Big Ten men’s tournament recap: Day 3

NEW YORK — Day three of the 2018 Big Ten men’s basketball tournament featured four games stretching from afternoon until evening. The top four seeds played their first games of the tournament, and crowds at Madison Square Garden caught some pretty high-quality basketball.


GAME NO. 1: MICHIGAN STATE 63-60 WISCONSIN

Miles Bridges (20) and Cassius Winston (17) combined for more than half of Michigan State’s point total on the afternoon. Nick Ward and Jaren Jackson Jr. each played 15 minutes, scoring eight and seven points, respectively.

Matt McQuaid struggled on the afternoon, scoring only five points. But the Duncanville, Texas native nailed a 3-pointer with 1:29 remaining to give MSU the lead once again and ultimately, the win.

Ethan Happ dominated down low for Wisconsin, scoring a game-high 22 points. Brad Davison, who dropped a career-high 30 points seven days ago when UW played MSU in Madison, had a three-point attempt to send the game into overtime at the buzzer fall short.


GAME NO. 2: MICHIGAN 77-58 NEBRASKA

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting (5-of-5 from three-point range) for Michigan, who dismantled Nebraska with relative ease. After entering the half up 10 points, UM pulled away thanks to shooting 44 percent from the field.

Moritz Wagner added 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting, along with 13 rebounds for the Wolverines. Zavier Simpson and Duncan Robinson were the other Michigan players in double figures (12 and 16 points, respectively).

James Palmer Jr. and Isaiah Roby scored 16 points apiece for the Huskers, but an abysmal 25 percent shooting from the three-point arc and 30 percent from the field left the Tim Miles-led bubble team looking like the Big Dance would not be in their future.


GAME NO. 3: PENN STATE 69-68 OHIO STATE

That’s right, twice in the regular season and now in the Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes just couldn’t shake the Nittany Lions…or Tony Carr. Carr scored 25 points to lead his team, but it was his pass to teammate Jalen Reaves that settled the game, as Reaves’ dunk with 2.8 seconds remaining gave Penn State their third win over the Buckeyes.

Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop did his part for Ohio State, but it was his turnover on the preceding possession that gave PSU the ball. Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 25 points. Despite the Buckeyes shooting 44 percent from the field to Penn State’s 38 percent, they failed to come out with a win once again against the Lions, who could have a chance at a NCAA tournament bid if they continue their run in New York.


GAME NO. 4: PURDUE 82-75 RUTGERS

No. 3-seeded Purdue found themselves in a dogfight against last-place Rutgers, and did just enough to get by behind 26 points apiece from the Boilermakers’ Carsen and Vincent Edwards. To their credit, Rutgers stuck in against a team many have picked to win the tournament and kept it to a one-possession game with under a minute remaining.

However, constant pressure from Purdue finally broke the Scarlet Knights, who were playing their third game in as many days. RU’s Geo Baker led the way with 25 points, paced closely by guard Corey Sanders, who chipped in with 23 points of his own.


The matchups for the semifinals are set, with Michigan State facing in-state rival Michigan at 2 p.m. EST and Penn State squaring off with Purdue around 4:30 p.m. EST. Television coverage will be on CBS.

Sports editor Kyle Turk also contributed to this report.