The second day of the Big Ten Tournament is generally where things start to pick up. And that was undeniably the case this year. The day featured four entertaining games, two upsets, and one matchup that went to overtime.
Let’s take a look at how the games played out.
Game of the Night:
-No. 5 Michigan Wolverines 77, No. 12 Iowa hawkeyes 71 (OT)
While Michigan finished tied with Nebraska in the conference standings this season, the Huskers held tiebreaker over the Wolverines, so Michigan got pushed into the five seed. And with Iowa’s win over Illinois on Wednesday, the matchup was set.
Early on, Iowa showed it belonged on the court and really push some pressure on the Wolverines. It was a tight battle throughout the first half and the Hawkeyes were actually able to grab a 40-35 halftime lead.
That intensity also carried over into the second half. Jordan Bohannon played really well for Iowa most of the night and finished with 11 points and six assists. Tyler Cook also finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
In the final seconds, Iowa was able to get a huge bucket from Bohannon to send things to overtime. Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, Michigan proved to be too much in overtime. Charles Matthews led the way for Michigan with 16 points and eight rebounds.
For Iowa, this will be the end of the line this season. The team had some highs, but it could never show enough consistency on defense to get into Tourney contention. The Hawkeyes will now face a tough offseason and will hope to make some progress before next year.
On the other side, Michigan will move on to a Friday matchup against four seed Nebraska. The Huskers blew out the Wolverines earlier this season and will be looking for another win on Friday afternoon. Expect a fun one.
-No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers 59, No. 8 Maryland Terrapins 54
The day’s first game was competitive, but wasn’t all that beautiful to behold. The two teams struggled offensively for much of the afternoon and shot a combined 5-for-32 from three-point range. Not exactly something that’s going to get the crowd going.
And while Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter put up big games for the Terps, it wasn’t enough to get past Wisconsin. Brevin Pritzl finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Badgers and Ethan Happ added 14 points as well.
Wisconsin will now move on for a matchup against one seed Michigan State on Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, Maryland will likely head to the NIT.
-No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions 65, No. 10 Northwestern Wildcats 57
When Penn State announced that Mike Watkins would be out for this one, many thought Northwestern might be able to pull off the upset and get to Friday afternoon. Unfortunately for Wildcat fans, that would not be the case. Penn State’s Tony Carr proved to be too much for Northwestern and Penn State scored a 65-57 win.
For Penn State, this means the Nittany Lions will move onward to a rematch against Ohio State on Friday evening. This will be the third matchup between the two teams and the Nittany Lions will be hoping to improve to 3-0 against the Buckeyes. If not, Penn State’s slim NCAA Tournament hopes will go up in flames.
Meanwhile, this will be the end of the line for Northwestern. What projected to be a banner years turned into a nightmare over the last few months. The Wildcats will be left to wonder what this season could have been as it moves toward next season.
-No. 14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 76, No. 6 Indiana Hoosiers 69
Beating Minnesota on Wednesday was one thing, but few expected the Scarlet Knights to follow up with another win on Thursday. Indiana entered the matchup with some momentum and had been playing some improve basketball. However, Rutgers used a heroic Corey Sanders performed to grab a 76-69 upset win.
For Rutgers, this dream will now stay alive. Things will get tougher on Friday against Purdue, but the Scarlet Knights will have at least one more game. We will see if the team can keep things rolling. If so, one has to wonder about how far Rutgers could actually make it.
On the other side, this will be the end of the line for Indiana. The team didn’t have high expectations for this season, but fans hoped Archie Miller could work some magic. That did not end up being the case. He will have to get to work on the recruiting trail and fans will hope for better results next season.