MBB: Wait Til the Midnight Hour...

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TubbyInterview.JPGWait til the midnight hour...

The great Wilson Pickett made those famous words popular back in 1965.  Forty-five years later, the Big Ten nearly had to wait until the midnight hour to conclude an unbelievable quarterfinal round of the 2010 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.

And that's okay for Motown-lover Tubby Smith (shown above in a postgame interview with the Big Ten Network).  Tonight, his Golden Gophers took down another Motown favorite.

In tonight's final matchup, No. 6 seed Minnesota upset third-seeded Michigan State in overtime, 72-67.  Devoe Joseph (pictured in background) led the Gophers with a team-high 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Gophers' victory put an exclamation point on what many feel is the greatest day in Big Ten Tournament history.

The day began with Michigan's Manny Harris making "the shot" with seconds left to put the Wolverines in contention to beat top-seeded Ohio State.  But then it was Evan Turner, the Big Ten Player of the Year, who made "the dagger shot" from 37 feet out at the buzzer to keep the Buckeyes alive.

Throw in a 4-point Illinois victory over Wisconsin, an 8-point Purdue win over a determined Northwestern ballclub and an overtime upset in the nightcap and what do you have in the end???

Friday marked the first time in Big Ten Tournament history where all four quarterfinal games were determined by a single-digit margin of victory.  In addition, the 18 points marked the lowest combined margin of victory in Big Ten Tournament history, besting the previous record of 24 set in the inaugural event back in 1998.

What an unbelievable night.

It's officially Semifinal Saturday.  No. 1 Buckeyes and No. 5 Illini, No. 2 Boilers and No. 6 Gophers.  Action begins Saturday at 1:40 p.m. on CBS.

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