Suffice to say, this place to the right was a good place to be Thursday night, following Northwestern's 53-44 victory over Minnesota.
The result not only gives NU its 18th victory of the season--matching
last year's total--but it is the 'Cats' first win in the event since the
And that final note also means the victory was the first for Northwestern in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Wildcats' previous BTT wins came in Indianapolis, but they were prior to Big Ten's first postseason event in Conseco Fieldhouse in 2002.
Overall, the program has now posted back-to-back 18-win seasons for the first time since the 1989-90 (27) and 1990-91 (21) seasons.
Talk about a tight Thursday night... With Purdue's four-point win (66-62) over Indiana in the first game, Illinois' seven-point victory (63-56) against Wisconsin, and Northwestern's nine-point result over Minnesota, the 20-point combined margin of victory between the three contests shattered the Big Ten Tournament of 30, set in last year's event.
Despite holding the record, the first day of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament didn't exactly produce close games across the board like the 2011 event did. No. 7 Michigan defeated No. 10 Northwestern by 13 points, No. 6 Penn State beat No. 11 Minnesota by 11 and No. 9 Illinois topped No. 8 Indiana by six.
As part of the Big Ten Middle School Curriculum Program, central Indiana middle schools have incorporated basketball (through statistics, artwork, etc.) into their curriculum.
The middle schools have also paired with Big Ten women's basketball teams in a pen pal program. The program includes 24 central Indiana schools and more than 2,600 students, many of whom received a free ticket to attend the first tournament game of the team (either Thursday or Friday) they have been paired with all semester.
Those kids will be in lime green t-shirts and sitting in large groups, so we'll make sure to check back tomorrow and see if we can get a few shots of those lime green shirts!
Earlier this evening No. 11 seed Illinois, just 8-22 overall, snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 63-56 victory over No. 6 Wisconsin.
The No. 11 seed is now just 3-14 all-time against the No. 6 in Big Ten Tournament play, with the other two wins coming in 1997 and 2003. In 1997, Wisconsin was the sixth-seeded team to come up short, while the Illini were the sixth-seeded squad in 2003.
As you can tell by the Purdue Alumni Association's Twitter account, it has been good news for the Boilermakers this afternoon.
Not only did the Boilermakers earn a 66-62 victory over rival Indiana in the opening contest of the 2011 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament, but @PurdueAlumni also spread the love of the Big Ten Blog and the videos posted earlier today from the Purdue Pep Rally.
Just 90 minutes prior to the tip-off the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament opener between Indiana and Purdue, the Boilermakers held a Pep Rally at their "home away from home," Scotty's Brewhouse.
Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke addressed Boiler Nation in attendance and spoke candidly about the team's up-and-down season this year.
He touched on the fight of Drey Mingo, who has become nearly deaf in her left ear after a recent battle with bacterial meningitis. He applauded the efforts of the team going 15-7 down the stretch and winning its last two road contests.
And once Purdue Pete stepped up and stood beside the Boilermaker boss, Burke informed the crowd that Pete is getting a makeover after nearly 30 years.
With the lunch-hour noise in the background, BigTen.org could not hear what Pete had to say, but he clapped in approval and had a smile on his face, so we think he's happy about the new gear coming his way.
While the Indiana Hoosiers were preparing for their Big Ten Tournament opener just a few blocks away, the Purdue squad was already lacing it up at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Just steps away from the Fieldhouse's front door at Scotty's Brewhouse, the Boilermaker faithful finished up lunch and got into game mode as the Purdue cheerleaders performed to "Hail Purdue!" and got the place rockin'!