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1/3 Big Ten Recap: Michigan Rolls Northwestern

Recap all the Big Ten action from Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Michigan Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only had two games on Sunday, but they were both marquee matchups between ranked teams. Ohio State traveled to face Minnesota in the early game and Michigan hosted Northwestern in the late game.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-No. 16 Michigan Wolverines 85, No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats 66

Ok, this probably wasn’t as competitive as a “Game of the Night” designation would suggest, but Michigan’s performance deserves mention here. The Wolverines absolutely steamrolled Northwestern in this one, putting together an impressive performance on both sides of the court. Hunter Dickinson finished with 19 points and three rebounds.

Michigan improved to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten play with the win and looks like a serious Final Four contender right now. The Wolverines are playing at an absurdly high level and have moved into the top 10 on KenPom as a result. Michigan has yet to face an elite opponent this season, but it’s faced enough quality opponents to know the team is legitimately dangerous. We’ll see if the impressive play for Michigan continues on Wednesday at home against Minnesota.

For Northwestern, this is a game fans will hope to forget. The team’s offense struggled to find any consistency and Boo Buie had a tough outing after going down hard. This was the team’s second straight loss after winning four straight in December. We’ll see how Northwestern will bounce back on Thursday at home against Illinois.

The Rest:

-No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers 77, No. 25 Ohio State Buckeyes 60

The Gophers were slight favorites at tip and acquitted themselves well, cruising to a 17-point win over the Buckeyes. Marcus Carr finished with 15 points and six rebounds, but Liam Robbins was the star. The Gopher big man finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds and easily had his best game since coming to Minnesota.

Minnesota improved to 10-2 and 3-2 in Big Ten play with the win and will now prepare for a challenging road game at Michigan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ohio State fell to 8-3 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play with the loss and will hope to bounce back against Penn State at home on Wednesday.

Cancelled/Postponed:

-No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers at Penn State Nittany Lions

This figured to be an interesting game, but was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Here’s what Penn State’s official release said:

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s basketball game vs. Wisconsin, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 3, has been postponed. The decision was mutually agreed upon out of an abundance of caution surrounding the health and safety of the participants, and the institutions will work with the Big Ten Conference to identify rescheduling options.

BTPowerhouse will post updates as this game is rescheduled.