Championship Week Preview- Big 10
BIG 10 TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
Illinois- Beat Wisconsin in the quarterfinal
Minnesota- Reach the Big 10 Final
3 Players to Watch
Manny Harris (Michigan)- Michigan may have been the biggest dissapointment this season. This is a chance for Manny Fresh to put the past behind and make a run in the tournament.
Demetri McCamey (Illinois)- In the season finale, Illinois was embarrassed by Wisconsin. Coach Bruce Webber and McCamey had a little scuffle, it will be interesting to see how McCamey will respond in the tournament. He is 1st in the Big 10 in assists averaging 6.8 apg.
Evan Turner (Ohio State)- Possible Player of the Year in the country will try to lead the Buckeyes to a Big 10 Title and a possible #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Illinois- Sometimes when you have an argument between coach and player, especially on national television, it can be a motivational booster. McCamey is very talented and the Illini can shoot the rock.
Projected Championship Game- 1. Ohio State (25-7) (14-4) vs 3. Michigan State (24-7) (14-4)
The Big 10 tournament is one I’m really looking forward too. There is so much intrigue and question marks. How will Illinois play following the Demetri McCamey-Bruce Pearl argument? How will Purdue do without Robbie Hummel? Can Minnesota make a run? Lastly, who’s going to win?
Without Evan Turner Ohio State struggled, with him the Buckeyes have flourished earning a #1 seed in the Big 10 Tournament. If the Buckeyes can win the Big 10, there is a possibility of a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Evan Turner may be the best player in the country. Turner is a combo guard who is exceptionally versatile. He is smooth with the ball in his hands; he can pull up or drive it to the basket. He has a vast assortment of moves. Turner led the Big 10 in points (19.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg). He’s 2nd in assists with 5.8 apg.
Besides Turner, the Buckeyes get production from G William Buford, G Jon Diebler and G David Lighty. The only inside presence Ohio State really possesses is Dallas Lauderdale.
Tom Izzo is a fantastic coach, and he always gets his team up for March. Izzo has never had a class which has not reached the Final Four.
It has been a tumulteous road for the Sparties this season. G Kalin Lucas missed time last month with an ankle injury. What resulted was the first 3 game losing streak for Michigan State in 3 years. The struggles continued after coach Izzo suspended Chris Allen for the Big 10 Tournament for failing to meet the teams criteria and responsibilities.
Michigan State has a lot of talent and depth. They are a fantastic rebounding team, outrebounding teams by 9.2 rebounds per game. The talent starts with Kalin Lucas. Lucas has the combination of speed and power at the point guard position. He isn’t afraid to hit the big shot, just ask any Michigan fan. Raymar Morgan, Draymond Green and Durrell Summers are all double-digit scorers and solid rebounders.
Prediction– Ohio State, it should be an outstanding Championship Game if it happens, but the Buckeyes have the Turner factor.
Projected NCAA Tournament Seeds
Ohio State (2)
Michigan State (3)