MBB: First Session = First Wins?

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sessiononecoaches.jpgAs the first session of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament gets underway this morning, fans will see two conference coaches earn their first Big Ten Tournament victory if the seeds hold up.  In the opener, Fran McCaffery will look to guide his No. 8 seed Iowa ballclub to a win over No. 9 Illinois, which would give McCaffery his first tournament win and bring his overall record in the event to 1-1.  And for the record... Illinois' Bruce Weber is 12-7 in Big Ten Tournament play, including two BTT titles and four runner-up finishes.

Weber also owns a 13-2 mark over the Hawkeyes, while his Fighting Illini have taken the past seven contests against the Hawkeyes and own an 81-66 advantage in the overall series.  This is the first meeting between the two teams in BTT play.

In the second game of the first session, No. 5 Indiana will do battle with No. 12 Penn State.  The Hoosiers' Tom Crean is 0-3 in BTT play, while Penn State's Patrick Chambers is in his first season with the Nittany Lions and obviously looking for his first BTT win as well.

History tells us that Penn State has had Indiana's number in BTT play, but the Hoosiers swept the season series against PSU this year and own an impressive overall record over the Nittany Lions.

This will be the third first-round Big Ten Tournament meeting between the teams in the last four years and fourth overall. Penn State has won the last two, both in Indianapolis. Penn State downed No. 11 seed Indiana, 61-56, in last year's first round game and is 2-1 all-time vs. IU in the Tournament. Indiana swept the season series - winning 88-82 in State College and 73-54 in Bloomington. Indiana leads the all-time series 30-9, but Penn State has won six of the last nine meetings. 

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