The Big Ten had two key games on Monday night with Ohio State going on the road to face Maryland and Minnesota hosting Nebraska. Both games would have a significant impact on the league’s NCAA Tournament hopes.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes 73, Maryland Terrapins 65
Over the last month or so, few teams have been playing as well as Ohio State. The team has gone from an afterthought in a loaded Big Ten to a serious title contender after winning seven of eight games, including road games at Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. This set up Monday as an opportunity for Ohio State to keep things rolling and further build its hopes for the league and beyond. Meanwhile, Maryland hoped to pull off the upset and improve its positioning for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The game itself proved to be largely one-sided. Maryland started well, but faded in the first half and couldn’t get enough offensively to overcome an early second half deficit against the Buckeyes. Kyle Young led the way for Ohio State with 18 points, four rebounds, and one assist. Duane Washington also had a great showing with 18 points.
Ohio State improved to 16-4 overall and 10-4 in Big Ten play with the win. The Buckeyes have now won eight of the team’s last nine games, including five road wins against top 50 opponents. That’s an absolutely incredible run and speaks volumes about this team’s potential in March. Ohio State will hope to keep things rolling on Saturday at home against Indiana.
Maryland fell to 10-10 overall and 4-9 in Big Ten play with the loss. It was the team’s second defeat in a row after falling to Penn State on the road last Friday. The Terps now have six scheduled games remaining and likely have to win at least three to feel any confidence about the team’s potential heading into Selection Sunday. That effort will start on Sunday with Minnesota at home.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 79, Nebraska Cornhuskers 61
The Gophers were favored coming into this one and performed as expected, cruising to an 18-point win over Nebraska. Marcus Carr led the way with 21 points and eight assists. The win snapped a three-game skid for Minnesota and improved the team to 12-7 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten play. Minnesota will return to action on Thursday at home against Purdue. Meanwhile, Nebraska will hope to score the team’s first win of conference play on Wednesday at home against Wisconsin. It won’t be easy.