The Big Ten had two games on Sunday and both had some surprising developments. Ohio State went on the road to battle Wisconsin in the early game and Rutgers hosted a feisty Northwestern team in the late game.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Wisconsin Badgers 70, Ohio State Buckeyes 57
After a tumultuous last few weeks for Wisconsin and three straight wins for Ohio State, many were expecting the Buckeyes to go on the road and walk out with a win in this one. Instead, Wisconsin dominated the first half and cruised to a 13-point win over the Buckeyes. The win pushed Wisconsin to 14-10 overall and to 7-6 in Big Ten play. Meanwhile, Ohio State fell to 15-8 overall and 5-7 in league play.
While Ohio State is in better position than Wisconsin for a postseason bid right now, both of these teams are generally in the same situation. Each will likely need at least four more wins to get on the bubble and maybe even more to make it. And with roughly a month left, time is starting to run out. That made Sunday’s win a big one for the Badgers.
Wisconsin will now hope to keep things rolling this week on the road against Nebraska on Saturday. Meanwhile, Ohio State will hope to bounce back at home against Rutgers on Wednesday.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 77, Northwestern Wildcats 73 (OT)
Let’s be honest. None of us thought this game looked particularly great on paper. Rutgers was looking for a chance to rebound after a loss on Tuesday night and has been outstanding at home all season. Meanwhile, Northwestern was riding a six-game losing streak and going on the road as an underdog.
Nonetheless, it ended up being quite the battle.
The Wildcats controlled much of the game, but faded terribly in the second half. And Rutgers did just enough at the close of regulation to force overtime. In the extra period, the Scarlet Knights were able to squeak out a 77-73 win. Geo Baker led the way with 25 points.
Given the team’s respective resumes, this was clearly a more important game for Rutgers. The team has been steadily building an NCAA resume and losing to Northwestern on Sunday night would have been a huge blow. Luckily for fans, Rutgers found a way to get the job done and improve to 17-7 overall.
Rutgers will now prepare for a showdown with Ohio State on the road on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Northwestern will hope to bounce back on Wednesday against Michigan at home.