Talor Battle looked better than anyone else on the ugliest night in Big Ten tournament history.
The record-breaking guard finished with a team-high nine points Friday in Indianapolis, but he hit a 3-pointer and a free throw in the closing minutes to lead Penn State past No. 13 Wisconsin, 36-33, in the lowest-scoring game in the 14 years of the event.
And it wasn’t even close.
The previous record low was 85 points, set in 2008 when Wisconsin beat Michigan 51-34.
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The Badgers’ top scorers, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, struggled all night, and it took nearly 36 minutes for Wisconsin (23-8) to put a third player in the scoring column. Taylor finished with 16 points and, fittingly, missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to go. Leuer had 10 points.
The third-seeded Badgers were just 15 of 51 from the field and 2 of 21 from beyond the arc. The No. 6 seed Nittany Lions weren’t much better, making 13 of 39 from the field and 3 of 12 from 3-point range. The final score evoked a game from the 1930s, decades before there was a shot clock in college basketball.
The Nittany Lions (18-13) opened by making four of their first five shots, and with 9:58 to go, they led 18-2.
No. 1 Ohio State 67, Northwestern 61 (OT): Jared Sullinger had 20 points and 18 rebounds as the Buckeyes (30-2) barely avoided a stunning upset against the eighth-seeded Wildcats (18-13) in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Sullinger made all 10 of his free throws in overtime after missing a jumper that would have won the game as time expired in regulation.
No. 2 Kansas 90, Colorado 83: Twins Marcus (20 points and 13 rebounds) and Markieff (20 points, eight boards) Morris led the Jayhawks (31-2) over the Buffaloes (21-13) and into the Big 12 final in Kansas City, Mo.
No. 14 Louisville 83, No. 4 Notre Dame 77 (OT): Preston Knowles, playing the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime with four fouls, scored 20 points to lead the Cardinals (25-8) past the Fighting Irish (26-6) and into the Big East final at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
No. 8 BYU 87, New Mexico 76: Jimmer Fredette scored a career-high 52 points, leading the Cougars (30-3) past the Lobos (21-12) and into tonight’s Mountain West Conference finals.
The nation’s leading scorer made sure the Cougars didn’t lose to the Lobos for a third time, breaking his own tournament record of 45 points set exactly one year earlier.
Michigan State 74, No. 9 Purdue 56: Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Spartans (19-13) past the Boilermakers (25-7) and into the Big Ten semifinals.
No. 10 Texas 70, Texas A&M 58: Jordan Hamilton scored 17 points as the Longhorns (27-6) handled the Aggies (24-8) in the Big 12 semis.
No. 21 Connecticut 76, No. 11 Syracuse 71 ( OT): Kemba Walker had 33 points and 12 rebounds as the Huskies (25-9) beat the Orange (26-7) and advanced to the Big East tournament finals.
Arkansas-Little Rock, Sun Belt
Belmont, Atlantic Sun
Gonzaga, West Coast
Indiana State, Missouri Valley
Long Island University, Northeast
Morehead State, Ohio Valley
Northern Colorado, Big Sky
Oakland, Mich., Summit
Old Dominion, Colonial Athletic
Saint Peter’s, Metro Atl. Athletic
UNC Asheville, Big South