Three of the first eight Sweet 16 teams are from the Big Ten. Purdue and Michigan State have a chance to make it 5 of 16 tomorrow.
Until then, here’s a look at Saturday’s three wins by the Buckeyes, Badgers and Hoosiers:
First star: Christian Watford, 16 points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist. With Indiana down nine to VCU with 1:45 to play, Watford closed the first half on an 8-0 run with back to back threes and a pair of free throws to keep the Hoosiers in the game. No way Indiana wins without that flurry of points from a revitalized Watford.
Second star: Aaron Craft, 17 points, 10 assists, three steals, three rebounds to lead Ohio State to a 73-66 win over Gonzaga. But he had a lot of help (see below).
Third star: Jordan Taylor, who hit a huge three as the shot clock wound down with 1:45 to play to give Wisconsin a 59-57 lead they would never give up. Overall, Taylor had 14 points, three assists and two steals as the Badgers beat Vanderbilt 60-57 to advance to the Sweet 16 against Syracuse.
Big Red comeback: Indiana finished the game on a 7-0 run over the last 2:24 to win 63-61 – capped by Will Sheehey’s short jumper with 12.7 seconds to play after Victor Oladipo’s driving layup was blocked.
Shrinking bench: All 73 of Ohio State’s points came from its starters (Jared Sullinger 18, Deshaun Thomas 18, Aaron Craft 17, William Buford 13, Lenzelle Smith Jr. 7). The bench attempted just one field goal and one free throw in 27 minutes of play.
Locker room talk: Here’s Bo Ryan talking to his team after the win:
- NCAA Tournament: Day One Big Ten Facts (dailybigten.com)