Big Ten Tournament 2013 Schedule: Breaking Down Potential Marquee Matchups

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Big Ten Tournament 2013 Schedule: Breaking Down Potential Marquee Matchups
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The Big Ten tournament is set to kick off on Thursday and there are some potential marquee matchups we'd love to see as the tourney goes deeper.

The conference has a ton of great teams with five ranked in the top-25 and four of which are ranked in the top 10.

Michigan will have a tough road to the finals, but it certainly has the talent to do so. The Wolverines could be involved in two highly-anticipated games, one against Wisconsin and one against Indiana.

Also, Ohio State and Michigan State have an opportunity to meet once again this season in the this tourney.

Let's take a look at each of these marquee matchups, as well as the entire Big Ten tournament schedule and bracket.

 

Big Ten Tournament Schedule (via BigTen.org)

First Round, Thursday, March 14

Game No. Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Illinois vs. Minnesota 12 p.m. BTN
2 Michigan vs. Penn State 25 min. after Game 1 BTN
3 Purdue vs. Nebraska 6:30 p.m. ESPN2
4 Iowa vs. Northwestern 25 min. after Game 3 ESPN2

Quarterfinals, Friday, March 15

Game No. Matchup Time (ET) TV
5 Indiana vs. Game 1 Winner 12 p.m. ESPN
6 Wisconsin vs. Game 2 Winner 25 min. after Game 5 ESPN
7 Ohio State vs. Game 3 Winner 6:30 p.m. BTN
8 Michigan State vs. Game 4 Winner 25 min. after Game 7 BTN

Semifinals, Saturday, March 16

Game No. Matchup Time (ET) TV
9 Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner 1:40 p.m. CBS
10 Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner 25 min. after Game 1 CBS

Championship, Sunday, March 17

Game No. Matchup Time (ET) TV
11 Semifinal Winners 3:30 p.m. CBS

Big Ten Tournament Bracket

 

Potential Marquee Matchups

Quarterfinals: No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 4 Wisconsin

To make this matchup happen, the Wolverines must make it past their first-round matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions, which is not a foregone conclusion after both teams split their season series.

Michigan (25-6) and Wisconsin (21-10) faced each other earlier in the season and it was the Badgers who got the better of the showdown, 65-62, in overtime. That win helped the Badgers grab the tiebreaker with the Wolverines to get the first-round bye in the tourney.

The Wolverines have a lot of talent on their team with perhaps one of the best players in the nation in Trey Burke. Burke is averaging 19.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest, and he's supported by Tim Hardaway Jr. who is scoring 14.8 points and grabbing 4.7 rebounds.

Wisconsin has two fierce rebounders in Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans, but it's Berggren who leads the team in scoring with 11.5 points while adding his 7.1 rebounds per game. Ben Brust is a great all-around player who averages 11.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

 

Semifinals: No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 3 Michigan State Spartans

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Michigan St. (24-7) and Ohio St. (23-7) squared off twice during the season, but they split the series. What makes this matchup more interesting is that it'll be between two teams who finished the regular season ranked in the top 10 in the country.

Keith Appling leads the Spartans in scoring with 13.5 points per game, but he also adds 3.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals. Supporting Appling is Gary Harris who averages 13.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.

Ohio State's best player is by far Deshaun Thomas, who is averaging 19.1 points and 6.1 boards per game. Aaron Craft is another star for the Buckeyes as a great defender and offensive player who posts 9.7 points, 4.5 assists, 3.6 rebounds and two steals per contest.

Both of these teams are incredibly talented at each end of the floor, so this should be a hotly contested game right down to the wire.

 

Semifinals: No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers vs. No. 5 Michigan Wolverines

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Big Ten tournament could be decided before the Finals actually occur because these are the two best teams in the tourney by far. Indiana (26-5) finished the regular season as the No. 3 team in the country behind Gonzaga and Duke, while Michigan is No. 6 in the country.

The Hoosiers and Wolverines have already played twice this season and Indiana took both matchups, although the season finale was settled by just one point.

Indiana is led by one of the best all-around players in the college game today in Victor Oladipo. The Hoosiers guard is averaging 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. Cody Zeller is one of the premiere big men in the NCAA today as he is scoring 16.8 points and grabbing 8.1 rebounds per game.

It will take a lot of work for Michigan to get to this point and even if it does, it's unlikely that the Wolverines will have enough gas in the tank to get past Indiana.

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