The Big Ten had two games on Monday with significant implications for the league and its NCAA hopes on Monday night. Indiana hosted Nebraska and Wisconsin went on the road to face a red hot Maryland team. Both games ended up being relatively entertaining.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-No. 19 Maryland Terrapins 64, Wisconsin Badgers 60
Outside of the two teams from the mitten state, no Big Ten team has been playing better than Maryland over the last month. The Terps won five straight heading into the team’s battle with Wisconsin on Monday night, including three wins over teams ranked among the top 60 nationally on KenPom.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin had lost three of four games and much of its luster had worn off heading into Monday’s game. It was a chance for the Badgers to show that the team was still relevant in the Big ten and a national contender. Of course, a loss would be even more damaging for Wisconsin’s season goals.
The game itself ended up being relatively lackluster until the final minutes. The Terps came roaring out of the gates and were up 33-15 by halftime. But Wisconsin used a late rally to close things up and put a genuine scare into Maryland fans. All told, the Terps were able to pull out the 64-60 win.
For Maryland, this is another huge win. The Terps are now 15-3 overall, 6-1 in Big Ten play, and in great shape for the NCAA Tournament after Monday’s win. Maryland has scored four wins against quality opponents just this month and another league road win as well. The Terps will hope to keep things rolling on Friday on the road against Ohio State.
On the other side, it’s another tough loss for the Badgers. This is just the latest in a terrible run since Christmas. Wisconsin has lost four of its last five games and appears to be in free fall after a great start to the season. Fans will hope that the team can get things back on track at home against Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 66, No. 25 Indiana Hoosiers 51
Outside of Duke’s home loss to Syracuse, this very well could have been the most surprising result of Monday night across the nation. This game pitted a reeling Nebraska team against an Indiana team narrowly coming off two road losses. While both were more than capable of grabbing a win, the Hoosiers certainly seemed to be playing better.
But as college basketball fans know well, this is why the games are played. Despite the pre-game discussions, Nebraska went in and handled Indiana on the road. The Hoosiers never led and ended up losing by 15 points to the Huskers. It’s rare to see Indiana struggle at home like it did on Monday night.
The credit for this one has to go to Nebraska. It never gave Indiana a chance to win this game. The Huskers had a response for everything on Monday night and Glynn Watson led the way with 15 points. Nebraska will now hope to keep things rolling against a really good Michigan State team at home on Thursday night. Expect an absolute battle.
For Indiana, this is the team’s third straight loss. It’s probably not time to panic just yet, but things don’t seem to be trending in the right direction. The Hoosiers will now go on the road to face arch-rival Purdue on Saturday.