While Tuesday’s slate didn’t include any marquee matchups, it did include two with NCAA Tournament implications and another with Big Ten implications. As such, it was a fun night that told us more about where things are heading.
Let’s take a look at how the games played out.
Game of the Night:
-Ohio State Buckeyes 71, Indiana Hoosiers 56
This was always going to be a tough matchup for the Hoosiers. After a tough loss at home last week, Ohio State entered this game looking to get back on track. It was an opportunity to make up for a poor performance against Penn State. Not exactly a great situation to enter for a struggling Hoosiers team.
From the start, Ohio State pulled ahead. The Buckeyes jumped out to a 25-10 lead early and never looked back. The score was 38-23 at halftime and most Hoosier fans were ready for the game to be over early into the second half.
The top performer for Ohio State was Keita Bates-Diop, who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds on the evening. For Indiana, Devonte Green came up big with 20 points and two assists. Additionally, CJ Jackson, Jae’Sean Tate, and Kaleb Wesson also scored double-digits for the Buckeyes.
On paper, this figured to be a pretty even matchup. Both teams had struggled through the early portions of Big Ten play, but had shown some grit and the ability to push better opponents. Simply put, it looked like a game that would be a grind.
However, none of that happened.
Illinois came out firing and completely dominated the Scarlet Knights. After an initial push, Rutgers collapsed and was blown off the court. Even the final margin of 31 points felt small in comparison to how the second half played out.
For Illinois, this was the team’s second Big Ten win and just its 12th this season. Fans will be hoping that the team can keep things rolling with Ohio State next.
On the other side, Rutgers has some serious questions to answer. Eugene Omoruyi was hurt in the game, but the Scarlet Knights were simply awful on Tuesday night. The team didn’t even look like it belonged with an Illinois team that was .500 entering last night’s matchup. Rutgers will hope to rebound against Purdue on Saturday.
This was another game that looked competitive on paper. However, Iowa had a really good night offensively and hit 48.0 percent from three-point range. Minnesota’s defense was suspect and the Gophers didn’t have enough to overcome the strong shooting from the Hawkeyes.
As a result of Tuesday’s game, Minnesota’s at-large postseason hopes are now dead. Both teams will now hope to get in position for quality Big Ten seeding. Iowa gets Penn State on the road on Saturday and Minnesota travels to Ann Arbor.