The Big Ten had three games on Saturday, including a matched between ranked teams in Ohio State and Wisconsin. The other two games put Maryland on the road to face Minnesota and Northwestern on the road to face Penn State.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes 74, No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers 62
After some ups and down earlier this month, Ohio State and Wisconsin met in Madison on Saturday hoping to score a marquee win. Both teams were also looking to keep pace with Michigan and Iowa in the Big Ten title race and a loss here would have a devastating impact. Fortunately for Ohio State, the team jumped Wisconsin out of the gates and was able to get the win thanks to 20 points from EJ Liddell.
For Ohio State, this was easily the team’s best win of the season and pushed the Buckeyes to 12-4 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play. It was the kind of win that should reshape the team’s entire resume and help it significantly on Selection Sunday. And as mentioned above, it also kept Ohio State’s slim conference title hopes (now at four percent, per TRank) alive. Buckeye fans will hope the team can keep things rolling next Sunday at home against Michigan State.
This one will be a tough one to stomach on the other side. Wisconsin was favored before tip and couldn’t find a way to get the job done. The Badgers have now lost two of the team’s last four games and seem to be fading as a Big Ten title contender. Wisconsin will hope to bounce back next Wednesday on the road against Maryland. The Terps beat the Badgers in Madison earlier this season.
-Maryland Terrapins 63, No. 17 Minnesota Golden Gophers 49
This was probably the most surprising result of the day. Minnesota had shown some flaws before this game, but seemed nearly unbeatable at home, having already scored wins over Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, and Saint Louis. However, Maryland was the team who came out on top on Saturday, scoring a 63-49 win thanks to 21 points from Eric Ayala.
The win pushed Maryland to 9-7 overall and 3-6 in Big Ten play and the loss dropped Minnesota to 11-5 overall and 4-5 in league play. The Terps will return to action next Wednesday at home against Wisconsin. The Gophers will hope to rebound next Saturday on the road against Purdue.
This game fell under the radar with all the ranked teams in action earlier in the day, but still had some implications for both sides and the league in general. Ultimately, Penn State used a late push to grab an 81-78 win and improve to 5-6 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten play. It was the team’s second win in a row after beating Rutgers earlier in the week. Nittany Lion fans will hope Penn State can keep things rolling next Saturday at home against Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Northwestern will hope to bounce back next Sunday at home against Rutgers.
-No. 22 Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan State Spartans
This would have been an interesting matchup given some of Illinois’ recent struggles. However, we won’t get that opportunity because of a COVID-19 related pause for the Spartans. We certainly wish everyone health and safety as the pause continues.