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Maryland will face Wisconsin in Big Ten men's basketball tournament opener

Maryland will open the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament March 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York with a second-round game against Wisconsin.

The Badgers clinched the No. 9 seed Thursday night with a 70-64 win over Northwestern at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. Maryland secured the No. 8 seed with a win over the Wildcats on Monday.

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With Wisconsin leading by a point, sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl hit a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left. Northwestern senior guard Scottie Lindsey, who scored a game-high 26 points, then missed a 3-pointer.

Since losing to Maryland, 68-63, in College Park on Feb. 4 for their fifth straight defeat and eighth in nine games, the Badgers have won four of their past five, including their past three. Maryland has won two straight for the first time in seven weeks.

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Coming back from 11 down early in the second half, Maryland beats Northwestern to win first Big Ten road game since Dec. 3 at Illinois.

Wisconsin, which recently beat then-No. 6 Purdue in Madison, hosts No. 2 Michigan State on Sunday afternoon. The Terps finish their regular season with a home game against No. 17 Michigan on Saturday afternoon.

The winner of Thursday’s noon game between Maryland and Wisconsin will play the tournament’s top seed Friday at noon.

Michigan State, which has won 11 straight and has clinched a share of the regular-season title, holds a one-game lead over No. 16 Ohio State, which plays at Indiana on Friday night, and No. 9 Purdue, which hosts Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.

If the Spartans win Sunday in Madison, they will be the top seed and the quarterfinal opponent for the winner of the Maryland-Wisconsin game. If they lose to the Badgers, the Buckeyes would be the top seed.

Having lost their only regular-season meetings to both Ohio State and Michigan State —a pair of last-second losses four days apart — the Boilermakers can only be the top seed if the Buckeyes and Spartans lose this weekend.

Michigan and Nebraska both have a chance to clinch fourth-place and a double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. The Wolverines need to beat Maryland and need Penn State to win in Lincoln on Sunday to do it.

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