Big Ten Network Bracket of Classics Historical College Basketball Simulation Round 12

Big Ten Historical College Basketball Tournament featuring Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa and more. Which team is the best? See the bracket below for scores, recaps and boxscores.
1
16
Indiana 75-76
Penn St. 00-01
96
77
8
9
Illinois 04-05
Mich. St. 08-09
85
75
4
13
Indiana 80-81
Purdue 79-80
85
81
5
12
Mich. St. 99-00
Ohio St. 67-68
89
79
3
14
Michigan 88-89
Illinois 88-89
92
90
6
11
Indiana 86-87
Wisc. 06-07
88
87
7
10
Ohio St. 06-07
Wisc. 99-00
73
59
2
15
Mich. St. 78-79
Iowa 00-01
84
75
1
8
Indiana 75-76
Illinois 04-05
86
89
4
5
Indiana 80-81
Mich. St. 99-00
78
81
3
6
Michigan 88-89
Indiana 86-87
93
87
7
2
Ohio St. 06-07
Mich. St. 78-79
82
76
8
5
Illinois 04-05
Mich. St. 99-00
3
7
Michigan 88-89
Ohio St. 06-07

Bracket of Classics

WhatIfSports.com, in partnership with the Big Ten Network and sponsored by Reese's, present a tournament of Big Ten classic teams.

Included in the tournament are three Indiana National Championship teams, Earvin "Magic" Johnson's 1978-79 Michigan State squad, and the 1988-89 Michigan Wolverines featuring Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson.

Whatifsports.com used its sophisticated college basketball simulation engine to "play" each game 101 times. You can simulate the games too with our
SimMatchup College Basketball tool.

Play Hoops Dynasty -- the best online college basketball game on the web.
Indiana
Illinois
1
8
Indiana 75-76
Illinois 04-05
86
89
Hey, nobody's perfect.

It didn't take long for the first upset of the B.O.C. to emerge, as the undefeated 1975-76 National Champion Indiana Hoosiers were sent packing at the hands of the 2004-05 Fighting Illini.

Mr. Knight, please put down the chair. You may need it later.

Bruce Weber's squad proved they mean business in this tournament.

"We had everybody back from a team that won the Big 10 the year before and made it to the Sweet 16," coach Weber said. "Besides great players we had great chemistry."

Illinois shot lights out in the opening minutes of the game. A 10-0 run will definitely get the attention of Coach Knight and a Hoosier team not accustomed to being pushed around.

But whereas fans just assumed Indiana would come storming back, the opposite occurred. Sure, the team closed the gap to within one, but the Hoosiers came no closer in the first half. The Illini poured on the offense, ended the half on a 21-10 run and rested knowing they possessed a 12-point halftime lead.

Bobby, here's your whip.

The tongue lashing must have jarred the athletic talent right out of the national champion Hoosiers. The team proceeded to rattle off a 19-8 run and found themselves only trailing by one, 53-52, with plenty of time left on the clock.

"For those who have not been involved in that kind of environment," Quinn Buckner said of playing with the Hoosiers. "Those are your friends for life because you have that shared experience." Buckner says he still talks to Scott May, his roommate at Indiana, at least two times a week.

Illinois was not going to give this game away. They were ready to make Indiana fight for the win and trip to the semi-finals. The Illini starting five all scored in double figures. Their lead crept back up to nine.

Indiana's Scott May, the 1975-76 National Player of the Year, played like it on this night. His 36 points breathed life into his Hoosier team. He carried the load of two players and knocked down a jumper from the left baseline with 45 seconds to go, tying the game at 86. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, it would be his last bucket of the night.

Illinois, however, had one more in them. The Illini came down the court and worked the ball around, right into the hands of a wide-open Dee Brown.

With Brown in the corner and a goose neck in the air, the ball rotated, fans held their breath until it dropped down through the bucket.

The corner trey put the Illini back up three with seconds to go.

A few futile Indiana three-point attempts ended with May coming up short on a shot from the left wing.

Illinois upsets Indiana, 89-86.


Player of the game: Scott May (36 points)

Winning Percentage of 101 Simulations: Illinois 2004-05 (64.3%)
Indiana
Michigan State
4
5
Indiana 80-81
MSU 99-00
78
81
Hoosier champion? Well you can cross Isiah Thomas' crew off the list.

Unlike Indiana's first round opponent, Purdue, this Michigan State team also had a cast of players who cut down the nets following a National Championship win.

It should be noted that if Tom Izzo's team wanted to take down one of Bobby Knight's power programs, the Spartans certainly didn't showcase the desire early in this contest.

Morris Peterson won the opening tip and knocked down a jumper on Sparty's first possession. However, Michigan State's 2-0 lead would be the only time they would be on top in the first half.

Isiah led the Hoosiers in scoring the first 20 minutes, and his three pointer off the feed from Randy Wittman cushioned Indiana's lead to ten.

The Spartans knew they needed a rally to keep this game respectable. So, MSU finally produced a steady diet of offense. A well-balanced scoring attack cut the lead to eight and then to three. With two seconds remaining in the half, coach Izzo called a timeout to draw up a quick hitter. The ball found Mo' Pete' and he found the bottom of the bucket as time expired. The Spartans trailed by only one at the half.

The second half remained neck and neck. Neither team ran away with a lead, as the Hoosiers kept the Spartans in check for the first 14 minutes. Then with 4:26 to go in the game, Sparty caught up and Peterson's three pointer put MSU up by one, 67-66.

Indiana would fight to take the lead back one more time on a Thomas jumper off the glass, but the Spartans wanted it more on this night.

Four out of Michigan State's five starters scored in double-figures and as a team the Spartans shot over 57-percent.

The 1999-00 Michigan State Spartans are moving on to the semi-finals with a 81-78 win.


Player of the game: Morris Peterson (21 points, 9-13 FG and 3 steals)

Winning Percentage of 101 Simulations: Michigan State 1999-00 (59.4%)
Michigan
Indiana
3
6
Michigan 88-89
Indiana 86-87
93
87
Coach Knight, here is the chair you requested.

"Indiana basketball is big, people know that," Dan Dakich said. "So when you win it's good. When you lose it's bad."

The 1988-89 Michigan Wolverines elimination of the 1986-87 Indiana Hoosiers has completed the trifecta. All three of Bobby Knight's national title teams have now been knocked out of the "Big Ten Network Bracket of Classics".

Five minutes into the game, two of the Big Ten's power programs of the late 1980s matched each other shot for shot, and this contest had all the makings of a classic barn-burner.

"It was probably the closest team I'd ever been on," Keith Smart said of the Hoosier program. "Everybody cared for one another and that carried over from the time I made my first recruiting trip through my senior season at Indiana."

"It was a thrill to be a part of such a dynamic team," Michigan alum Sean Higgins said

The Wolverines pounced on Indiana around the 14-minute mark of the first half and never looked back. A 22-8 run backed the Hoosiers into a corner and IU trailed by double-digits on several possessions.

Keith Smart's foul trouble did not help matters. The Hoosier's hero in the first round only managed ten points on the night and the Hoosiers trailed by eleven at the half.

"This team wasn't one of those Indiana '76s or Indiana '78s where it was full of first round draft picks," Dakich said. "But Coach Knight still loved working with this team."

Things got worse before they got better for Bobby Knight in the second. Michigan surged ahead by 19 at one point. Sharpshooting by the Hoosiers from behind the arc ended things on a bright note for Indiana, but the damage had been done.

The Wolverines' Glen Rice was lights out the entire game. He scored 15 points in the first half, followed by another 20 in the second half. Rice made the Hoosiers pay at the charity stripe by knocking down 12 of 14 free throws.

The maize and blue are moving on to the semi-finals with a 93-87 win over Indiana.


Player of the game: Glen Rice (35 points and 8 rebounds)

Winning Percentage of 101 Simulations: Michigan 1988-89 (72%)
Ohio State
Michigan State
7
2
Ohio St. 06-07
MSU 78-79
82
76
Potential.

The 1978-79 Michigan State Spartans would spell out the word to remind each other of the opportunity they had before them that season.

"Coach (Jud) Heathcote was an intimidating individual," Greg Kelser said. "He demanded perfection knowing he wasn't going to get it. We appreciated coach. We understood coach. We worked hard for coach."

Funny thing was the freshmen-laden 2006-07 Ohio State Buckeyes possessed more potential than any other skill.

"I believe that Ohio State would have been playing in another final four the following year if everyone would have stayed," Ohio State point guard Jamar Butler told Whatifsports.com.

For most of the 1978-79 season, if the Spartans were scoring, Magic Johnson most likely had something to do with it. "EJ the DJ" was busy dishing the rock and cashing buckets early in the quarterfinal match-up with the Buckeyes. Sparty rushed out to a seven-point lead, and the 2-seed looked destined for another trip to the final four.

The young, athletic Buckeyes decided to lean on their senior leader. Bowling Green transfer, Ron Lewis, brought his boys back, scoring eleven of his 17 points in the first half. The pendulum swung in favor of the scarlet and gray, as the Buckeyes grabbed control of the game. Matta's crew went on a late first-half run, knocking the Spartans on their heels, to create a 14-point cushion at intermission.

It was time for Coach Heathcote to encourage his team to spell out the word rally. Otherwise his boys were headed back to East Lansing empty handed.

Greg Kelser's hot hand in the second half blended with Magic's court vision. Michigan State was able to close the gap to six. With three minutes to go in the game and Ohio State still up by six, Kelser stole the ball away from Othello Hunter. On the other end, Mike Brkovich hit a fade away jumper to close within four.

Yet, just two possessions later, the Bucks hit a shot that was the dagger to the Spartans season.

Greg Oden ripped down an offensive rebound after an errant Ivan Harris shot and kicked the ball right back to him. This time Ivan knocked down the three-pointer to boost the lead back to seven.

Michigan State never recovered and the potential outplayed the potential.

Ohio State advances to the semi-finals with an 82-76 win.

Player of the game: Earvin "Magic" Johnson (23 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists)

Winning Percentage of 101 Simulations: Ohio State 2006-07 (71.2%)

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