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Big Ten Tournament: What you need to know

Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, right, shoots over Illinois' DJ Richardson during the second half on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. (File photo by The Associated Press)
Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, right, shoots over Illinois' DJ Richardson during the second half on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. (File photo by The Associated Press)

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For more on college athletics, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at pdiprimio.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Seeing the Hoosiers at the line is a good thing

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:01 am
Record: 26-5Key Players: Victor Oladipo (13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds), Cody Zeller (16.8 points, 8.1 rebounds), Christian Watford (12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds)

A good sign for the Hoosiers: If they get to the free-throw line. They lead the Big Ten in free-throw shooting, at 74.3 percent.

A bad sign for the Hoosiers: If they don't win the rebound battle. Controlling the boards is huge for their postseason prospects.Record: 21-11

Key Players: Brandon Paul (16.3 points), D.J. Richardson (12.8 points)

A good sign for the Illini: If the game turns into a three-point shootout. They lead the Big Ten by making 7.9 three-pointers a game.

A bad sign for the Illini: If they don't hit from beyond the arc. The three-point shot dominates their offense. If they can't make 'em, they can't win.Record: 20-11

Key Players: Roy Devyn Marble (14.1 points), Aaron White (13.6 points)

A good sign for the Hawkeyes: If they rebound to their Big Ten-leading standards (39.5 a game), they will be positioned for a win over Northwestern.

A bad sign for the Hawkeyes: If their defense sputters. They lead the Big Ten in shooting defense, holding teams to 38.7 percent shooting, and in three-point defense, holding teams to 29.1 percent.Record: 25-6

Key Players: Trey Burke (19.2 points), Tim Hardaway (14.8 points)

A good sign for the Wolverines: If they keep turnovers to a minimum. They average just 9.3 turnovers a game, the best in the Big Ten.

A bad sign for the Wolverines: If Nik Stauskas is misfiring from three-point range. He's a 45.8-percent shooter from beyond the arc and provides a major third scoring option after Burke and Hardaway.Record: 24-7

Key Players: Keith Appling (13.5 points), Gary Harris (13.2 points), Adriean Payne (10.1 points, 7.5 rebounds)

A good sign for the Spartans: If they dictate pace. They like to rebound and run, a trait that has made coach Tom Izzo's program a perennial national power.

A bad sign for the Spartans: If they can't get their fast break going. They can win in a half-court game, but they're much better in transition.Record: 20-11

Key Players: Trevor Mbakwe (8.7 rebounds), Rodney Williams (10.5 points), Andre Hollins (13.9 points)

A good sign for the Gophers: If the Gophers are pounding the glass. When motivated, they are a ferocious rebounding team behind Mbakwe, who leads the Big Ten in rebounding and double-doubles (10).

A bad sign for the Gophers: If they don't play inside defense, they have almost no chance. This has been a problem since the beginning of January.Record: 14-17

Key Players: Dylan Talley (14.2 points), Ray Gallegos (12.8 points)

A good sign for the Cornhuskers: If they can keep the score under 60 points. They are offensively challenged, so controlling the tempo is crucial.

A bad sign for the Cornhuskers: They are not a deep team, so if they get in foul trouble or are forced to go to their bench early and often, they're in big trouble.Record: 13-18

Key Players: Reggie Hearn (13.2 points), Dave Sobolewski (3.9 assists)

A good sign for the Wildcats: If they can hit their shots. They're not a great shooting team, but if the Princeton offense is clicking and the back-door cuts are working, they'll be tough to handle.

A bad sign for the Wildcats: If the game depends on rebounding, they are in trouble. Northwestern is last in the league at 30.6 boards. It gets out-rebounded by 6.5 boards a game.Record: 23-7

Key Players: Aaron Craft (4.5 assists, 2.0 steals), Deshaun Thomas (19.7 points, 6.1 rebounds)

A good sign for the Buckeyes: If Craft's recent offensive surge continues. They've needed a second scoring option after Thomas. He's delivered during their five-game winning streak.

A bad sign for the Buckeyes: If Thomas isn't hitting his shots. He's been the one consistent offensive factor all season and if he struggles, the Buckeyes will, too.Record: 10-20

Key Players: Ross Travis (7.3 rebounds), D.J. Newbill (16.1 points), Jermaine Marshall (15.5 points).

A good sign for the Nittany Lions: If they can get the early jump on Michigan. They've beaten the Wolverines once in one of college basketball's biggest upsets. A fast start could lead to another.

A bad sign for the Nittany Lions: They have to keep Michigan out of the paint, which means keeping Trey Burke out of the paint. Good luck.Record: 15-16

Key Players: Terone Johnson (13.5 points, 2.8 assists), A.J. Hammons (10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks), Ronnie Johnson (4.0 assists)

A good sign for the Boilers: If they play hard. It took them most of the season to figure out how to play with the necessary effort and intensity

A bad sign for the Boilers: If D.J. Byrd isn't hitting from the perimeter. When he's on, the Boilers can beat anyone. When he's not, life is unpleasant.Record: 21-10

Key Players: Jared Berggren (11.5 points, 7.1 rebounds), Ben Brust (11.3 points, 5.2 rebounds), Mike Bruesewitz (5.2 rebounds)

A good sign for the Badgers: If they score more than 60 points. They only give up a Big Ten-best 56.0 points.

A bad sign for the Badgers: If they get to the free-throw line. They are the Big Ten's worst free-throw shooting team, at 63.0 percent.

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For more on college athletics, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at pdiprimio.

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