It was by no means a predictable tournament this past week in New York City. Top seeds went down, teams were upset, and NCAA Tournament hopes were dashed. In the end, it was Michigan who won their second consecutive Big Ten tournament championship. Aside from that, there were some phenomenal performances from individual players as well. Shortly after the final game wrapped up, the Big Ten All-Tournament team was announced. Not surprisingly, the Wolverines were well represented, getting two players on the team out of the five selections.
Narrowing the list to five could not have been easy, but here is your 2018 Big Ten All-Tournament team.
2018 Big Ten All-Tournament Team
Corey Sanders - Rutgers
- Game 1 vs Minnesota: 23 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
- Game 2 vs Indiana: 28 points, 3 assists, 1 steal
- Game 3 vs Purdue: 23 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
I do not care who you are, you cannot sit here and tell me you thought Rutgers had a chance to win two games in the Big Ten tournament. Sure, their game with Minnesota was honestly a toss up, but they could not make it past Indiana, right? As you now know, that is exactly what happened and Sanders was the reason for that. Outside of their final game against Purdue, Sanders was the only player to score over 20 points in any of the Scarlet Knights’ games.
Corey Sanders has now put himself back into NBA Draft consideration. Coming into the season, we were questioning the sensibility of Sanders coming back for his junior season. Now, we understand fully, he still had much to prove and he certainly hadsproven quite a bit in only three games.
Carsen Edwards - Purdue
- Game 1 vs Rutgers: 26 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds
- Game 2 vs Penn State: 27 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
- Game 3 vs Michigan: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists
It is so exciting to see Edwards make the All-Tournament team as only a sophomore. His first two games were extremely efficient and exciting, they also led to this now famous gif:
His final performance against Michigan was nothing to write home about. Edwards shot only 25 percent from the field and the Boilermakers lost too. That has to sting, but on the other hand, Purdue is going to the NCAA Tournament, so Edwards season is not done yet. This honor paves the way for Edwards to become one of the best players in the conference next year. As I have said before, do not be shocked if Carsen Edwards wins Big Ten Player of the Year at some point in the next two years.
Tony Carr - Penn State
- Game 1 vs Northwestern: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
- Game 2 vs Ohio State: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
- Game 3 vs Purdue: 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists
Carr is the pulse of Penn State and he is the biggest factor in the Nittany Lions winning basketball games. As you can see by the stat lines above, the worst game Carr played, Penn State lost. However, we cannot dwell on the unfortunate outcomes because Carr led the Nittany Lions to two massive victories. Especially for a team that has possible postseason hopes in some capacity.
Obviously beating Purdue would have been huge for their resume, but their victory over Ohio State was very helpful. That was the third time this season that Penn State beat the Buckeyes. In all of those wins, Ohio State was a nationally ranked team too. Carr had a massive part in all three victories, but none was more important than the Big Ten tournament win. Tony Carr is the lifeblood of Penn State and he was no doubt deserving of this award.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman - Michigan
- Game 1 vs Iowa: 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
- Game 2 vs Nebraska: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
- Game 3 vs Michigan State: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
- Game 4 vs Purdue: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists
Abdur-Rahkman has been one of the most underrated players in the Big Ten this season. The four game stretch for Michigan that led to them capturing the tournament title brought Abdur-Rahkman’s talents to the forefront. He was nothing if not consistent for the Wolverines who have been clamoring for a consistent go-to option outside of Moritz Wagner. As March wears on and Michigan presumably gets deeper and deeper into the NCAA Tournament, they will need Abdur-Rahkman more than ever.
Clearly, he has proven his ability as a serious offensive and defensive threat for John Beilein. His performances are vital as Michigan moves into another postseason tournament.
Most Outstanding Player: Moritz Wagner - Michigan
- Game 1 vs Iowa: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
- Game 2 vs Nebraska: 20 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
- Game 3 vs Michigan State: 15 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal
- Game 4 vs Purdue: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
It seems that whenever Michigan needs a basket or defensive stop, it is Wagner who provides what they need. We saw this in the Big Ten tournament championship against Purdue. Though 17 points may not wow you, Wagner shot 64 percent from the field and three of six from long range. It was this efficient offensive play that provided the Wolverines the momentum to really power past the Boilermakers.
Last season and this season too, Wagner has played his best basketball in March. You may recall his 26 point effort last season against Louisville in the NCAA Tournament. There is no indication that Wagner will slow down come NCAA Tournament time this year either.