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Balanced Field Readies For Big Ten Tournament

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Perhaps the most unpredictable Big Ten tournament ever will begin Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Michigan State has earned the top seed as part of a 3-way split for the conference crown. Spartans coach Tom Izzo said the conference is the most balanced it has been in his 27 years in the league. Michigan is the No. 2 seed, while Ohio State is No. 3. Those teams earned byes and will play their first games on Friday.

Play begins Thursday when No. 8 seed Iowa plays No. 9 Illinois. The second game features No. 5 Indiana and No. 12 Penn State. The evening matchups are No. 7 Northwestern against No. 10 Minnesota and No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Nebraska.

The championship game will be played on Sunday.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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