College Hoops Players of the Day for Friday, March 9, 2012
Three players - all from the Big Ten - scored 30 points in Friday's tournament action, each richly deserving of Player of the Day honors, so as the number of teams in conference battles continues to be pared down, we salute their efforts.
In Michigan's 73-69 victory over stubborn Minnesota, whose NCAA tourney life was on the line, freshman guard Trey Burke continued to dazzle with his rapidly-developing skill set, scoring 30 points on 11 of 14 from the field with three 3-pointers.
Burke was on the money from start to finish. He scored 11 of Michigan's first 12 points and had seven of his career high effort in overtime, including the final dagger, a long-range three. The #10 Wolverines face #7 Ohio State in one of a pair of Big Ten semi-final games at 4:05 pm ET Saturday.
The Buckeyes rolled to an 88-71 quarter-final win over Purdue behind Jared Sullinger's 30 points and 12 rebounds, his third straight double-double and 14th of the season.
Sullinger nailed 12 of 17 shots, including a three-pointer and was 5-for-5 from the foul line. Three of his rebounds were on the offensive end and he had two assists and blocked three shots.
On the other side of the Big Ten bracket, #14 Wisconsin led the entire game in a 79-71 win over #15 Indiana. The unlikely scoring leader was senior Rob Wilson, who scored a career high 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including an amazing 7 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Wilson, primarily a bench-rider, had a previous high of just 11 points this season and throughout his career with the Badgers averaged 9.5 minutes and 2.6 points per game.
Wisconsin faces Michigan State in semi-final action at 1:40 pm Saturday.
NOTABLE: The Big East and Big 12, along with a number of smaller conferences will crown champions on Saturday, as Louisville matches up with Cincinnati at 9:00 pm ET inside Madison Square Garden. Prior to that contest, #5 Missouri will battle #12 Baylor for the Big 12 title at 6:00 pm ET. The 27-6 Bears lost both regular season meetings with the Mizzou, losing by a point at home and by 15 at Missouri.