The Big Ten had two games on Thursday night and both ended in dramatic fashion. Minnesota was able to come back and beat Ohio State on the road in the early game and Indiana upset a really good Michigan State team in the late game.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Indiana Hoosiers 67, No. 11 Michigan State Spartans 63
This was about as quintessential upset as you’re going to see in the Big Ten. A really good and ranked team goes on the road to face a solid opponent in a hostile environment and comes up short. And on Thursday night, the team coming up short was Michigan State. The Hoosiers had to hold on for dear life, but were able to steal one from the Spartans thanks to 12 points and four rebounds from Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Obviously, this was a huge win for Indiana. Not only because it came against a quality opponent, but also because it pushed the team to 15-4 overall and up a few notches in the hunt for the program’s first NCAA Tournament since 2016. A win like this does wonders for a resume and Indiana should feel the benefits of that in the weeks to come.
KenPom now projects the team to hit 20 regular season wins, which would certainly be good enough to get the Hoosiers into the field of 68. Indiana’s next game is on Sunday at home against a ranked Maryland squad.
For Michigan State, this shouldn’t be a game fans panic over or read too much into. The Spartans lost a tough road game against a quality opponent. It happens. The team will return to action on Sunday on the road against Minnesota. Bounce back there and people will forget this outing pretty quickly.
For the first 35 minutes of this matchup on Thursday night, it seemed like Ohio State was going to come out on top. The Buckeyes didn’t lead by much, but were in control and playing at home. However, a furious second half effort and final five minutes allowed Minnesota to come back and steal a win in Columbus by a 62-59 margin.
Minnesota still only sits at 11-8 overall following this win, but Gopher fans have to feel good about how the team has been playing recently. Minnesota has won three of its last four games, with all three coming against top 30 opponents on KenPom. The team still has some work to do if it wants to make the NCAAs, but this is certainly a nice start. The Gophers will return to action on Sunday at home against Michigan State.
For Ohio State, this was just the latest in a what has become a full blown slide. The Buckeyes have lost six of the team’s last seven games, including two at home and one on a neutral court. And considering four of those teams are lower on KenPom than Ohio State, things look even worse. This team is regressing and fans are going to have to hope the Buckeyes can bounce back on Saturday on the road against Northwestern. Otherwise, things could start getting really rough.