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Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament Notebook: Michigan State, Illinois advance to Round of 32

For the Big Ten, the first day of March Madness couldn’t have gone better. Michigan State and Illinois were able to punch their tickets to the Round of 32. While they both took different routes to a win, there title hopes are alive for at least another two days.

Between the two No.9 Michigan State entered as the underdog. They took on No.8 Mississippi State and applied relentless pressure for 40 minutes. As they recorded a 69-51 win they were led by Tyson Walker.

In 34 minutes of action, Walker recorded 20 points and added three rebounds to his resume. He was one of three Spartans to score 10 or more points. The Spartans’ next test will be No.1 North Carolina on Saturday.

Marcus Domask recorded just the 10th-ever triple-double in #MarchMadness history 🙌 @IlliniMBB pic.twitter.com/bM0EmW9hTo

— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 21, 2024

Just hours after the Spartans advanced, No.3 Illinois took on No.14 Morehead State. While the Eagles kept things close in the first half, Illinois pulled away in the final 20 minutes.

The Fighting Illini were led by Terrence Shannon Jr. in their latest win. The Chicago native scored 26 points and added four rebounds. He also got some help from Dan Dainja, who scored 21 points while hauling in eight rebounds. On Saturday, Illinois will take on Duquesne, who won their first game NCAA tournament game since 1969 on Thursday.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire