The Big Ten had an absolutely loaded slate on Saturday afternoon and evening. Maryland went on the road to face Michigan, Minnesota hosted Indiana, Penn State and Purdue battled, Rutgers hoped to upset Iowa, and Nebraska hosted Northwestern.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes 71, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 69
This was hardly the most consequential game of the day, but it was undeniably the most exciting. Iowa and Rutgers matched up in what was an intriguing road game for the Hawkeyes on Saturday. Iowa needed a win to help build its at-large resume and the Scarlet Knights were hoping to pull off another upset.
And throughout the game, you could feel the effort on both sides. One team would lay a few haymakers and the other would immediately respond. Neither was able to get a significant advantage. And in the closing seconds, Geo Baker hit a massive three to put the Scarlet Knights up one with just a few seconds remaining.
Then, this happened:
Hawkeye Hail Mary for the Win at Rutgers pic.twitter.com/h4macpB4BM— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) February 17, 2019
It was a shocking finish and marked another buzzer beater win for the Hawkeyes. It pushed Iowa to 20-5 overall and 9-5 in Big Ten play. Iowa will hope to keep its four-game winning streak going on Tuesday at home against Maryland.
For Rutgers, it was a crushing loss. The team had pulled off another massive upset, until it didn’t. Still, playing this well against a top 25 opponent is good news for the long-term health of the program. The Scarlet Knights will return to action on Wednesday on the road against Michigan State.
-No. 6 Michigan Wolverines 65, No. 24 Maryland Terrapins 52
The Big Ten’s only ranked matchup of the day took place in Ann Arbor and was a relatively competitive game. Michigan jumped out to a big lead early on, but Maryland responded well and was able to close things down in the second half. However, it wouldn’t be enough as Michigan was able to grab a 65-52 win over the Terps.
It was another top 25 win for the Wolverines and pushed the team to 23-3 overall and 12-3 in Big Ten play. Michigan will hope to keep things rolling on Thursday night on the road against a feisty Minnesota team. Meanwhile, Maryland will hope to bounce back on Tuesday on the road against Iowa.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 84, Indiana Hoosiers 63
Heading into this one, many thought it would be one of the day’s most exciting battles. Both teams were desperate to get a win for their respective NCAA Tournament hopes and it was a relatively even matchup on paper. However, that would be the case, as Minnesota cruised to an 84-63 win over the Hoosiers.
Minnesota will return to action on Thursday at home against Michigan and Indiana will try and end its three-game skid on Tuesday at home against arch-rival Purdue. There’s a reasonable chance that Indiana’s at-large NCAA hopes died as a result of this game.
-No. 12 Purdue Boilermakers 76, Penn State Nittany Lions 64
This game was probably a lot closer than many figured heading in, but that wasn’t a huge surprise given that the first game between the two went to overtime. All told, Purdue was able to grab a 76-64 win over the Nittany Lions.
Purdue will now return to action on Tuesday on the road against Indiana and Penn State will hope to get back on track on Tuesday at home against Nebraska.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 59, Northwestern Wildcats 50
This game got lost a bit in the shuffle of a loaded Saturday night. However, it was a pretty fun matchup between two teams hoping to salvage their seasons. Nebraska was eventually able to grab a 59-50 win thanks to 19 points from Isaiah Roby.
The win pushed Nebraska to 15-11 overall and gave the Huskers the team’s second straight win after narrowly beating Minnesota at home earlier this week. Nebraska will now hope to build on that success on the road against Penn State on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Northwestern will return to action on Wednesday on the road against Ohio State.