Another night and another Big Ten slate with plenty of drama. While two of the games came out as expected, fans were treated to plenty of excitement as Maryland went on the road and battled with Wisconsin.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Wisconsin Badgers 56, No. 17 Maryland Terrapins 54
A lot of times in college basketball, games don’t live up to their billing. Maybe a team under or overperforms, or we just vastly overrated one side of the matchup. Even this season there have been plenty of Big Ten games that projected to be competitive that just didn’t end up being so for whatever reason.
This was not one of them.
We figured this game would be competitive throughout and that’s exactly what ended up happening. Wisconsin pulled ahead early, but Maryland was able to take control later on thanks to a 13-2 run around halftime. And in the closing minutes, it seemed like the Terps were able to pull off the upset. However, Wisconsin did just enough in the closing minutes to grab a 56-54 win at home. The comeback was truly dramatic as well, considering Maryland had nearly 75 percent in-game odds to win with less than a minute remaining.
For Wisconsin, this is certainly a significant win. The Badgers were in solid shape coming into the game, but anytime you can beat a ranked team at home, it’s going to be notable. The win pushed the team to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in league play. Wisconsin has also been rolling as of late, winning six of its last seven games. The Badgers will return to action on Friday on the road against Michigan State.
On the other side, it would be disingenuous to rip on Maryland too much for losing this one. The Terps had to play in one of the toughest environments in the country and came up a bucket short. It’s going to happen sometimes. The Terps still remain in good shape and fans will hope to group can bounce back on Saturday with a big home game against Purdue.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 75, Northwestern Wildcats 62
This was arguably the least dramatic game of the night. Iowa entered this game as a solid favorite and was able to take care of business on the road against a feisty Northwestern squad. The win pushed Iowa to 12-5 overall and to 3-3 in league play. Luka Garza led the way with 27 points. The Hawkeyes will hope to keep things rolling next on Friday at home against Michigan. Meanwhile, Northwestern will hope to bounce back on the road against arch-rival Illinois on Saturday.
-No. 21 Ohio State Buckeyes 80, Nebraska Cornhuskers 68
By any general measure, this game looked like a mismatch on paper. However, in light of Ohio State’s four-game losing streak and the pre-game suspensions of Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington, this game took an entirely different meaning. Nonetheless, Ohio State pulled ahead early and never looked back, scoring an 80-68 win.
This win won’t be significant for Ohio State from a resume perspective, but does stop the team’s recent skid. That alone is worth acknowledging. Fans will hope it will be the start of a new run with Penn State on the road next on the docket. Meanwhile, Nebraska will now prepare for a home game against Indiana on Saturday.