A brutal winter storm wasn't the only thing going on in Madison, WI last night. The 14-0 Wisconsin Badgers were hosting the Iowa Hawkeyes in their conference home opener, and it was a doozy. Let's take a look at that game and the other tilts that took place in the Big Ten last week.
Iowa 71, Wisconsin 75 - The Hawkeyes controlled the first half, building an 11-point lead that they allowed to ebb momentarily before roaring back to lead by 11 at the break. In the second half Wisconsin earned four points on two technical fouls by an absolutely irate Fran McCaffery, which may have provided just enough juice for Wisconsin to come back and top the Hawkeyes.
Purdue 79, Minnesota 82 - This game looked to be out of hand early in the 2nd half when the Boilermakers were down 19 points. Purdue stormed back on the backs of their talented freshmen, particularly Bryson Scott who had a few moments of clarity late in the game. Minnesota was able to pull it out thanks to a sterling 23-27 performance at the free throw line. AJ Hammons grabbed just 1 rebound in 22 minutes.
Northwestern 51, Michigan 74 - Northwestern won't win many Big Ten games this year. They especially won't win very many on the road when they're outrebounded by Michigan, a team that isn't especially tough on the glass.
Penn State 55, Illinois 75 - Penn State and Illinois have had some contentious clashes over the years, and this game was no different. Usually, though, the final scores have been closer. This weekend's tilt tilted against the Nittany Lions when they lost their 2nd most talented player, DJ Newbill, to an ejection.
Michigan State 73, Indiana 56 - For a moment in history, this game was close. Then, with just a few minutes remaining before halftime, Michigan State went on a tear and took a 9-point lead to the locker room. The Hoosiers drew close once in the 2nd half, but Michigan State's arsenal of scorers was ultimately too much for the Hoosiers to slow down. Gary Harris notched a career-high 26 points on the afternoon in his home state of Indiana.
Nebraska 53, Ohio State 84 - Nebraska led for most of the first half, but a quick spurt by OSU, spurred on by their defense, secured a 10 point halftime lead the Buckeyes would refuse to relinquish. Amedeo Della Valle was mysteriously hot on the afternoon, scoring 15 points on just 5 field goal attempts.
Michigan 63, Minnesota 60 - A game Gophers squad failed to hold off the Michigan Wolverines at home in their Big Ten opener on Thursday night. Glenn Robinsonn III left the game early and didn't return but Zak Irvin picked up the slack and then some, scoring 5-8 three-point baskets.
Wisconsin 76, Northwestern 49 - Wisconsin was simply too good for the Wildcats, holding Northwestern to just 14 points in the first half.
Nebraska 57, Iowa 67 - Nebraska was actually very competitive for most of this game, but fell short as they often will this season.
Michigan State 79, Penn State 63 - Penn State took a 7 point lead into the locker room at halftime, but Michigan State took a Big Ten win home with them to East Lansing. Once Michigan State tightened up their defense in the 2nd half, Penn State struggled to score. The Spartans limited the Nittany Lions to just 16 2nd half points.
Indiana 80, Illinois 83 (OT) - Rayvonte Rice and Yogi Ferrell lives up to expectations in their Big Ten opener, exploding for 29 and 30 points respectively. Rice's team bested the visiting Hoosiers though, thanks in part to the 23 turnovers the young Indiana team committed.
Ohio State 78, Purdue 69 - A.J. Hammons scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to best the Buckeyes, who controlled the 2nd half after leading by just 1 at the break.
Big Ten Week in Advance
Wondering what to watch? Try these games.
Ohio State at Michigan State - January 7, 9:00 ET - ESPN - This is a game that could have conference champion implications down the line. The Spartans need to protect their home court here and I think they get it done.
Michigan at Nebraska - January 9, 9:00 ET - ESPN2 - Nebraska has looked lively in its first two Big Ten contests of the season, but lost both matches on the road to league contenders. The Huskers' home opener against a banged up Michigan squad could provide them with an opportunity for a big win.
Indiana at Penn State - January 11, 12:00 PM ET - BTN - Last year's Big Ten Champion Indiana looks to avoid a loss that may keep them out of the NCAA tournament, while Penn State looks to avoid an 0-3 start in conference play.
Nebraska at Purdue - January 12, 12:00 PM ET - BTN - Purdue is 0-2 in conference play and despite looking like a stronger club than last year, could end up on the outside of the NCAA tournament looking in again if they can't beat Nebraska at home.
Iowa at Ohio State - January 12, 1:30 PM ET - CBS - Iowa hasn't been on CBS too often in the last few years, so this will be a chance for the Hawkeyes to secure a huge road win in front of a large audience. I thought Iowa looked great on the road in Wisconsin and at Iowa State earlier this year, so I wouldn't be surprised if Roy Devyn Marble and Co. were able to pull off the huge upset.