Buzzer-beater by Paul Gives Illini Win in Big Ten Tourney; Other Scores

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Published on March 14 2013 5:57 pm
Last Updated on March 15 2013 10:41 am
Written by Millie Lange

The University of Illinois opened the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago in exciting fashion with a 51-49 victory over Minnesota on a buzzer-beater by Brandon Paul.

With 44 seconds left in the contest, D.J. Richardson sank a shot to tie the game at 49-49. Paul, who scored a game-high 25 points, nailed a 15-footer at the buzzer. The Illini had forced Minnesota's Austin Hollins out of bounds to gain possession to set up the winning shot.

Paul hit 10 of 16 from the field while the rest of the Illini could muster only eight of 40. The Illini led 25-16 at halftime with a 21-4 run over 12 minutes that pushed them into the 12-point lead late in the first half. But Minnesota took a 38-34 lead midway through the second half. Illinois had to work hard the rest of the way to keep pace with the Gophers.

Austin Hollins led Minnesota with 16 points and had six boards. Minnesota had a 40-27 margin in rebounds.

Illinois, seeded eighth, advances to a meeting with top-seeded Indiana Friday at 11 a.m. Minnesota, seeded ninth, exits the tournament.

No. 5 Michigan 83, No. 12 Penn State 66

It looked for a while like the Wolverines might once again fall to the Nittany Lions: Penn State entered their Feb. 27 game against Michigan with an 0-14 conference record, and pulled off one of the least-likely upsets in college basketball this season. And on Thursday, they got out to a hot start, leading 14-3 about five minutes in and entering the halftime break down just two.

It didn't pan out. Michigan busted out a 18-3 run shortly after the start of the second half, Trey Burke had 21 points — and three blocks—- and the Wolverines would lead by as many as 19 to move on to the quarterfinals.

No. 10 Nebraska 57, No. 7 Purdue 55

The Huskers got their first Big Ten Tournament win since joining the conference last year, although this wasn't a particularly memorable game. Both teams started out ice cold from beyond the arc, and it was just poor interior defense from Purdue that allowed Nebraska to get going. But they did: freshman Shavon Shields had 15 in the first half, and a 9-0 run to start the second half.

Purdue senior D.J. Byrd got hot when it counted, hitting two threes down the stretch to cut Nebraska's lead to one on two separate occasions, but the Boilermakers couldn't break through. After the teams traded missed free throw after missed free throw, Nebraska rebounded one of their missed free throws, and Purdue's attempts to tie on the other end both hit back iron.

No. 6 Iowa 73, No. 11 Northwestern 59

A badly injured Northwestern team was putrid from the field to start, going scoreless for over seven minutes while Iowa jumped out to an 11-0 lead. They'd grow that margin even after Iowa got on the score sheet, leading by as much as 18 in the first. The win cemented Iowa's spot on the bubble and ended Northwestern's year—and possibly Bill Carmody's career. Carmody has been the Wildcats' head coach since 2000.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  ("USA Today" Rankings)

#4 Louisville Cardinals 74, Villanova Wildcats 55 (Big East Tournament Quarterfinals)

#5 Georgetown Hoyas 62, Cincinnati Bearcats 43 (Big East Tournament Quarterfinals)

#6 Kansas Jayhawks 91, Texas Tech Red Raiders 63 (Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals)

#12 Kansas State Wildcats 66, Texas Longhorns 49 (Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 73, #13 Marquette Golden Eagles 65 (Big East Tournament Quarterfinals)

#15 Oklahoma State Cowboys 74, Baylor Bears 72 (Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals)

#17 Memphis Tigers 81, Tulane Green Wave 68 (C-USA Quarterfinals)

#18 Arizona Wildcats 79, Colorado Buffaloes 69 (Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals)

#20 Syracuse Orange 62, #19 Pittsburgh Panthers 59 (Big East Tournament Quarterfinals)

#25 UCLA Bruins 80, Arizona State Sun Devils 75 (Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals)

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball Friday Schedule

6:00 p.m. - #2 Duke Blue Devils v. Maryland Terrapins (ACC Tournament Quarterfinals)

11 a.m. - #3 Indiana Hoosiers v. Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals)

8:00 p.m. - #4 Louisville Cardinals v. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Big East Tournament Semifinals)

6:00 p.m. - #5 Georgetown Hoyas v. #20 Syracuse Orange (Big East Tournament Semifinals)

6:30 p.m. - #6 Kansas Jayhawks v. Iowa State Cyclones (Big 12 Tournament Semifinals)

8:00 p.m. - #7 Michigan State Spartans v. Iowa Hawkeyes (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals)

1:00 p.m. - #8 Michigan Wolverines v. #23 Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals)

5:30 p.m. - #9 Ohio State Buckeyes v. Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals)

11 a.m. - #10 Miami-Florida Hurricanes v. Boston College Eagles (ACC Tournament Quarterfinals)

12:00 p.m. - #11 Florida Gators v. LSU Tigers (SEC Tournament Quarterfinals)

9:00 p.m. - #12 Kansas State Wildcats v. #15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 Tournament Semifinals)

8:00 p.m. - #14 New Mexico Lobos v. San Diego State Aztecs (MWC Tournament Semifinals)

11 a.m. - #16 Saint Louis Billikens v. Charlotte 49ers (Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals)

5:30 p.m. - #17 Memphis Tigers v. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (C-USA Tournament Semifinals)

9:00 p.m. - #18 Arizona Wildcats v. #25 UCLA Bruins (Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals)

5:30 p.m. - #22 VCU Rams v. Saint Joseph's Hawks (Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals)