The Big Ten had three games on Tuesday and all of them ended in dramatic fashion. Michigan State traveled to face Maryland, Rutgers battled Northwestern, and Michigan hosted Nebraska.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 13 Michigan State Spartans 65, Maryland Terrapins 63
Early on, it looked like this one was going to end up one-sided. Michigan State came out firing and took a 10-point lead into halftime. However, Maryland battled back and made things incredibly competitive in the closing minutes. The game ended up tied with 12 seconds remaining before Malik Hall scored and Fatts Russell missed the response on the other end, allowing Michigan State to avoid an upset.
The win pushed Michigan State to 17-4 overall and 8-2 in Big Ten play. The team continues to find different ways to way and Joey Hauser led the way on Tuesday, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds. The Spartans will now hope to keep things rolling on Saturday on the road against Rutgers. Michigan State will get a home stand after that.
On the other side, Maryland fell to 11-11 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play. The Terps continue to show plenty of fight, but have now lost two straight and four of the team’s last six games. At this point, it’s looking like a pretty steep uphill climb to make the postseason. Maryland will return to action on Sunday on the road against Ohio State.
-Michigan Wolverines 85, Nebraska Cornhuskers 79
For Wolverine fans, this was a stressful one. Michigan entered Tuesday’s game firmly on the NCAA bubble and desperately needed to avoid a loss to a struggling team like Nebraska. The game ended up coming down to the wire with Nebraska leading with less than five minutes remaining. However, Michigan was able to do just enough to avoid an upset, aided in part by a few key breaks, including a key technical foul call on the Huskers.
Michigan improved to 11-8 overall and 5-4 in Big Ten play with the win while Nebraska fell to 6-16 overall and 0-11 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Wolverines will now prepare for a road game against Purdue on Saturday while Nebraska will hope to score its first conference win on Saturday at home against Northwestern.
-Northwestern Wildcats 79, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 78 (OT)
If you referred to this one as the “stayin’ alive” game, you probably wouldn’t be that far off. Northwestern and Rutgers both entered this game clinging to their NCAA hopes and desperately needing a win to keep things alive. And the game would end in similar fashion, as it would come down to the wire and end in overtime. Paul Mulcahy finished with 31 points for the Scarlet Knights, but it wouldn’t be enough to grab the win as Northwestern got just enough from Chase Audige and Boo Buie to escape.
Northwestern improved to 10-10 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play with the win while Rutgers fell to 12-9 overall and 6-5 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday on the road against Nebraska and Rutgers will hope to rebound at home against Michigan State on Saturday. The latter feels like a last stand for the Scarlet Knights.