The Big Ten had two games on Thursday night and both ended with some significant outcomes. Iowa was able to knock off a ranked Ohio State team in the early game and Michigan State scored a much needed road win over Nebraska later on.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes 85, No. 25 Ohio State Buckeyes 76
Heading into tip, this matchup looked really intriguing on paper. Iowa had won three of its last four games and had been strong at home all season and the Buckeyes had picked up a lot of momentum after a rough January, winning five of the team’s last six games. Add in that both teams were ranked and there was a lot to like.
Unfortunately for Buckeye fans, that’s where the fun stopped. Iowa stormed Ohio State out of the gates and had this thing in control for the duration thereafter. In terms of in-game odds, Iowa was already up to 91 percent odds to win less than 10 minutes in and it never crossed below the 75 percentile the rest of the way. All told, Iowa grabbed an 85-76 win.
For Iowa, this is an important win. It improves the team to 19-8 overall and almost assuredly locks up an NCAA bid for the Hawkeyes. It seems unlikely Iowa is done winning this year with a few winnable games remaining, but it’s nice to have that in the bag. Everything else is akin to icing on the cake. The Hawkeyes will hope to keep things rolling next Tuesday on the road against Michigan State.
On the other side, Ohio State lost just its second game since January 23rd and fell to 17-9 as a result. The good news is this was likely one of the team’s toughest remaining games, so things should get easier in the weeks ahead. Ohio State still remains in good shape and will get a huge game on Sunday at home against Maryland,
The outcome here was expected. A superior Michigan State team went on the road and scored a 21-point win over a struggling Husker squad. The Spartans finished with 1.15 points per possession, led by a 5-of-8 night from three for Gabe Brown. Michigan State improved to 18-9 overall with this win. Meanwhile, Nebraska fell to 7-19 overall.
Moving forward, Michigan State will prepare for a huge home tilt against Iowa on Tuesday night. The Spartans haven’t won a home game in February yet and will hope to do just that next week. The Huskers will return to action on Monday night on the road against Illinois.