The Big Ten had five teams in action on Friday night, including undefeated Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio State squads. All five Big Ten teams ended up coming away with wins at home.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 93, Southern Jaguars 86 (OT)
By this point, we know that Nebraska probably isn’t going to have a great season. The Huskers lost two buy games out of the gate and have continued to tumble down KenPom since the start of the season. Nebraska is now projecting to finish with fewer than 10 wins this season. A really low mark for a Big Ten squad.
With that said, Nebraska still had a shot to grab a win last night and get back to .500 after a rough start to the season. Southern was an underwhelming opponent and the Huskers were playing at home. And it showed early, as Nebraska pulled ahead out of the gate. Unfortunately, Nebraska couldn’t slow down Southern’s offense and the Jaguars were able to get things tied up at the end of regulation. Nebraska did just enough in the extra session to pull away with the win.
Friday’s win probably won’t mean a ton by the time we get to March, but it was at least a positive for the Husker fans as we move forward. Things will now get tougher for Nebraska as the team heads to the Cayman Islands to face Washington State on Monday. A win there would get some excitement back into this program.
-No. 6 Maryland Terrapins 86, George Mason Patriots 63
Five games and five comfortable wins for Maryland so far this season. Jalen Smith came up big in this one last night, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. All told, Maryland was able to defeat a semi-decent George Mason team by 23 points. Not too bad.
Maryland will now head to the Orlando area to face off against Temple on Thanksgiving. This figures to be Maryland’s toughest game of the season to date. Expect a fun next week for the Terps on the court.
For the second week in a row, Michigan faced off against an underwhelming team at home on Friday night. And for the second time in a row, Michigan cruised to an easy win. It marked Michigan’s first 100-point game since November of 2017 and its highest scoring output since before John Beilein took over as head coach. Part of that has to do with pace of play, but that’s certainly an encouraging note for Wolverine fans.
Michigan will now prepare for a trip to the Bahamas next week and will face off against Iowa State on Wednesday. The Cyclones are No. 42 on KenPom, so it figures to be a pretty competitive game. It will be Juwan Howard’s second game as a head coach against a quality opponent.
Like Nebraska, Northwestern got out to a horrible start this season. But the team was able to get back on track last night thanks in large part to 19 points from Ryan Young. Norfolk State wasn’t a great opponent, but Northwestern controlled the vast majority of the game, which was a good sign.
Northwestern will now go to Fort Myers and will face Bradley on a neutral court on Monday. Expect a really close game. If the Wildcats have improved since the season opener, this is when we should start to see it.
-No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes 85, Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons 46
There really isn’t a ton to take away from this one. Ohio State hosted a vast inferior opponent at home on Friday night and cruised to an easy win. CJ Walker came up big for the Buckeyes with 11 points and three assists. Ohio State’s defense was also impressive yet again, allowing just 0.70 points per possession.
Ohio State will now prepare for Kent State at home on Monday night. While the Buckeyes are clearly favored, Kent State is actually relatively decent, sitting at 112th nationally on KenPom. It should be a good tune up for Ohio State.