The Round of 64 began poorly for the Big Ten. The No. 5 Gophers were upset by No. 12 Middle Tennessee, 81-72, Thursday afternoon. Then No. 11 Xavier ousted No. 6 Maryland, 76-65.
Things appeared to be getting worse when No. 13 seed Vermont pulled with two points of No. 4 Purdue, the Big Ten regular-season champion, midway through the second half. The Boilermakers, however, held off the rally for an 80-70 victory to avoid sending the Big Ten’s top-three seeded teams home after the first day.
Northwestern gave the conference something to cheer about by claiming its first NCAA tournament victory in the program’s first March Madness bid. The No. 8 seed Wildcats held off No. 9 Vanderbilt in a wild finish 68-66.
No. 8 Wisconsin closed out the night with the Big Ten's third victory, defeating No. 9 Virginia Tech 84-74.
Overall, the conference finished 3-2 on Thursday. No. 7 Michigan kicked off Day 2 with a 92-91 victory over No. 10.
Fans of these Big Ten programs often gather at local bars/restaurants for game days, especially big events. If you're looking for a place to watch Saturday's games, here are some options:
No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Villanova
(1:40 p.m., CBS)
For Wisconsin fans:
-Herkimer Pub and Brewery
2922 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN
-Playoff Sports Lounge
2501 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN
-Cowboy Jack’s (downtown)
126 N 5th St., Minneapolis, MN
1st Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN
No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
(4:15 p.m., CBS)
For Northwestern fans:
Buffalo Wild Wings (Edina)
2685 Southdale Ctr., Edina, MN
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 5 Iowa State
(8:40 p.m., TBS)
For Purdue fans:
Cooper Pub & Restaurant
1607 Park Pl. Blvd. Saint Louis Park, MN