The Big Ten had two games on Friday night and both came with some pretty substantial ramifications. Michigan went on the road to face Iowa and Wisconsin hosted Maryland in Madison. Both games were pretty wild.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-Iowa Hawkeyes 74, No. 5 Michigan Wolverines 59
Friday’s biggest surprise took place in Iowa City as a top five Michigan team went on the road and fell to the Hawkeyes. And the matchup wasn’t even all that competitive. Michigan had its moments, but Iowa dominated. The Hawkeyes used a mixture of defenses to make the Wolverines uncomfortable and a high-powered offense to grab the win.
For Iowa, this was a massive win. The team finally got its top end marquee win and now sits in really good position heading into the postseason. KenPom now projects the Hawkeyes to get to 22 wins in the regular season, which would be an eight-win improvement from all of last season. That’s certainly some welcome news for Hawkeye fans. Iowa will face Indiana on the road for its next game on Thursday.
And on the other side, Michigan suffered its second loss of the season. The Wolverines are still in fine shape moving forward, but many of the same issues showed up again. Michigan has to figure things out offensively and Charles Matthews needs to be more engaged. We will see if the Wolverines can get back on track on Tuesday at Rutgers.
-No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers 69, No. 21 Maryland Terrapins 61
The Big Ten’s most competitive game on Friday involved Wisconsin and Maryland in a ranked matchup in Madison. The game was competitive throughout before the Badgers pulled away in the closing minutes. Ethan Happ led the way for Wisconsin with 18 points and 11 rebounds. All told, Wisconsin grabbed a 69-61 win over Maryland.
For Wisconsin, it was the team’s fifth-straight win since knocking off previously unbeaten Michigan at home. The Badgers are now 16-6 overall and 10th nationally on KenPom. This win certainly will go a long way for Wisconsin in arguing that it’s the league’s third-best team this season. The Badgers will hope to keep things rolling on Wednesday on the road against arch-rival Minnesota.
On the other side, Maryland has some questions to answer. The Terps have now lost three of the team’s last four games and haven’t been able to get enough defensively to win in these tough environments. Maryland will hope to rebound on Wednesday on the road against a reeling Nebraska team.