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2/14 Big Ten Recap: Michigan Returns

Recap all the Big Ten action from Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten had a nice slate of games on Sunday, including a top 25 matchup between Michigan and Wisconsin in Madison. Penn State hosted Nebraska after that and Minnesota traveled to face Maryland in the late game.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 67, No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers 59

After three weeks off due to a COVID-19 related pause, Michigan finally got back into action on Sunday, going on the road to face Wisconsin. Everyone was interested to see how the Wolverines would look after so long off the court, especially on the road against a challenging opponent like Wisconsin. It also offered a great opportunity to see if the Badgers could get a marquee win.

Early on, it looked like the break had done number on Michigan. The team struggled offensively, couldn’t hit any outside looks, and missed some defensive rotations. However, Michigan sorted things out in the second half, going on a monster run to close the game and grab a 67-59 road win.

Michigan improved to 14-1 overall and 9-1 in Big Ten play. It was the team’s third win in a row and its sixth double-digit win over a top 40 opponent so far this season. The win also pushed the Wolverines up to third nationally on KenPom, which is the program’s highest mark on the advanced stats site since the 2012-’13 season. The team remains in great shape to grab at least a share of this year’s Big Ten title.

Conversely, Wisconsin suffered its fourth loss in the last seven games and its fifth loss by double-digits since January 12th. The Badgers have a solid resume and look like a dangerous team for March, but it’s hard to feel great about the team’s achieving its lofty preseason goals. We’ll see if the team can get back on track on Thursday at home against Iowa. Michigan will also return to action on Thursday at home against Rutgers.

The Rest:

-Maryland Terrapins 72, Minnesota Golden Gophers 59

This projected to be a pretty even game, but ended up being a lopsided one, with Maryland cruising to a 72-59 win. The victory completed a season sweep for the Terps over the Gophers and pushed Maryland to 11-10 overall and 5-9 in Big Ten play. Meanwhile, Minnesota dropped to 13-8 overall, 6-8 in Big Ten play, and 0-7 on the road this season.

We’ll see if the Terps can keep things rolling on Tuesday at home against Nebraska. Minnesota will get back into action on Wednesday on the road against Indiana.

-Nebraska Cornhuskers 62, Penn State Nittany Lions 61

After more than a year of frustration, Nebraska finally broke through on Sunday, winning its first Big Ten game since January 7th of last season. It was an incredibly rough stretch highlighted by a plethora of tight losses and disappointing nights. But Sunday worked out well for the Huskers and Teddy Allen led the way with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Nebraska sits at 5-12 overall and 1-9 in Big Ten play with the win, while Penn State fell to 7-10 overall and 4-9 in league play. The Huskers will hope to keep the momentum going on Tuesday on the road against Maryland. Penn State will try and bounce back at home against Ohio State on Thursday.