The Big Ten had two games on Thursday night, highlighted by a marquee matchup between Ohio State and Wisconsin in Madison. Late on, Indiana went to face Iowa in another game with meaningful postseason consequences.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers 78, No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes 68
This one doesn’t take much build up. The two teams faced off in December with Ohio State scoring a dominant win then. Unfortunately for Buckeye fans, things went differently this time, with Wisconsin scoring the double-digit win. Tyler Wahl led the way for Wisconsin and finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Brad Davison also had 25 points.
For Wisconsin, it’s hard to understate what’s going on in Madison right now. The Badgers are arguably the hottest team in the country, having won six straight and 12 of the team’s last 13 games. And considering nine of those games came against top 70 opponents, those numbers look even more impressive. This was Wisconsin’s fifth win over a top 25 KenPom team already this season. The Badgers are unquestioned Big Ten title contenders right now.
On the other side, Ohio State dropped to 10-4 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play with the loss. It was the team’s second loss in four games after returning from a COVID-19 pause earlier this month. This was a big blow for the Big Ten title race, but Ohio State remains in good shape overall. After all, this was a loss to a really good team on the road. It happens.
Moving forward, Wisconsin will hope to keep things rolling next Tuesday on the road against Northwestern. Ohio State will hope to rebound on Sunday at home against Penn State.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 83, Indiana Hoosiers 74
This was a quietly important game in Iowa City as Iowa and Indiana both sit solidly in the Big Ten’s second tier and work to solidify their NCAA Tournament resumes. Additionally, both teams had been playing well before tip. Indiana had won two straight and Iowa had won four of its last five, with the sole loss coming on the road against Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Hoosier fans, Iowa’s offense would prove to be too much. The Hawkeyes finished with 1.15 points per possession and Kris Murray finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds.
Iowa improved to 12-4 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play with the win while Indiana fell to 12-4 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play with the loss. Iowa will hope to keep things rolling on Sunday on the road against Minnesota. Meanwhile, Indiana gets Nebraska on the road on Monday before a monster rivalry game against Purdue later that week.