The Wisconsin Badgers will have to wait no longer to see who they will face in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals as the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 63-56 in the first round Thursday night.
Austin Hollins scored a game-high 18 points as the Gophers advance and first-year head coach Richard Pitino notched his first victory in Big Ten Tournament play.
It marks the third time the two teams will face each other, with both Minnesota and Wisconsin grabbing wins on their respective home courts earlier in the season. In the first meeting held at Williams Arena, the Badgers never got going out of the gate and never held the lead in the game. Wisconsin would end up losing to Minnesota 81-68, as the Gophers were led by DeAndre Mathieu and Mo Walker who each scored 18 points. It was the third straight loss for the Badgers after starting the season 16-0.
The rematch between these two teams went the way of the Badgers at the Kohl Center. Ben Brust scored 20 points, Frank Kaminsky 17, Nigel Hayes 15 and Sam Dekker 10 as Wisconsin started to gain momentum once again heading towards the end of the regular season. It would be the Badgers third win in a row after losing five of the last six games.
Minnesota and Wisconsin will play at 5:30 p.m. CT Friday on the Big Ten Network.