Big Ten Tournament 2012: Michigan State Wins Big Ten Championship

Penn State failed to upset Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Michigan State Wins Big Ten Championship

The Michigan State Spartans have won the 2012 Big Ten Championship, beating the Ohio State Buckeyes 68-64 Sunday afternoon.

Brandon Wood scored 21 points for the Spartans, with Draymond Green putting up 12 points and nine rebounds. Ohio State had five players in double figures, including Jared Sullinger, who had 18 points and nine rebounds.

The two teams played a tight game throughout the first half, then had a seesaw second half. Ohio State had a seven-point lead with 14 minutes to go, but the Spartans reeled off 10 unanswered points from there to take a 55-52 lead. Michigan State mostly maintained a small lead from there. Aaron Craft made a layup to put the Buckeyes within three points with 15 seconds to go, but a foul shot by Austin Thornton shortly thereafter sealed the game for Michigan State.

For more on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to check out BT Powerhouse.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012 Championship Game Prediction: Michigan State Or Ohio State?

BT Powerhouse makes its predictions on the likely outcome of the Big Ten Championship game Sunday afternoon between Michigan State and Ohio State. There are three picks for each team. Here's one writer on why Michigan State should win:

Although the Buckeyes are playing as well as they have all season, Michigan State is built to defend Jared Sullinger. The Spartans have size at forward with Draymond Green, Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne. On the other side of the ball, Ohio State does not have a man who can guard Green one-on-one.

And here's another on why OSU should be the victor.

I like what I've seen from the Buckeyes in the BTT so far. Evan Ravenel has played well lately, and I think he will help balance out Michigan State's size inside. They're both pretty good teams that seem to be peaking in the right month.

The post also features predictions about where Big Ten teams will end up being seeded in the NCAA Tournament. Most of the writers think Ohio State and Michigan State will be No. 2 seeds, with Michigan ending up a No. 3 and Wisconsin a No. 4. The authors say that Indiana will likely end up somewhere around a No. 4 or No. 5, while Purdue will be around a No. 9.

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2012 Big Ten Tournament Championship: Ohio State Vs. Michigan State Game Time, TV Schedule And More

Just one week after a thrilling game between the two teams to end the conference regular season, Ohio State and Michigan State will again match up, this time for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Conference Championship, and with it perhaps a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Both teams have rolled through the conference tournament, winning all of their respective games by double digits, and Sunday's title game has all the makings of an epic.

Ohio State has won two of three previous conference meetings with the Spartans, and four of the last five meetings overall.

Here what you need to know for Sunday's Big Ten Tournament Championship:

Game Date/Time: Sunday, March 11, 3:30 p.m. ET

Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

TV: CBS

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. For more on the two teams, head over to Ohio State Buckeyes blog Along The Olentangy and Michigan State blog The Only Colors. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012 Championship Game, Ohio State Vs. Michigan State

The 2012 Big Ten Tournament Championship game tips off on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans will square off in the final round of the Tournament. The two teams matched up in the final game of the season for the regular season Big Ten Title with the Buckeyes winning 72-70. To make it to the final game, Ohio State went through Purdue and walked all over Michigan.

Michigan State split the season series with Ohio State, but the Buckeyes won the game with the most meaning. The Spartans worked their way through by blowing out Iowa and beating Wisconsin in the two rounds after their first-round bye. The Spartans will now try to win the rubber match and the Big Ten Tournament.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Ohio State Vs. Michigan Final Score: Buckeyes Crush Wolverines 77-55, Advance To Face Michigan State

Ohio State crushed rival Michigan 77-55 late Saturday afternoon to advance to the Big Ten Championship Game, where the Buckeyes will take on Michigan State, who earlier in the afternoon defeated Wisconsin, 65-52.

Jared Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 24 points and six rebounds and scored the Buckeyes' first six points, as well as eight of their first 10, as Ohio State built a huge lead early on. The Buckeyes had a 16-3 lead before Zack Novak finally hit a layup for the Wolverines with 11 minutes left to play in the first half. Ohio State had no problem holding Michigan at arm's length after that, holding a 34-21 lead at halftime.

Deshaun Thomas also had 22 points for the Buckeyes. Tim Hardaway Jr. led Michigan with 13 points.

The championship game between Ohio State and Michigan State will be played Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM on CBS.

For more Big Ten basketball, check out BT Powerhouse.

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Big Ten Tournament, Wisconsin Vs. Michigan State Final Score: Spartans Roll To Championship Game 65-52

The Michigan State Spartans punched their ticket to the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game with their 65-52 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers. The Spartans jumped out to a lead and held a 10 point lead at halftime, never looking back on their way to the win. Michigan State spread the scoring around with 14 points from Draymond Green while Keith Appling and Austin Thornton picked up 13 and 12 points, respectively.

For the Badgers, their offense just couldn't get enough going to keep up with the Spartans, hitting on just seven of 20 three-point shot attempts on the day. Jordan Taylor added 19 points while Ryan Evans added 18 points and five rebounds. Outside of Taylor and Evans however, the Badgers struggled to score points. The Spartans will take on the winner of Ohio State and Michigan on Sunday.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Big Ten Tournament Schedule For Saturday's Games: Michigan State Vs. Wisconsin, Ohio State Vs. Michigan

Saturday is the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament. First up is Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (1:40 p.m., CBS). Then at 4:05 p.m., there's Ohio State vs. Michigan (also CBS).

Michigan State got to the semifinal round after beating Iowa 92-75, while Wisconsin beat Indiana 79-71. The Spartans have beaten the Badgers twice already this season, once in early January and once in February. Wisconsin has stifled opponents with its defense this season, but after giving up 71 points to Indiana and allowing Michigan State to score 69 in February, the Badgers will have to be on their toes to knock off the Spartans.

Ohio State and Michigan, meanwhile, have split their season series so far, with OSU cruising to a 15-point win January 29 but losing by five on the road February 18. The Buckeyes are coming off a relatively easy win against Purdue, while the Wolverines needed overtime (and a huge performance by freshman guard Trey Burke) to beat Minnesota.

For more on the Big Ten, check out Off Tackle Empire.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012, Purdue Vs. Ohio State Recap: Buckeyes Roll Into Semifinals

The no. 3 seed Ohio State Buckeyes ended a day of quarterfinal action at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament with a blowout win over no. 6 seed Purdue. Ohio State stumbled down the stretch in the conference, but Thad Matta's club got a huge win on the road at Michigan State to end their season and take some momentum into the postseason.

That momentum was on full display Friday night, as the Buckeye offense was firing on all cylinders. OSU was red hot from the field, hitting 61 percent from the floor and getting uncontested buckets at will against the Boilermakers. The Bucks pounded Purdue on the glass, out-rebounding Matt Painter's club by 12. Jared Sullinger had a dominant game, scoring a game-high 30 points on an efficient 12 of 17 from the field. Sullinger did it all, grabbing 12 boards and even stepping back and drilling a three-pointer from the left wing.

Ohio State will now face arch-rival and no. 2 seed Michigan on Saturday in the semifinals.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012, Minnesota Vs. Michigan Recap: Trey Burke Leads Wolverines To Semifinals

The Michigan Wolverines advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night with a 73-69 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Wolverines went on a 17-3 run at the end of the game and overtime to tie it up and then pull away in the extra session. Michigan tied it on a beautiful play drawn up by head coach John Beilein, freeing Evan Smotrycz for a three-pointer to send it into OT.

Freshman Trey Burke had a monster game in his Big Ten tourney debut, scoring a career-high 30 points. Burke consistently got into the lane against the Golden Gopher defense, but also drilled three of four attempts from three-point range. Burke went the full forty minutes, and came up with a huge block on Minnesota's Andre Hollins which forced overtime. Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only other Wolverine in double figures, scoring 18 points.

Michigan will face the winner of the Ohio State and Purdue game, which will wrap up the second day of action in Indianapolis.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Big Ten Tournament: Indiana Vs. Wisconsin - Rob Wilson Steals Show In Badgers' Win

Rob Wilson has spent most of his in Wisconsin career in relative obscurity.

So much for that.

The senior dropped 30 points on 7-10 shooting from 3-point territory on Friday afternoon to lead his Badgers (25-8, 11-7 Big Ten) past Indiana, 79-71 in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals matchup at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The win made coach Bo Ryan the winningest coach in program history sends the Badgers to a semifinals clash against Michigan State on Saturday.

"It just felt like the hoops was getting bigger as the game went on," Wilson told ESPN's Dan Dakich after the game. "I felt like I just had to step up as a senior in this game and get us this win so we could continue on in this tournament."

And step up, he did.

Wilson has never averaged more than the 3.1 points he put up this season, but he got his stroke going early against the Hoosiers and didn't let up. His performance, aided by 16 points and nine rebounds from Jared Berggren and 12 points each from Jordan Taylor and Ryan Evans, was plenty to get Wisconsin over the top.

The Hoosiers (24-8, 12-6 Big Ten), in the absence of injured guard Verdell Jones III, put up a fight, though, getting 17 points each from the trio of Cody Zeller, Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls in the loss. In the end, though, Wisconsin's 13 3-pointers to Indiana's three proved to be too much to overcome.

Indiana will now wait for almost assured seeding in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Wisconsin, meanwhile, will hope Wilson has a few more tricks up his sleeve as they seek the Big Ten's automatic bid to the Big Dance over the next couple of days.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog.

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Big Ten Tournament: Indiana's Verdell Jones III Out For Season With Torn ACL (PHOTO)

If Indiana is going to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, it's going to have to do it without guard Verdell Jones III.

The Associated Press reports the 6-foot-5, 195-pound tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a Big Ten Tournament game against Penn State at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday and that the injury will cost him the rest of the season. Jones was running on a fast break and crumpled to the hardwood after stopping to pass the ball off to a teammate.

Jones' production for the Hoosiers slipped 12.5 points per game last season to 7.5 points per game this season, but he remained an important part of coach Tom Crean's rotation, seeing an average of 24.5 minutes per game. His team will no doubt miss him as it prepares for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008.

Below is a photo of Jones on crutches before Indiana's quarterfinal game against Wisconsin on Friday afternoon via the Big Ten Network's Brent Yarina.

Jones_injury_medium

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog.

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Big Ten Tournament: Iowa Vs. Michigan State - Spartans Roll Into Semis

Michigan State opened its 2012 Big Ten Tournament in style on Friday afternoon, defeating Iowa 92-75 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to earn a spot in Saturday's semifinals.

Four Spartans finished with double-figure scoring efforts, led by Draymond Green's 21 points to go with 10 rebounds and five assists. Adreian Payne finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, Keith Appling had 12 points along with six assists and Brandon Wood put up 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Derrick Nix and Travis Trice just missed out on double figures, adding nine points each.

Josh Oglesby led the way for the Hawkeyes (17-16, 8-10 Big Ten) with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point territory. Roy Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe finished with 13 points each and Matt Gatens had 10 points.

After the game, Green told Dan Dakich of ESPN that he was especially happy with the defense on Gatens, a 15.9 points per game scorer who had been averaging 22.7 points over his previous seven game.

"All of those guys stepped up and did a good job on him," Green said. "That was big for us."

The loss, in all likelihood, drops Iowa to the National Invitational Tournament. The Spartans (25-7, 13-5 Big Ten), meanwhile, will face the winner of the Wisconsin-Indiana matchup on Saturday with a berth in the championship game at stake.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog.

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2012 Big Ten Conference Championship: Quarterfinal Bracket And TV Schedule

The Big Ten Conference Tournament is underway and the quarterfinals will get underway in Indianapolis on Friday. Here is the schedule of games and where you can find them.

The first game of the day starts at Noon ET and features Iowa and Michigan State. The Spartans are one of the top teams in the bracket, but the Hawkeyes are no pushovers either. They only finished 8-10 in conference but anything can happen in a conference tournament like this. You can find this game on ESPN or online at ESPN3.

The next game is at 2 pm and it features Indiana and Wisconsin. This shapes up to be the best and most competitive game of the day. These two teams met just about six weeks ago and the Badgers were able to pull out a 57-50 victory. This game will be on the Big Ten Network as well as ESPN3.

The 6:30 pm ET game is between Minnesota and Michigan. These two teams only met once this year, a 61-56 victory for Michigan early in the year. This game will also be on the Big Ten Network and ESPN3.

The final game of the quarterfinal round starts at 8:55 ET and is between Purdue and Ohio State. The only time these two teams met this year the Buckeyes outlasted the Boilermakers in a high-scoring game 87-84. A similar result would be a pretty entertaining nightcap. That game is also on the Big Ten Network and ESPN3.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Big Ten Tournament: Purdue Vs. Nebraska - Boilermakers Move On

Nebraska's first basketball season as a member of the Big Ten game to an ignominious end on Thursday in Indianapolis as the Cornhuskers (12-18, 4-14 Big Ten) fell 79-61 against Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The Boilermakers (21-11, 10-8 Big Ten) got a balanced scoring effort that saw five players register double figure scoring in the win. Anthony Johnson led the way with 17 points and six rebounds off the bench. Terone Johnson added 16 points and six rebounds while Ryne Smith had 15 points on 5-8 shooting from 3-point territory. Robbie Hummel and D.J. Byrd had 10 points each.

Bo Spencer keyed Nebraska's attack with 22 points and three rebounds. Toney McCray had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Dylan Talley finished with 10 points off the bench. The Cornhuskers' sub-.500 record will most assuredly keep them out of any postseason tournaments. They're likely done for 2011-2012, in all likelihood.

The Boilers, meanwhile, move on to face Ohio State on Friday in the quarterfinals.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog.

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Big Ten Tournament: Northwestern Vs. Minnesota - Wildcats Loss Puts NCAA Tournament Hopes In Doubt

Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament and it might have to wait at least one more year to reach the promised land.

The Wildcats (18-13, 8-10 Big Ten) suffered a devastating 75-68 lost at the hands of Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday that puts their tournament hopes squarely in doubt. ESPN bracket expert Joe Lunardi had Northwestern among his last four teams in the field of 68 before the loss in his most recent edition of Bracketology. That's the right side of the bubble, but barely. This loss could drop the 'cats in the pecking order and leave them at the mercy of the committee as Selection Sunday draws near.

JerShon Cobb was the big scorer for Northwestern in the loss, putting up 24 points on 8-12 shooting from the field to go with eight rebounds. John Shurna was the only other double-figure scorer for coach Bill Carmody's squad, finishing with 21 points on 7-16 shooting.

Andre Hollins carried the Golden Gophers (19-13, 6-12 Big Ten) with 25 points on 10-17 shooting. Austin Hollins and Rodney Williams had 12 points each and Julian Welch added 11 off the bench.

Northwestern held a 61-59 lead as late as the final minute but an Andre Hollins layup following a Dave Sobolewski turnover tied the score at 61 and forced overtime. In the extra session, Minnesota took over offensively, closing the game on a 14-7 run.

The Gophers now advance to take on No. 2 seed Michigan on Friday evening.

For more on the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, head over to the SB Nation blog BT Powerhouse.

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Big Ten Tournament: Penn State Vs. Indiana: Nittany Lions Thumped, 75-58

Penn State's 2011-2012 season is over after a 75-58 defeat against Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Bakers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon.

The Nittany Lions (12-20, 4-14 Big Ten) shot just 34.5 percent from the field in the loss. Tim Frazier provided the bulk of the offense, putting up 26 points on 9-of-24 shooting from the field to go with five steals, four assists and two rebounds. Trey Lewis, who picked up a rare start, finished with 11 points and two assists before fouling out late in the second half. Jermaine Marshall just missed double figures with nine points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field. He was 6-of-7 from the foul line.

The Hoosiers (25-7, 11-7 Big Ten) struggled from the field, too, shooting just 36.5 percent for the game, but were 8-of-18 (44 percent) from beyond the arc and a very productive 29-36 from the foul line. Jordan Hulls led the way offensively, putting up 20 points on 4-6 shooting from 3-point territory on the afternoon. Freshman forward Cody Zeller was right behind, posting a 19-point, 10-rebound line. Christian Watford joined them in double figures with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Indiana, the No. 5 seed, advances to face No. 4 seed Wisconsin on Friday in Indianapolis. Penn State, by virtue of its poor record, is finished for the season for all intents and purposes and will now work to improve its win total next year, when it returns almost all of its key talent.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog. Also, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for wrap-ups of Penn State's season in the coming weeks.

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Big Ten Tournament, Penn State Vs. Indiana: Verdell Jones III Injured As Hoosiers Lead At Halftime

Penn State trailed Indiana 38-32 at halftime of the teams' Big Ten Tournament first round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday.

Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller were the big scorers for the Hoosiers (24-7, 11-7 Big Ten), adding 13 and 12 points, respectively. Zeller also has six rebounds, five of them offensive, and was 6-7 from the free throw line in the half. Hulls was 3-4 from 3-point territory.

Tim Frazier led the Nittany Lions (12-19, 4-14 Big Ten) with 19 points on 7-14 shooting, and had four steals in the first half. Trey Lewis added five points for Penn State while Jermaine Marshall and Sasa Borovnjak had four each.

The big news of the half, though, was an injury to Indiana's Verdell Jones III during a fast break midway through the period. Jones, just after passing the ball off to a teammate, crumpled to the floor clutching his knee and needed help getting off the floor, using very little of his own power. Coach Tom Crean had no update for the Big Ten Network on Jones' condition as he headed off the court for the break. The senior averaged 7.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Hoosiers this season.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Iowa Holds Off Illinois, 64-61

Iowa won the first game of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament on Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis, defeating Illinois 64-61 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Led by Matt Gatens, who had a game-high 20 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, and Aaron White, who just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, the Hawkeyes (17-15, 8-10 Big Ten) came back from a 31-27 halftime deficit to take down the Fighting Illini (17-15, 6-12 Big Ten) and keep their hopes of winning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament alive.

Meyers Leonard had 18 points to lead Illinois. D.J. Richardson and Joseph Bertrand added 11 points, respectively, in the losing effort.

Iowa now advances to face No. 1 seed Michigan State at noon on Thursday in the quarterfinals. The Hawkeyes fell 95-61 at the Breslin Center in these teams' only matchup this season on Jan. 10.

For the latest on the Big Ten Tournament, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh, and check out BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten basketball blog.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012 Schedule: Penn State Faces Indiana On Thursday Afternoon

The Penn State Nittany Lions enter the 2012 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 12 seed, meaning they have the difficult task of taking on the No. 5 seed Indiana Hoosiers in Indianapolis when play begins Thursday afternoon.

The Nittany Lions will have to defeat both a Top 25-ranked team and a partisan crowd if they are to shock and advance in the conference tournament. Penn State dropped both regular season games to Indiana this season, and the Nittany Lions have never won a game in the Big Ten tournament as the bottom seed.

Just as a reminder, the full schedule for the 2012 Big Ten tournament is below:

Thursday, March 8

11:30 a.m.: No. 8 Iowa (16-15, 8-10) vs. No. 9 Illinois (17-13, 6-12). Big Ten Network.

2 p.m.: No. 5 Indiana (24-7, 11-7) vs. No. 12 Penn State (12-19, 4-14). Big Ten Network.

5:30 p.m.: No. 7 Northwestern (18-12, 8-10) vs. No. 10 Minnesota (18-13, 6-12). ESPN2.

8 p.m.: No. 6 Purdue (20-11, 10-8) vs. No. 11 Nebraska (12-17, 4-14). ESPN2.

Friday, March 9

Noon: No. 1 Michigan State (24-7, 13-5) vs. Iowa/Illnois winner, ESPN.

2:30 p.m.: No. 4 Wisconsin (23-8, 12-6) vs. Indiana/Penn State winner, ESPN.

6:30 p.m.: No. 2 Michigan (23-8, 13-5) vs. Northwestern/Minnesota winner, Big Ten Network.

9 p.m.: No. 3 Ohio State (25-6, 13-5) vs. Purdue/Nebraska winner, Big Ten Network.

Saturday, March 10

1:40 p.m.: Michigan State/Iowa/Illinois vs. Wisconsin/Indiana/Penn State, CBS.

4:10 p.m.: Michigan/Northwestern/Minnesota vs. Ohio State/Purdue/Nebraska, CBS.

Sunday, March 11

3:30 p.m.: Semifinal winners, CBS.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Nittany Lions, check out Black Shoe Diaries. For all your Big Ten hoops news during championship week, visit BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten hoops blog. For all your college basketball news during March Madness, keep up with SB Nation's NCAA college hoops hub.

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Penn State Vs. Indiana Preview: Nittany Lions Open Big Ten Tournament

For Penn State, it's win or go home from here on out.

The Nittany Lions (12-19, 4-14 Big Ten), by virtue of their poor record, have not a prayer of salvaging an at-large berth in a national postseason tournament. Their last hope to punch a ticket to the NCAA Tournament is to take the automatic bid awarded to the winner of the Big Ten Tournament, which opens on Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis, .

The first obstacle on No. 12-seeded Penn State's road to the Big Dance is No. 5 seed Indiana. The teams will square off at roughly 2:00 p.m. on the Big Ten Network in a first round battle, hoping to secure a spot in a quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 seed Wisconsin on Friday.

The Hoosiers (24-7, 11-7 Big Ten) swept the Lions in the regular season, escaping with an 88-82 win in State College on Jan. 8 before earning a 73-54 victory in Bloomington on Jan. 22. Penn State did take Indiana down in this 12-5 game last year, however, on its way to a championship game loss against Ohio State, though the seedings of the two teams were reversed from this year.

Here are some things to watch for in the game...

When Penn State has the ball...

-Tim Frazier is averaging 21.0 points per game against the Hoosiers this season, but he's just 2-9 shooting from the perimeter against them. In the interest of efficiency, he'd probably be better served to give those shots to someone else, or find better ones for himself this time. If he avoids the deeps shots, he'll be that much more dangerous this time, which will be a significant boost to Penn State's upset hopes.

-When these teams last met in Bloomington, Nick Colella was the only Lion to join Frazier in double figures with 11 points. Someone has to step up this time and join them, be it the forward trio of Sasa Borovnjak, Ross Travis and Jonathan Graham or second-leading scorer Jermaine Marshall.

-Penn State hasn't shot the ball well away from the Bryce Jordan Center all year, so it will be important as ever for the Lions to generate as many second chances off turnovers and offensive rebounds as possible. This is especially true in this game, as the Hoosiers, playing just an hour or so from their campus, will have a decided homecourt advantage. Extra opportunities will be helpful in combating any shooting woes Penn State might run into.

When Indiana has the ball...

-Indiana's Jordan Hulls lit Penn State up for seven 3-pointers in Happy Valley and drilled a pair in Bloomington for good measure. Needless to say, stopping him should be a top priority this time.

-Hulls isn't the only one who has shot well against Penn State from deep, though. As a team, Indiana is a devastating 23-40 (57.5 percent) beyond the arc in this series. Freshman Cody Zeller is a tough guard on the inside and the Lions can't let him simply go wild while trying to stop the 3-ball, but more attention has to be paid to the perimeter this time or things could get ugly fast.

-Penn State put Indiana on the line 55 times in the first two games, which is entirely too many. The Lions need to make sure this game is decided with the ball in play.

Overall

Long term, Penn State's prospects aren't very good in this tournament. The Lions are the No. 12 seed for a reason, after all. State doesn't have much to lose at this point, though, and Indiana is pretty safely locked in the tournament. For that reason, it wouldn't be shocking to see coach Patrick Chambers and Co. put together one last good effort to make a run at the Hoosiers and start the offseason on a (relatively) high note. That's no promise they'll win, but expect the Lions to make a game of it. Pick: Indiana, 70-61.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Ohio State Projected To Take The Tournament

The 2012 Big Ten Conference Tournament is set to begin on Thursday March 8 with the opening matchup between No. 8 Iowa and No. 9 Illinois at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. Before the Tournament gets started, however, we should look at who's favored to win the Tournament. Eric Gibson of SB Nation's Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries likes Ohio State to walk away as the winners of the tournament.

This is a pretty open tournament, but I do think Ohio State will win the whole thing for the third straight season. I've got Northwestern in the semis, but don't sleep on Minnesota. They've gone down in flames in February, but I do like their backcourt. Whoever wins that 7/10 game I think makes a mini-run. I also like the Branden Dawson-less Spartans to get bounced by Iowa.

Surprisingly, Gibson also likes the Iowa Hawkeyes to pull an upset win over the Michigan State Spartans, who are dealing with an injury to Branden Dawson. The Hawkeyes were blown out by Michigan State in the regular season, but the Hawkeyes have pulled a few upsets during the season so far. In the finals, Gibson has Ohio State taking down Indiana to win the Big Ten conference tournament.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Nittany Lions, check out Black Shoe Diaries. For all your Big Ten hoops news during championship week, visit BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten hoops blog. For all your college basketball news during March Madness, keep up with SB Nation's NCAA college hoops hub.

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Big Ten Tournament 2012: Penn State Heads To Indianapolis As No. 12 Seed, Will Face Hometown Hoosiers

Penn State enters this week's Big Ten tournament as the last seed, which will reward them with a first round matchup against a streaking Indiana team playing just an hour from the Hoosiers' campus.

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