The Big Ten had a great slate of Big Ten Tournament games on Friday, featuring five ranked teams in action. Michigan and Maryland opened things up, Ohio State and Purdue followed that up, Illinois and Rutgers kicked off the late games, and Iowa and Wisconsin wrapped things up.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes 87, No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers 78 (OT)
This marked Purdue’s debut in the Big Ten Tournament, while Ohio State entered having knocked off Minnesota on Thursday afternoon. The game ended up being an absolute thriller. Ohio State jumped out to an impressive lead and Purdue mounted a comeback, only to give it back to the Buckeyes in overtime. Duane Washington led the way with 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists. EJ Liddell also had a great game before fouling out.
For Ohio State, this was about as gritty of a win as you’ll see. The offenses were productive, but Purdue turned it into a physical contest down low where the Buckeyes had to gut out a win in overtime. In fact, two Ohio State plays fouled out and another (Musa Jallow) finished with four fouls. Conversely, Purdue got an electric performance from Trevion Williams with 26 points and 14 rebounds, but just didn’t have enough to complete the comeback in overtime. It will be a tough one for Boilermaker fans to stomach.
Ohio State will now move on to face arch-rival Michigan on Saturday for a revenge opportunity. Purdue will wait for Selection Sunday, where the team is an easy pick to make the field.
-No. 1 Michigan Wolverines 79, No. 8 Maryland Terrapins 66
This marked Michigan’s debut in the Big Ten Tournament, while Maryland came into the game off an impressive win over Michigan State on Thursday. The game started out starkly in Maryland’s favor with the Terps leading most of the first half, often by double-digits. However, Michigan went on a late first half run, grabbed the lead back by half, and never looked back. The Wolverines eventually grabbed a 79-66 win in a largely uninteresting second half.
Perhaps the most interesting moment occurred when Juwan Howard and Mark Turgeon turned a verbal exchange into a nearly physical confrontation. Howard was ejected from the game and Phil Martelli had to coach things out. It was quite a bizarre exchange.
Michigan will now prepare for a meeting with Ohio State on Saturday. Meanwhile, Maryland will wait for Selection Sunday. The team figures to be a lock for the field.
-No. 2 Illinois Fighting Illini 90, No. 7 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 68
This marked Illinois’ debut in the Tourney, while Rutgers entered the game having beaten Indiana on Thursday night. Unfortunately for Scarlet Knight fans, this one didn’t end as well. Illinois jumped Rutgers out of the game and really never looked back en route to a 22-point win. Ayo Dosunmu led the way with 23 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Illinois will now prepare for Iowa on Saturday afternoon. Rutgers will wait for Selection Sunday where the Scarlet Knights are expected to end a 30-year drought in the NCAA Tournament.
-No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes 62, No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers 57
This marked Iowa’s debut in the Tourney, while Wisconsin entered the game having held off a feisty Penn State team on Thursday night. The Badgers played a really good game and hold Iowa to 0.95 points per possession, but ultimately couldn’t get enough offensively to score the win. Luka Garza led the way with 24 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
Iowa will now prepare for a rematch against Illinois on Saturday. Meanwhile, Wisconsin will wait for Selection Sunday where the Badgers are an easy pick to make the field.