MBB: Tip-Off Thursday

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Welcome to the 2010 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament!

The gates are open at Conseco Fieldhouse and we are nearing tip-off of the tournament's opening game.

Each of today's three contests have intriguing storylines.

Michigan owns a 3-0 advantage over Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament and the 2010 contest marks the third straight season the two teams have battled each other in the first round.

Indiana and Northwestern have never met in Big Ten Tournament play, but this will mark the second straight game the two teams have faced one another.  In the teams' final regular season games, Indiana outlasted Northwestern in Bloomington with an 88-80 overtime win.

In the nightcap, Minnesota and Penn State will meet for the second time in Big Ten Tournament history, the first of which came eight years ago when the two teams were the exact same seeds they are in the 2010 event.

Here is a quick look inside the three contests today:

Game 1:  No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 9 Iowa - 2:30 p.m. ET
Michigan leads the Big Ten Tournament series vs. Iowa, 3-0
2004, Q, No. 5 Michigan def. No. 4 Iowa, 79-70
2008, 1st, No. 9 Michigan def. No. 8 Iowa, 55-47
2009, 1st, No. 7 Michigan def. No. 10 Iowa, 73-45
Game 2:  No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Indiana - Approx. 4:55 p.m. ET
This will be the first meeting between Northwestern and Indiana since the Big Ten Tournament's inception in 1998.

Game 3:  No. 6 Minnesota vs. No. 11 Penn State - Approx. 7:20 p.m. ET
Minnesota leads Big Ten Tournament series vs. Penn State, 1-0
2002, 1st, No. 6 Minnesota def. No. 11 Penn State, 84-60

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