The Big Ten had a loaded slate on Saturday, featuring three games with ranked teams in action. Ohio State hosted Indiana in the early game, Iowa traveled to face Michigan State after that, and Rutgers and Northwestern tangled in the late game.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes 78, Indiana Hoosiers 59
The Buckeyes have been red hot over the last few weeks and it continued on Sunday with a convincing win over Indiana. The game was pretty competitive for the first half, but things got away from the Hoosiers in the second half. EJ Liddell led the way to Ohio State’s win with 19 points and four rebounds.
Ohio State improved to 17-4 overall and 11-4 in Big Ten play with the win, while Indiana fell to 11-9 overall and 6-7 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Buckeyes have now won six in a row and 9 of the team’s last 10 games. It’s been an incredible run that includes six wins over top 30 KenPom opponents and five wins away from home. Ohio State will hope to keep things going next Thursday on the road against Penn State.
The loss was an expected one for Indiana, but will make things tougher moving forward. The Hoosiers are now narrowly above .500 with five scheduled regular season games remaining. ESPN has Indiana as a 10 seed in its latest bracketology and things should be close on Selection Sunday. Indiana returns to action on Wednesday at home against Minnesota. It’s a crucial game for both sides.
-No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes 88, Michigan State Spartans 58
The first meeting between these two suggested this would be a competitive game. Instead, it was a 30-point blowout win for Iowa and one of Michigan State’s most embarrassing home losses in recent years. Amazingly, Luka Garza only had eight points in this one. The win pushed Iowa to 15-6 overall and 9-5 in Big Ten play. The loss dropped Michigan State 10-8 overall and 4-8 in Big Ten play.
Iowa will hope to keep things going on the road against Wisconsin on Thursday. Michigan State will hope to rebound with a win at Purdue on Tuesday.
-No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 64, Northwestern Wildcats 50
This one largely went as expected, with Rutgers cruising to a 14-point win at home against Northwestern. Myles Johnson led the way with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The win pushed Rutgers to 12-7 overall and 8-7 in Big Ten play. It was Rutgers’ fifth win in six games. The Scarlet Knights will hope to keep things rolling on the road against Michigan on Thursday. Meanwhile, Northwestern will hope to snap an 11-game skid on the road against Illinois on Tuesday. It’s not going to be easy.