzo in March is something opposing coaches across the country don't want to come across, and that is especially true this season. The Spartans seemingly shaped themselves into March Madness form in November and showed little signs of struggle aside from a three game losing streak in the middle of January.
With Denzel Valentine and Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn, the Spartans seemingly have two point guards on the floor at all times. Having the conference Player of the Year on the court has impacted the game for the Spartans. His scoring, facilitating and rebounding make him a multi-faceted threat to help the Spartans make a serious championship run later this month.
The development of freshman forward Deyonta Davis has also made the Spartans one of the scariest teams in the country. Davis tallied an impressive 12 points and seven rebounds, but his defensive abilities also make an already suffocating defense even more unbearable.
4. If Jake Layman can play like he did against Nebraska, they can get to Houson.
The x-factor for Maryland making a long tournament run later this month could very well come down to the play of senior forward Jake Layman. The 6-9 forward came out storming in the first half scoring 14 of Maryland's first 20 points. He was seemingly unconscious from three point range which opened up the inside play of Diamond Stone in the second half.
Layman has often taken a back seat in the scoring column to Rasheed Sulaimon, Melo Trimble and others, but if he can combine his ability to be a dangerous scorer on a consistent basis and his defensive length and energy, the Terrapins could cut the nets down in Houston.