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2/12 Big Ten Recap: Northwestern Wildcats pick up huge road win

The Northwestern Wildcats won a massive road game, while the Michigan Wolverines defended home court

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

There were only two games on the schedule for the Big Ten on Sunday, but those two games did not disappoint in drama or competitiveness.

The Northwestern Wildcats traveled to Madison and were, by the opinions of most, one good win away from locking up the first NCAA Tournament bid in school history. Meanwhile, the Indiana Hoosiers traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, looking for a win to perhaps reverse their fortunes for this conference season.

We’re going to take a look at how both of the games unfolded along with some of the keys to each game:

Game of the Day:

-Northwestern Wildcats 66, Wisconsin Badgers 59

From a national standpoint, when you think of tough places to play in the Big Ten, most people would probably think of Assembly Hall. Rightfully so, of course, as the Hoosiers have a great home court advantage. However, few teams have been as good at home over the past decade as the Wisconsin Badgers.

On Sunday, however, the magical season of the Northwestern Wildcats continued, knocking off the #7 ranked Badgers on their home floor, 66-59. Junior point guard Bryant McIntosh led the way for the Wildcats with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in an extraordinary effort.

The Wildcats grabbed this road upset without one of their best players, Scottie Lindsey, who sat for the last two games, in which Northwestern went 0-2 against Purdue and Illinois.

In a loss that is uncharacteristic for the Badgers, they committed twice as many turnovers as their opponent, losing the turnover battle 12-6. Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Ethan Happ had an up and down performance, scoring only 9 points but also finishing with seven rebounds and five assists, though he also had 4 turnovers. Nigel Hayes also had a nice individual performance, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.

This win propels the Northwestern Wildcats to 19-6 overall and 8-4 in the conference while the loss drops Wisconsin to 21-4 overall and 10-2 in the conference.

The Rest:

-Michigan Wolverines 75, Indiana Hoosiers 63

If the home loss against the Boilermakers didn’t do the Hoosiers in for the NCAA Tournament, this loss might have done them in. For a team who, under Tom Crean, has notoriously lived behind the three point line, they once again struggled shooting only 4-19 from behind the three point line.

Meanwhile, Michigan didn’t perform much better from beyond the three point line, but they did outperform the Hoosiers in a handful of other statistical categories. The Wolverines went 15-19 from the free throw line, while the Hoosiers went only 9-14 from the charity stripe.

The Wolverines also finished with 8 steals while the Hoosiers finished with four steals en route to the Hoosiers turning the ball over 15 times while the Wolverines finished with only eight turnovers.

Derrick Walton Jr. continued his fantastic senior season conference with 25 points along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Moritz Wagner continues to develop for the Wolverines as he posted 11 points and 10 rebounds against the Hoosiers who were led by Deron Davis with 13 points along with two others at 11 points in Josh Newkirk and Juwan Morgan.

The win moves the Wolverines to 16-9 overall and 6-6 in the conference while the loss drops the Hoosiers to 15-11 overall and 5-8 in the conference.