The Big Ten had a loaded slate of games on Saturday, including marquee showdowns in Bloomington and Champaign. When all was said and done, two ranked Big Ten teams ended up going down, including one at home.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Indiana Hoosiers 66, No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes 54
In the weeks leading up to this matchup, both Indiana and Ohio State had lost a lot of steam from their fast starts to the season. The Hoosiers had lost two of three and the Buckeyes had a three-game losing streak. This is despite both teams going 11-1 overall in their opening 12 games. So, in a lot of ways, this was a chance for somebody to get back on track after some missteps.
Early on, Indiana came running out of the gates. And while Ohio State closed things up in the first half, it wasn’t enough. The Hoosiers took control in the second half and were eventually able to grab a 66-54 win at home. Devonte Green led the way with 19 points.
It’s hard to understate the importance of this win for the Hoosiers moving forward. Ohio State may be reeling right now, but the Buckeyes are still a really solid team. And by beating them, Indiana adds its best win of the season to date. Indiana is now 13-3 overall and will head on the road to face Rutgers next. Win that game and many will start to believe in this team again moving forward.
For Ohio State, this was the team’s fourth straight loss. Given that all the losses came against teams ranked 32nd or higher on KenPom and three came away from home, I’m not ready to hit the panic button yet. However, the shine has officially come off this team and they’re no longer getting the Final Four hype they did a few weeks ago. Fans hope the team can get things turned around next Tuesday at home against Nebraska.
It’s odd to say, but this game was actually for second place in the Big Ten. Both teams have played really well over the last month or so and it ended up making Saturday’s game pretty significant in the league standings. Rutgers ended up playing really well early on, but faded in the closing minutes. As such, Illinois grabbed a 54-51 win at home. Ayo Dosunmu led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Both teams remain in good shape moving forward. Illinois is now 12-5 and has a serious shot at being ranked on Monday. The Illini will now have a week off before facing rival Northwestern at home on Saturday. Meanwhile, Rutgers dropped to 12-4 overall and will hope to bounce back on Wednesday at home against Indiana.
This game was largely forgotten on a loaded Saturday slate, but Northwestern was able to come out on top, besting an inconsistent Nebraska team at home. The win pushed the Wildcats to 6-9 overall and the loss dropped Nebraska to 7-9 overall. Northwestern will now prepare to face Iowa at home on Tuesday and Nebraska will prepare for Ohio State on the road on Tuesday.
This was a hard one to predict heading into tip. Wisconsin had been red hot for a month or so, but was coming off a loss to Illinois. And on the other side, while Penn State was playing at home, it seemed like a weaker team than Wisconsin and was also coming off a loss. Ultimately, Wisconsin controlled the game and scored a 58-49 road win.
With the win, Wisconsin now sits at 10-8 overall and will return home to prepare for a huge opportunity against Maryland on Tuesday. A win there and the Badgers are going to start getting a lot of hype. For Penn State, the loss drops the team to 12-4 overall. The Nittany Lions will hope to bounce back on Wednesday on the road against Minnesota.