Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament Blog - GAME 3

March 13, 2008

Welcome to Indianapolis! We are set for the third game of the 2008 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament. This game will feature the No. 6 seed Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-12, 8-10) against the No. 11 Northwestern Wildcats (8-21, 1-17). Tip time is scheduled for 5:04 p.m. EDT.

1st, 14:14, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 12, Minnesota 5
Northwestern's Kevin Coble has made all three of his attempts from the field and has seven of NU's 12 points. Ivan Peljusic has three and Michael Thompson has two. NU hit its first four shots and is now 5-of-7 from the floor. Minnesota's Spencer Tollackson was injured on a hard foul at the 16:58 mark and was escorted to the locker room.

1st, 11:59, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 14, Minnesota 9
NU's Coble is now 4-of-5 for nine points. The Wildcats are shooting 60 percent, while Minnesota is 3-of-7 from the floor. Rebounds are even, 4-4, and still no word on Tollackson, although he has returned to the bench.

1st, 7:52, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 21, Minnesota 11
Northwestern has opened up a 10-point lead with eight minutes to go in the first half. Minnesota is just 4-of-11 shooting, while NU has connected on 7-of-12, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Coble already has 11 points , five shy of his 16.1 average. Lawrence McKenzie leads all Gophers scorers with six points.

A NOTE FOR THOUGHT: Here is one to sit on, although it is still very early in the game. At the 5:00 mark, NU leads Minnesota, 29-16. Did you know that should the Wildcats hang on, it would be the first time in Big Ten Tournament history that all the lower seeds advanced in the first day? Earlier today, No. 9 Michigan beat No. 8 Iowa and No. 10 Illinois topped No. 7 Penn State. Northwestern is the 11 seed and Minnesota is the 6. Again, something to think about here!

1st, 3:33, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 31, Minnesota 18
Coble is up to 13 points and NU is now at 63 percent shooting (10-of-16).



1st, 0:35.1, TIMEOUT (NU): Northwestern 34, Minnesota 21

1st, 0:25.1, TIMEOUT (NU): Northwestern 34, Minnesota 21

1st, 0:18.4, TIMEOUT (MINN): Northwestern 34, Minnesota 21
Minnesota ball. Gophers will most likely hold for the last shot.

HALFTIME: Northwestern 34, Minnesota 21
Northwestern has taken a commanding lead into halftime on hot shooting and the leadership of Coble. The NU star has 13 point and the Wildcats finished the half 11-of-17 (.647) from the field and 5-of-9 (.556) from the perimeter.

2nd, 13:23, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 42, Minnesota 37
The Golden Gophers have come out their hole, shooting 6-of-9 (.667) in the second half.

2nd, 11:42, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 42, Minnesota 42
Minnesota's Lawrence Westbrook tied the game at 42-42 with a 3-pointer from the corner. Tubby Smith has seen his team play outstanding defense throughout the first eight minutes of the second half. The Golden Gophers have registered no fouls, while Northwestern has five fouls. Minnesota continues to be paced by Westbrook with 17 points and six rebounds. Northwestern's Coble and Michael Thompson have 13 points each.

2nd, 9:17, TIMEOUT (MINN): Northwestern 47, Minnesota 42

2nd, 7:56, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Northwestern 47, Minnesota 42
The pace of the game has slowed considerably, unlike the first few minutes of the half when Minnesota made its comeback. Fouls are still an issue; Northwestern has six and Minnesota has one.

2nd, 6:00, TIMEOUT (NU): Northwestern 47, Minnesota 42
Yes, we are still stuck on 47-42. The same score from the 9:17 mark.

2nd, 4:07, TIMEOUT (NU): Minnesota 48, Northwestern 47
Minnesota has taken the lead!

2nd, 3:53, TIMEOUT (MEDIA): Minnesota 48, Northwestern 47
STAT OF THE GAME: Offensive rebounds. Minnesota has five of its 23 total, while Northwestern has none of its 16.

2nd, 2:07, TIMEOUT (NU): Northwestern 52, Minnesota 51

ANOTHER NOTE FOR THOUGHT: We talked earlier about the possibility of the No. 9-10-11 seeds advancing out of the first round for the first time in BTT history, but let's talk about how competitive these three games have been today. The lowest combined winning margin of victory in the first three games was 16 points in the first BTT in 1998. Through two games today, the combined winning margin is 9 and this game is proving to be a nailbiter. Let's see how this one turns out!

2nd, 0:03.9, TIMEOUT (MINN): Minnesota 55, Northwestern 52
After a Northwestern miss, the Wildcats were forced to foul. Minnesota hits two free throws and now it is NU ball under the MINN basket. It's 47-feet to half court and it is a whole lot more for the tying basket!!! Here we go!

FINAL: Minnesota 55, Northwestern 52
Northwestern missed the half-courter giving Minnesota an impressive comeback victory. So the 9-10-11 seeds have still not advanced out of the first round together, but we have now seen the most competitive first round in BTT history. With the three-point Gopher win, the combined margin of victory from today was 12 points. The previous low of 16 was in 1998.