The Big Ten had an absolutely loaded slate of games on Saturday, featuring three ranked teams and a number of NCAA bubble teams playing away from home. The most shocking game of the day took place in Madison, with Wisconsin upsetting Michigan State.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Wisconsin Badgers 64, No. 14 Michigan State Spartans 63
Anytime a ranked team goes on the road to play in Madison, chaos is always a potential outcome. That’s why I had this game circled for a bit as a potential stumbling spot for the Spartans. However, when Kobe King announced he was transferring and the Big Ten suspended Brad Davison, it didn’t seem all that likely.
But just when you think you know what’s going to happen, it doesn’t.
Welcome to college basketball.
The Badgers jumped Michigan State out of the gate on Saturday afternoon and never looked back. The Spartans made it close in the second half, but could never overcome the team’s underwhelming start. All told, Wisconsin grabbed a 64-63 win at home.
For Wisconsin, this is obviously a huge win. The Badgers were reeling after two straight losses and desperately needed to get back on track to keep its NCAA hopes alive. Saturday’s win won’t get Wisconsin into the NCAA Tournament, but it will certainly help the team’s resume moving forward. Fans will hope the team can keep things rolling on Wednesday on the road against Minnesota.
On the other side, it’s hard not to be disappointed with Michigan State’s performance in this one. Winning on the road against quality opponents is always difficult, but the Badgers were reeling and Michigan State still lost. And while the team still seems like the Big Ten’s best unit, it’s clearly quite vulnerable on the road. Michigan State will get back into action on Tuesday at home against Penn State.
-Michigan Wolverines 69, No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 63
Not much has been going well for the Wolverines lately. The team had lost four in a row heading into Tuesday night’s win over Nebraska and has recently been forced to play without star players Isaiah Livers and Zavier Simpson. Fans were hoping Michigan could get back on track with a win over a ranked Rutgers team on Saturday. On the other side, Rutgers fans were hoping for another quality win to keep the team’s success rolling.
The game ended up being pretty competitive, but Michigan remained in control throughout. Simpson returned for the game and provided a valuable boost. Eli Brooks also continued his solid recently play. The Wolverines improved to 13-8 overall with the win and will now hope to build off this success on Tuesday with a game against arch-rival Ohio State in Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, Rutgers will hope to bounce back on Tuesday on the road against a red hot Maryland team.
-Ohio State Buckeyes 68, Indiana Hoosiers 59
The Buckeyes were another team that bounced back on Saturday with a big win. Ohio State had lost six of eight heading into the team’s matchup against Indiana, but were able to get the job done against the Hoosiers with a 68-59 win.
For Ohio State, this win gets the team back on track heading into a huge rivalry showdown with Michigan on Tuesday. On the other side, Indiana fans have to be frustrated with how the Hoosiers have played away from home this season. We’ll see if the Hoosiers can get things turned around on Saturday at home against Purdue.
-No. 24 Penn State Nittany Lions 76, Nebraska Cornhuskers 64
This one largely went as expected, with Penn State taking care of business against a struggling Nebraska squad. With the win, the Nittany Lions improved to 16-5 overall and to 6-4 in Big Ten play. Penn State will get back into action on Tuesday on the road against Penn State. Meanwhile, Nebraska fell to 7-15 overall with the loss and will hope to get back on track on Saturday on the road against Iowa.
For only the second time this season, Purdue went on the road and walked away with a win. The Boilermakers have struggled away from home all year, but were able to get the job down on Saturday against an underwhelming Northwestern squad. Purdue improved to 12-10 overall with the win and will hope to keep things rolling on Wednesday at home against a ranked Iowa team. Northwestern will get back into action next Sunday on the road against Rutgers.