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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Illini Marches on to win the Big Ten Tournament

Picture is of Dee Brown, Luther Head, and Deron Williams. These are three basketball legends who won Illinois first Big Ten tournament of 4 total.
Picture is of Dee Brown, Luther Head, and Deron Williams. These are three basketball legends who won Illinois’ first Big Ten tournament of 4 total.

The tournament started in 1998 and the Illinois basketball has won four tournament championships since the tournament began. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament happened March 13th through March 17th at the Target Center in Minneapolis”, “Minnesota. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament is a 5-day tournament that decides who wins the Big Ten championship and will also boost their seating in March Madness.


The Illini won the Big Ten Tournament last weekend. The Illini beat Ohio State 77-74, Nebraska 98 to 87, and Wisconsin 93 to 87 to win the championship. Illini player Terrance Shannon broke a record for most points scored by a single player in a Big Ten tournament game by getting 40 points. Terrance Shannon scored a total of 102 points in the tournament which is the second highest ever and he only did it in three days. Ben Vazquez, a lifelong Illini fan had this to say “Marcus Domask has to be my favorite player in the Big Ten right now. Not everyone is able to drop a 26, 7, 8 line (26 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists).”

Purdue was the favorite to win the tournament but fell to Wisconsin, 75 Purdue to 76 Wisconsin. Zach Edey’s 28 points were not enough to overcome Wisconsin. Purdue got to the semi-finals by beating out Michigan State 67 to 62.  “I really thought that Purdue was gonna win it all, especially with the path they had” said Aiden Taylor, a basketball fan.

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No team from the first two days of the tournament got passed the third day of tournament (the five day tournament) besides Wisconsin which went on an impressive run to the finals but yet again came short. AJ Storr, a guard on Wisconsin got 30 points against Northwestern in a 70 to 61 win. 


Northwestern fell to Wisconsin in their first game even with Boo Buie scoring 29 points. Boo  Buie averaged 19.2 points per game during the season and was on the all Big Ten team (best 5 players in the conference). Boo Buie is the point guard for Northwestern on his 5th year and has been a force. Northwestern lost key players during the season but is still a hard team to beat. They will take down high competition in March Madness for sure.


Nebraska beat Indiana 93 to 66 but then lost to Illinois who went on to win the championship even though Nebraska was up 51 to 40 at halftime with their largest lead being 15. Avid college basketball fan Jordan Delacruz said this about Nebraska “I thought that they could have won the whole thing after the blowout against Indiana. Keisei Tominaga is an amazing player.” Tominaga is only in college but is from Japan and will be playing on the Japan Olympic basketball team. Tominaga also averaged 40 points per game in high school and was a monster in the tournament, with an average of 20 points in the tournament for Nebraska. He was a big reason that they kept it close with the Illini and even got the 15-point lead in the second half.


The main favorites who were expected to win the tournament is Purdue which has been a force in college basketball with their best player being Zach Edey who is a 7 ‘4 senior center who is averaging 23.7 points per game. Zach Edey was on first-team All-American and Big Ten player of the year and is the favorite to be the player of the year for all college basketball. The other favorite is the Illini with their best player being Terrance Shannon Junior who is a 6 ‘6 senior guard in his 5th year who is averaging 21.6 points per game. Terrance Shannon Junior made the first team all-Big Ten and was on the second team All-American. 


The Illini could make a deep run in March and get to the Sweet 16, which they haven’t gotten to or gotten past since 2005 when they went on to the final four in March Madness. Brad Underwood said about trying to get to the Sweet 16 in March, “I came here to win a national championship. If you think a Sweet 16 is all I’m aiming for…”

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