The Big Ten had two important games on Wednesday night that put two of the Big Ten’s better teams on the road. A ranked Ohio State team traveled to face Rutgers and Iowa went on the road to face Northwestern. Both games will have significant implications for the league.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 64, No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes 61
Few teams have been playing better than Ohio State during the opening two months of the season. The Buckeyes raced out to a 12-1 record and scored wins over teams including Cincinnati, Creighton, and UCLA. Things were going well in Columbus.
However, Ohio State fell at home to Michigan State to open the new year and found itself searching for answers. Fans had hoped that the Buckeyes would find some of those answers on the road against a struggling Rutgers team.
But that’s not exactly what happened.
Rutgers would not only play Ohio State down to the wire, but would end up scoring a marquee win. From a KenPom perspective, this was Steve Pikiell’s second biggest win since arriving at Rutgers. It was also Rutgers’ third win in four games. Rutgres gets Minnesota on the road on Saturday.
For Ohio State, this should serve as a wakeup call. The Buckeyes are now 12-3 and will head on the road to Iowa on Saturday. A loss there would really be demoralizing.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 73, Northwestern Wildcats 63
Although this game lost a bit of hype after Iowa and Northwestern both got blown out on the road to start January, it was still a quietly important game for the league. Iowa has been trying to move off the bubble in the right direction and a road game against a decent Northwestern team was a great opportunity to add to the team’s resume.
During the course of the evening, this was a back-and-forth affair. Iowa and Northwestern both looked to be in position to win at various points in the matchup. However, thanks to big performances from Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp, Iowa grabbed a 73-63 win.
Iowa will now prepare for a home game against Ohio State on Saturday and Northwestern will get ready for Michigan on the road on Sunday.