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Big Ten Tournament Bracket 2018, How to watch, Dates, Preview, Location

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USA Today Sports

Big Ten Tournament Bracket 2018, How to watch, Dates, Preview, Location

The Big Ten tournament moves to Madison Square Garden for the first time in conference history this year. However, that is not done without some controversy.

To ensure their use of the World’s Most Famous Arena, the Big Ten had to move their tournament a week earlier than their typical schedules and the rest of the Power conferences. They will crown a champion a full week before Selection Sunday, in a move that many think may cost the conference some bids. Additionally, all teams will be a full week removed from action before their participation in any postseason, the longest break any team has had since the season started.

READ MORE: NCAA TOURNAMENT BUBBLE WATCH

This drama surrounding how the move may affect the Big Ten probably could not be at a worse year. Back in early January, it was pointed out in the Washington Post how weak of a year it was for the Big Ten. At the time only four teams from the conference was going dancing. Sub out Minnesota and put in Ohio State and not much has changed.

A year ago the conference had seven teams playing in March Madness.

Sitting on the bubble now is Penn State and Nebraska and both teams have to make a considerable run to make it to the NCAA Tournament. But if they make it to the quarterfinals and then lose, they have a long week ahead of them waiting to see what every other conference does.

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT INFORMATION:

When is the Big Ten Tournament?

The Big Ten Tournament will be Wed. Feb 28 - March 4, the Big Ten championship is on March 4.

Where is the Big Ten Tournament?
The Big Ten tournament will primarily be at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York for the first time ever.

How to watch the Big Ten Tournament?

The Big Ten Tournament will be televised on the Big Ten Network and on CBS. The first round up to the quarterfinals will be on the league’s own network. CBS takes over the coverage starting with semifinal Saturday.

Who is the defending Big Ten Champion?

The Michigan Wolverines won the 2017 Big Ten championship. Their victory as the eight seed in the conference moved them from the bubble of the NCAA Tournament to the automatic berth from the Big Ten. It was the Wolverines first ever Big Ten Tournament championship.

2018 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT BRACKET:

First Round – Wednesday, Feb. 28

No. 12 Iowa 96, No. 13 Illinois 87
No. 14 Rutgers 65, No. 11 Minnesota 54

Second Round - Thursday, March 1

No. 8 Wisconsin 59, No. 9 Maryland 54
No. 5 Michigan 77, No. 12 Iowa 71 OT
No. 7 Penn State 65, No. 10 Northwestern 57
No. 14 Rutgers 76, No. 6 Indiana 69

Quarterfinals - Friday, March 2

No. 1 Michigan State 63, No. 8 Wisconsin 60
No. 5 Michigan 77, No. 4 Nebraska 58
No. 7 Penn State 69, No. 2 Ohio State 68
No. 3 Purdue 82, No. 14 Rutgers 75

Semi-finals – Saturday, March 3

No. 5 Michigan 75, No. 1 Michigan State 64                                          
No. 3 Purdue 78, No. 7 Penn State 70                                                  

Big Ten Championship - Sunday, March 4

No. 5 Michigan 75, No. 3 Purdue 66

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BIG TEN TOURNAMENT PREVIEW:

This season is shaping up to be a heavyweight battle between the top two or three teams in the conference. Michigan State and Purdue have been the Big Ten favorites all season long. There is only wrinkle in their plan and that is No. 2 Ohio State. Led by Keita Bates-Diop, the Buckeyes are the only team in the conference to garner wins against those two schools. With their decent shooting numbers and their ability to box-out on the offensive and defensive glass, they are play the game well and do not have to rely on one aspect of their game.

But while these three teams are the favorites, nothing ever seems to go to plan in the Big Ten Tournament. This year’s potential surprise team is Penn State. They play stout defensively; the Nittany Lions can limit opponents inside the paint and lead the Big Ten in steals. They just need more than Tony Carr and Shep Garner to pull up from three. They’ve also proven themselves against the top teams in the conference. Sweeping Ohio State, a three-point lost at Purdue, and an eight-point loss in East Lancing, they are right there with the top in the Big Ten. Penn State as the No. 7 seed has a chance to make it to Sunday.

Maryland’s starting five has the opportunity to knock off one top team and could outshoot Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston in a potential No. 1 vs. No. 8 match-up. Not likely, but they can make it interesting and if so they could be the Wolverines from a season ago.

Also do not count out Michigan who checks in as the No. 5 seed, three spots better than a year ago.

PICK: No. 2 Ohio State

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Looking back at Cliff Tucker's buzzer-beater that carried Terps over Georgia Tech in 2010

Looking back at Cliff Tucker's buzzer-beater that carried Terps over Georgia Tech in 2010

With 1.5 seconds to go and down by one, Maryland guard Eric Hayes scanned the floor and found his teammate Cliff Tucker on the left wing. 

Tucker didn't have to time to make a move, so he simply let it go from three and canned the game-winner to give the Terps a shocking late-season win over Georgia Tech. It was the third victory of a seven-game winning streak to close the 2010 season for Gary Williams and his group. 

It's been 10 years since Tucker stunned Georgia Tech with his epic buzzer-beater, which is still one of Maryland's best basketball moments in the program's history.

The 2010 Terps, led by Grieves Vazquez finished the season on a 10-1 sprint into the ACC tournament. They won the regular-season conference championship, beating out the eventual National Champion Duke Blue Devils, but ultimately lost their conference tournament opener to, guess who, Georgia Tech. 

Maryland entered the NCAA tournament as a four-seed. After an easy win over Houston in the first round, the Terps fell to Michigan State by two points. The Spartans went on to the Final Four thanks to Northern Iowa upsetting top-seeded Kansas, so Maryland was left to wonder what could have been if they got past Tom Izzo's bunch. 

So in the end, the season wasn't the success it was setting up to be as Tucker helped lead a late-season surge. But hey, they'll always have his buzzer-beater. 

Tucker passed away in a car accident in 2018. 

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Maryland moves up to No. 7 in new AP poll

Maryland moves up to No. 7 in new AP poll

Baylor and Kansas just keep winning, setting up a monumental showdown Saturday between the top-ranked Bears and No. 3 Jayhawks that could help decide not only the Big 12 title but the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.

The two teams were separated once again by Gonzaga in the latest college basketball poll from The Associated Press on Monday. The Bears (23-1) had 48 first-place votes from the 63-member media panel, while the Bulldogs (26-1) had 14 first-place nods and the Jayhawks (22-3) had the only remaining first-place vote.

"The best we could be right now is being the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. We're No. 2," said Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team beat West Virginia and Oklahoma last week. "The reason we're not No. 1 is Baylor beat us on our home floor. They deserve it. I'm not looking at it like we haven't done as well as our record because we're in second place. I'm looking at it like we played pretty good that day and got beat by a better team, and now we have a chance to get them back."

The Bears and Jayhawks both have business to handle before they collide on Saturday, though. Kansas got a visit from Iowa State to Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night while Baylor will be visiting Oklahoma on Tuesday night.

If both win, it would set up one of the biggest games in the history of the Ferrell Center.

"I think it's a tribute to the players, their belief," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "We've been operating under joy ... (and) focusing one game at a time and we'll keep doing that."

San Diego State (26-0) remained the nation's last unbeaten team and was No. 4 in the latest poll, while Dayton (23-2) climbed one spot to fifth after wins over Rhode Island and Massachusetts and a rough week for then-No. 5 Louisville.

"I told our team, `Let's get greedy. Let's play for perfection,'" Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher said. "If we're this close, we might as well play for a perfect regular season. ... Let's do something special."

That's exactly what the Flyers are trying to do, too.

"We're trying to win a national championship," Dayton guard Jalen Crutcher said. "We feel like that there's no team in the country we can't beat. We feel like we can go and win a national championship, and we talk about that a lot."

The Cardinals lost to Georgia Tech and Clemson to plummet all the way to No. 11, but they weren't the only ranked team to lose to an unranked foe on Saturday. Auburn fell at Missouri, Seton Hall lost to Providence, Butler lost at Georgetown, Illinois lost at Rutgers, Houston fell at SMU, Texas Tech fell at Oklahoma State and LSU was beaten on the road by Alabama.

Throw in then-No. 14 West Virginia's loss to Baylor and nine ranked teams were beaten. Eight lost to unranked opponents, the most in a single day this season.

"This week wasn't a good week for us," Louisville coach Chris Mack said. "The teams we're playing are too together and we're not right now. It's unfortunate, but it happens sometimes and my job is to keep our team on course and get better."

IN AND OUT

BYU climbed into the poll at No. 23 after wins over Loyola Marymount and San Diego, and now faces Santa Clara on Thursday night before a showdown with the second-ranked Zags. The Cougars were followed by Arizona at No. 24 and Ohio State at No. 25, two teams that were in the poll earlier this season before dropping out.

Illinois plummeted out of the poll after losing to Michigan State and Rutgers. Texas Tech also dropped out along with LSU, which lost at Alabama during a brutal Saturday for the nation's Top 25 teams.

CLIMBING AND FALLING

Creighton made the biggest leap this week, rising from No. 23 to 15th after beating then-No. 10 Seton Hall and DePaul. Penn State moved up four spots to crack the top 10 at No. 9, while Oregon climbed from No. 17 to 14 and Kentucky moved up two spots to round out the top 10.

Louisville's weak week culminated in a drop of six places to No. 11, while Seton Hall also absorbed a pair of losses and fell to No. 16. West Virginia lost to Baylor and Kansas but was only penalized three places and remained No. 17.

MID-MAJOR WATCH

There are some intriguing mid-major programs poised to enter the Top 25 if there's another week of upsets. Stephen F. Austin quietly improved to 22-3 and is one of the first teams out, while Northern Iowa (22-4), Utah State (21-7) and Rhode Island (19-6) are getting plenty of love from voters as March begins to bear down on the college basketball season.

Here is the full AP poll: 

1. Baylor (23-1) 
2. Gonzaga (26-1)   
3. Kansas (22-3)    
4. San Diego State (26-0)   
5. Dayton (23-2)   
6. Duke (22-3)     
7. Maryland (21-4)   
8. Florida State (21-4)
9. Penn State (20-5)    
10. Kentucky (20-5)    
11. Louisville (21-5)   
12. Villanova (19-6)    
13. Auburn (22-3)    
14. Oregon (20-6)        
15. Creighton (20-6)      
16. Seton Hall (18-7)    
17. West Virginia (18-7)     
18. Colorado (20-6)       
19. Marquette (17-7)    
20. Iowa (18-8)    
21. Butler (19-7)    
22. Houston (20-6)        
23. BYU (21-7)        
24. Arizona (18-7)        
25. Ohio State (17-8)       

Others receiving votes:
Texas Tech 92, Michigan State 87, Michigan 83, LSU 55, Rhode Island 39, Virginia 32, Cincinnati 14, Stephen F. Austin 14, Illinois 12, Northern Iowa 9, Utah State 8, Rutgers 6, Florida 6, East Tennessee State 5, Saint Mary's 4, Tulsa 3, Richmond 3, SMU 2, New Mexico State 2, Wright State 1, Arizona State 1

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