The Big Ten had two games on Tuesday night that both had postseason implications. Nebraska went on the road to face Michigan State and Wisconsin hosted Minnesota in a rivalry showdown in Madison.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers 63, Minnesota Golden Gophers 60
This one looked relatively one-sided heading into tip, as Wisconsin entered the matchup at 10-2 overall and the Gophers were an underwhelming 6-6 overall and 0-6 against top 170 opponents. It had been a horrid start to the season for Minnesota and few had hopes the team could surprise and score a road win over a solid Badger squad.
However, that’s not exactly how things went on Tuesday.
While Wisconsin scored the win, it took quite an effort for the Badgers to get across the finish line. Minnesota played Wisconsin down to the wire, only falling by three points in a game that was pretty competitive throughout. Chucky Hepburn led the way for the Badgers, finishing with 16 points, four assists, and two rebounds. Steve Crowl also had 17 points.
Wisconsin improved to 11-2 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten play with the win while Minnesota fell to 6-7 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten play. The Badgers will hope to stay unbeaten in league play in the team’s next outing against Illinois on the road on Saturday. Minnesota will try and rebound against Nebraska at home on Saturday.
-Michigan State Spartans 74, Nebraska Cornhuskers 56
Both of these teams entered Tuesday’s matchup with some momentum. Michigan State had won four in a row and Nebraska was coming off a double-digit win over Iowa in late December. Add in that Michigan State had looked a bit vulnerable at home and this game had the feeling of a matchup that could go either way.
Fortunately for Spartan fans, things didn’t play out that way.
Michigan State not only won, but cruised to an 18-point win over the Huskers thanks to 21 points and three assists. Joey Hauser also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The win pushed the Spartans to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play while Nebraska fell to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play.
The Spartans will hope to keep things rolling on Saturday at home against arch-rival Michigan. Meanwhile, Nebraska will hope to rebound on the road against a reeling Minnesota squad on Saturday.