The Big Ten had two notable games on Wednesday. A red hot Michigan team went on the road to face Rutgers and Minnesota hosted a desperate Indiana squad. Both games should have some significant consequences moving forward.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan Wolverines 60, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 51
This game had some ugly segments on Wednesday night, but was largely an entertaining battle between two teams playing pretty well. Michigan had won five of its previous six and Rutgers had won two of its last three games. All told, Michigan hit just a few extra buckets down the stretch. Zavier Simpson had 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists and also reached 1,000 career points during the game.
I wrote this before the game and still believe it now. This matchup was more about what these teams could gain with a win than what they would lose. And Michigan, obviously, ended up on the right side of that equation on Wednesday. The Wolverines improved to 17-9 overall and 8-7 and Big Ten play and are now likely two wins away from locking up an NCAA bid. Notably, the team still has five remaining regular season games, which will begin on Saturday with a road trip to Purdue.
For Rutgers, the loss snaps the team’s home winning streak and dropped the Scarlet Knights to 18-9 overall. Unfortunately, the team now enters a really tough stretch of its schedule. Rutgers has four remaining games and is slated to be an underdog in each, at least according to KenPom. That run will begin on Sunday on the road against Wisconsin.
-Indiana Hoosiers 68, Minnesota Golden Gophers 56
After getting blown out by Michigan on Sunday, few expected Indiana to come out with the fire it did on Wednesday night. But fortunately for Hoosier fans, Indiana played really well and was able to walk away with a 12-point road win over Minnesota. It was the second road win of the season for the Hoosiers and improved the team to 17-9 overall. Another win or two and Indiana should be in the Big Dance.
Moving forward, Indiana will return to action on Sunday at home against Penn State. Meanwhile, Minnesota will face Northwestern on the road on Sunday.