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Big Ten puts 7 teams in round of 32, binding record



The Big Ten Conference accounts for seven of the 32 teams still playing in the NCAA tournament that match a record most from a single second-round conference.

The eight teams The Big Ten put in the tournament were most in their history, as well as most of any conference this season. And they didn't disappoint.

The Big Ten went 7-1 in the first round to join the Big East in 2008 and 2011 as the only schools to have so many teams in the round at 32.

Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue all recorded wins Thursday and Friday, while 5-seeded Wisconsin was the only Big Ten team to fall, 72-54 to Oregon.

"We've been saying all year round it's the most competitive league in the country, from scratch to bottom," said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, after 1

0-seeded Hawkeyes beat Cincinnati 79-72. "And you kind of expect Big Ten coaches to make such statements, but the reality is we actually believe in it. And then I think it shows it."

At least one other team will lose in the next round as 10-seed Minnesota will meet 2-seed Michigan State on Saturday night in what will be the first all-Big Ten matchup in the NCAA tournament since 2000 Final Four, when Michigan State beat Wisconsin .

Spartans won their only matchup with Golden Gophers this season, crossing 79-55 home on February 9th.

"It will probably be a mud," said Michigan State Junior Guard Cassius Winston. "This will be the longest Big Ten season ever, surely. We are happy to play and research and I am sure they are too."

Minnesota's victory over Louisville was its first tournament winner since 2013, having not had an official NCAA tournament victory since 1990 (victories in 1994 and 1997 became vacant). So reaching the second round was a victory in itself.

"Obviously means a lot to us, and that means a lot to our state and our fans and our program," said senior Jordan Murphy. "So this is really important to us, been in this position two years ago where we lost and are now just able to redeem it and win and continue moving and advancing and then entering the next game with a good thinking. I think this is quite a positive thing. "

The other big conferences have also been good, with ACC and SEC both going 5-2 so far, Big 12 going 4-2 and Pac-12 3-1 .

The results have not been so kind to the Big East, which at 1-3 is the only conference to play at least three games and have a lost record.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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