The Michigan Wolverines overcame a slow start in their matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at the United Center in Chicago, but eventually recovered to soundly beat their conference foe, 83-66.
The Wolverines trailed by 11 points early in the first half, but soon after went on a scoring tear and led at the break, 35-33. U-M was dominant in the second stanza and, has been true so often this season, Trey Burke was the centerpiece of the offense, as the sophomore guard and Big Ten Player of the Year finished with 21 points, three assists, and zero personal fouls. Burke's backcourt mates Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas also made solid contributions with 15 points apiece.
The Wolverines entered the Big Ten tournament as the No. 5 seed, and the Nittany Lions were seeded last at No. 12. The win over PSU advances U-M to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday, when it will take to the hardwood at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET against the Wisconsin Badgers, who enjoyed a first-round bye due to their No. 4 seeding. ESPN will televise the game, after the conclusion of the Indiana-Illinois tilt, which starts at noon ET.
Earlier in the day, the Illinois Fighting Illini used a last-second shot to edge the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 51-49. In other conference tourney games on Thursday, the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 57-55. As of this writing, the contest between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats was still in progress.