The Big Ten had a loaded slate of action on Wednesday with three games and four teams with serious NCAA Tournament hopes all in action. While two of the matchups were decided by double-digits, one was really competitive.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Maryland Terrapins 73, Wisconsin Badgers 55
On paper, this projected to be a highly competitive game. Both teams had shown some solid play, but some missteps as well. It figured to be a key opportunity for both sides and a chance to show those mistakes had been put to bed.
Unfortunately for Badger fans, things didn’t work out, as Wisconsin fell apart as the game continued. The team couldn’t slow down Jahmir Young, who finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. The Badgers also slogged their way to 0.96 points per possession, which continues to be an issue for the squad. Maryland eventually grabbed a 73-55 win to improve to 13-7 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin fell to 12-7 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play.
Obviously, this win will go a long way toward boosting Maryland’s postseason hopes. The Terps desperately need to take care of business in the winnable games and this one fit the bill. Notably, Maryland is now 5-0 in its last five home games, which includes a massive win over Ohio State earlier this month. On the other side, Wisconsin is left searching for answers as the team’s offense continues to let it down. The Badgers have now lost five of the team’s last six outings and appear to be nosediving.
Maryland will hope to build on Wednesday’s win with Nebraska at home on Saturday. The Badgers will try and get back on track against Illinois at home on Saturday.
-Indiana Hoosiers 61, Minnesota Golden Gophers 57
While the Hoosiers were favored coming into this one, Minnesota made Indiana work significantly to get the win. The game was competitive throughout, with the Hoosiers needing a monster performance from Trayce Jackson-Davis to get the win. The big man finished with 25 points and 21 rebounds.
Indiana improved to 14-6 overall and 5-4 in Big Ten play while Minnesota fell to 7-12 overall and 1-8 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Hoosiers continued rolling as the win over Minnesota marked its fourth straight win. Indiana will now prepare for a key matchup against Ohio State at home on Saturday while Minnesota will try and rebound on the road against Northwestern on Saturday.
While the advanced stats suggested this would be a competitive game, the trends of these two over the last few weeks suggested otherwise. All told, the game would be noncompetitive as the Wildcats cruised to a 15-point win. Ty Berry led the way with 26 points and three rebounds. The win pushed Northwestern to 14-5 overall and 5-3 in Big Ten play while Nebraska fell to 10-11 overall and 3-7 in Big Ten play.
Northwestern will now prepare for a home matchup against Minnesota on Saturday. Nebraska will try and get back on track against Maryland on the road on Saturday.