Tournament to be played at Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
Michigan Wolverines vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (+4, 135)
The Wolverines cruised past ninth-seeded Illinois 75-55 in the second round despite arriving in Washington, D.C., only hours prior to tipoff Thursday as their charter plane skidded off the runway during takeoff Wednesday before knocking off No. 1 seed Purdue 74-70 in overtime in Friday’s quarterfinal. Michigan eliminated the top seed in the conference tournament for the second time in as many years and hopes to advance to the championship game for the first time since 2014. D.J. Wilson led the way with 26 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots to lift the Wolverines past Purdue for the second time in two weeks. Zak Irvin added 13 points and seven rebounds, including the game-tying basket with 4.2 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Minnesota advanced to the semifinals for the first time in seven years following a hard-fought 63-58 victory against fifth-seeded Michigan State on Friday. The Golden Gophers have won nine of their last 10 games and turn their attention to beating Michigan for the second time this season after an 83-78 overtime victory in Minneapolis on Feb. 19. Reggie Lynch, who was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year earlier in the week, scored a team-high 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting and blocked five shots against Michigan State. Amir Coffey added 13 points and Jordan Murphy produced 10 points and 13 rebounds to notch his third double-double in the last four games.
* Michigan is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games.
* Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.
* Under is 7-1 in Michigan’s last eight neutral site games.
* Over is 7-1 in Minnesota’s last eight games following a SU win.
Northwestern Wildcats vs. Wisconsin Badgers (-4.5, 124)
The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals for the first time in the 20-year history of this event with Friday’s 72-64 victory over third-seeded Maryland, taking control of the game in the second half thanks to a 20-2 run and 25 points off 14 turnovers by the Terrapins. Bryant McIntosh, who fueled Friday’s upset with 16 points and six assists, played an even bigger role in Northwestern’s 66-59 victory over the Badgers on Feb. 12, finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. McIntosh (team-high 14.6 points, league-best 5.4 assists), who has averaged 26.5 points per game in his last two games against Wisconsin, took most of the offensive load upon himself in last month’s meeting, shooting 10-for-23 from the field as second-leading scorer Scottie Lindsey (14.1 points) was sidelined with mononucleosis.
That loss to the Wildcats triggered a 1-5 stretch for Wisconsin, but the Badgers appear to be back on track after beating No. 10 seed Indiana 70-60 in Friday’s quarterfinals. The win was a second straight since the slide for Wisconsin, which will attempt to the reach the Big Ten tournament title game for the seventh time. On the same day he joined Frank Kaminsky as the only Badger to be named a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (nation’s best center), Ethan Happ (13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds) posted his ninth double-double of the season Friday with 14 points and 12 boards. Bronson Koenig (team-high 14.2 points) led Wisconsin with 16 points against Indiana and has picked up his play on the offensive end over the last five contests, averaging 19.2 points in that span.
* Northwestern is 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral site games.
* Wisconsin is 1-5 ATS in its last six games following a ATS win.
* Under is 10-3 in Northwestern’s last 13 neutral site games.
* Under is 11-1 in Wisconsin’s last 12 neutral site games.