The Big Ten had a handful of games on Sunday, including four with serious postseason implications. The highlight of the day was a marquee matchup between Maryland Tennessee, who both entered the day ranked in the top 15.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers 56, No. 13 Maryland Terrapins 53
It was hard to discount the significance of this one heading into tip. Tennessee entered at 8-1 overall while Maryland had entered the week undefeated before narrowly slipping up on the road against Wisconsin just a few days prior. It looked like the type of meeting you might see in the Sweet 16.
Fortunately for fans, the game lived up to the hype as well.
While Maryland got down early, the Terps never gave up, using quality defense and the play making of Jahmir Young to work their way back into the game. Unfortunately, the early deficit proved to be too much as Maryland fell 56-53 to the Vols in the closing minutes. Young led the way with 18 points, seven assists, and four rebounds.
The loss dropped Maryland to 8-2 overall. And while the loss is disappointing, there’s certainly nothing to panic about over a loss to a really good team on a neutral court in the closing minutes. Maryland remains a really solid team and just came up a bucket short. Fans will hope the Terps can respond well against UCLA at home next Wednesday. it figures to be the team’s last marquee non-conference chance this year.
-No. 23 Mississippi State Bulldogs 69, Minnesota Golden Gophers 51
Though the Gophers entered this game hoping to be spoilers, things weren’t in the cards for the team, as Minnesota fell by 18 points at home against the Bulldogs. Minnesota’s offense simply couldn’t hang, finishing with an underwhelming 0.80 points per possession. The only starter to even finish with double-digits was Dawson Garcia, who had 20 points.
Minnesota fell to 4-6 overall with the loss. Fans will hope the Gophers can rebound on Wednesday at home against Arkansas Pine Bluff. It should be a winnable game.
-Northwestern Wildcats 61, Prairie View A&M Panthers 51
This was probably the least dynamic game of the day, as Northwestern hosted an overmatched Prairie View A&M team at home. The Wildcats were able to score a 10-point win over the Panthers thanks to 20 points from Robbie Beran. Boo Buie also had 12 points. The win pushed Northwestern to 7-2 overall. The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday at home against DePaul. It should be an interesting in-state meeting.
-Seton Hall Pirates 45, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 43
The Scarlet Knights got a big opportunity on Sunday, hosting rival Seton Hall in a game where Rutgers was favored. Unfortunately, Rutgers couldn’t get the job done as Seton Hall pulled off a narrow road upset. Unlike in Thursday’s effort at Ohio State, Rutgers simply couldn’t find any offense, finishing with a putrid 0.73 points per possession and 43 total points on the outing. Not a single Scarlet Knights scored at least 10 points.
The loss dropped Rutgers to 6-4 overall and puts the team in an uncomfortable position heading into the final weeks of 2022. While the team has a win over Indiana, its resume is otherwise devoid of quality wins. That’ll put a lot of pressure on Steve Pikiell and staff as they turn their focus toward Wake Forest at home next Saturday.
-Wisconsin Badgers 78, Iowa Hawkeyes 75 (OT)
What a game. Over the last few years, this has quietly become one of the Big Ten’s best rivalry matchups and Sunday certainly continued that tradition, as Iowa and Wisconsin battled for regulation and needed an overtime session to finish things off. Fortunately for Badger fans, a late push by Iowa wasn’t enough to steal the win. Tyler Wahl led the way with 21 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Steven Browl also had 12 points and seven assists.
Obviously, this was a massive win for Wisconsin. It not only pushed the Badgers to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play, but gave the Badgers a second quality road win in just a week. The team has now risen to 35th on KenPom and that still seems underrated.
For Iowa, this is a tough one to stomach. Not only because the loss came at home, but also because the Hawkeyes came so close to grabbing the win. One more defensive stop down the stretch likely would have done it. Notably, Kris Murray did not play. It was his second missed game in a row.
Wisconsin will now prepare for Lehigh at home on Thursday. Iowa will get Southeast Missouri State at home on Saturday.