Thursday night was a relatively quiet one for the Big Ten. The only likely NCAA Tournament team in action was Purdue and it was a game against a struggling Illini game. The other matchups featured (also) struggling Northwestern and Wisconsin squads.
Let’s take a look at how the games played out.
Game of the Night:
-Purdue Boilermakers 93, Illinois Fighting Illini 86
This was one of those days where a matchup earns “Game of the Night” by default. While this wasn’t a particularly great game, it featured a Big Ten title contender on the road against a team that had shown a bit of recent momentum.
Early on, things were competitive between the two. Illinois led roughly halfway through the first half thanks to some great performances from Leron Black and Trent Frazier. The two, eventually, finished with a combined 48 points and 11 rebounds.
However, as the game continued, Carsen Edwards and Purdue asserted themselves on the road. Edwards ended up finishing with 40 points on the evening along with five rebounds and three assists. It was one of the most impressive performances from any Boilermaker in recent memory. Ultimately, Purdue grabbed a 93-86 win.
For Purdue, this keeps the team’s Big Ten regular season title hopes alive. Moreover, it also means that the Boilermakers avoided a potential bad loss. That’s great news for a team that is still vying for a one seed.
Purdue will return to action on Sunday at home against Minnesota and Illinois will face Rutgers on the road on Sunday.
-Wisconsin Badgers 70, Northwestern Wildcats 64
The Badgers jumped out to an early lead in this one, but it ended up being a pretty competitive game throughout. Unfortunately for Wildcat fans, Wisconsin proved to be to much to handle and Wisconsin grabbed a narrow road victory.
Honestly, there isn’t much to take away from this one. It will have some impact on the Big Ten Tournament seeding, but a win or loss in this game won’t really chance much for either team heading into New York City.
Wisconsin will now get Michigan State at home on Sunday. Meanwhile, Northwestern will travel to face Iowa on Sunday as well.