The Big Ten had a relatively light slate on Sunday with three teams in action against underwhelming opponents at home. Michigan was one of the highlights of the day nationally as the only ranked team in action.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-No. 2 Michigan Wolverines 74, Binghamton Bearcats 52
There’s little denying that this matchup didn’t look all that intriguing on paper. Michigan entered the game ranked second in the polls and Binghamton sat well outside the top 300 on KenPom. Add in Michigan’s undefeated record and the fact that the game was being played in Ann Arbor and it’s easy to see why the Wolverines were favored.
But early on, it didn’t quite look that way.
Not only was Binghamton able to muck things up on defense, but the Bearcats were also able to do just enough on offense to stay in the game. While Michigan was able to pull away in the second half for a 22-point win, things were certainly a bit uncomfortable for Wolverine fans during the course of the afternoon.
Either way, Michigan improved to 13-0 on the season heading into the restart of Big Ten play. The Wolverines will now get a few days off before facing Penn State at home on Thursday night. It will be a big game for both sides.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 71, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers 53
The Gophers wrapped up non-conference play with a very manageable game against Mount St. Mary’s at home. The Mountaineers were well outside the top 300 on KenPom and were just 3-9 heading into the matchup. By any measure, Minnesota was expected to cruise to a pretty easy win against an overmatched opponent.
During the game, Minnesota jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back. Dupree McBrayer led the Gophers with 15 points and three assists. With the win, Minnesota improved to 11-2 overall and now has five straight wins. The Gophers will be back in action on Thursday on the road against Wisconsin.
-Northwestern Wildcats 75, Columbia Lions 54
This was probably the Big Ten’s most intriguing game of the day on paper. And that’s not saying a whole lot as KenPom gave Northwestern 94 percent odds to win before tipoff. However, Columbia entered with some momentum after nearly taking down Rutgers on the road last weekend.
And while Columbia held on for a bit, Northwestern pulled away down the stretch in the first half and cruised to a 21-point win. As a result, Northwestern improved to 9-4 overall and 3-1 over its last four games. The Wildcats will return to action on Wednesday on the road against Michigan State.