The Big Ten had three games on Saturday, highlighted by a massive game between Wisconsin and Illinois in Champaign. Fans also got to enjoy a rivalry matchup between Michigan and Michigan State and Nebraska on the road against Minnesota.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Illinois Fighting Illini 79, No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers 69
After a rough last few weeks, Illinois entered this one with plenty of desperation. The team had lost three straight against competent opponents and were coming off a double-digit loss on the road against Northwestern on Wednesday. A loss here would only add to the team’s underwhelming start to Big Ten play. Meanwhile, Wisconsin was hoping to build on its six-game win streak.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, they simply ran into a desperate opponent.
Illinois not only won the game, but did it by double-digits thanks to 24 points from Terrence Shannon and 20 points from Coleman Hawkins. The team’s offense was also fantastic, finishing with 1.14 points per possession. Wisconsin played short-handed without Tyler Wahl and it certainly factored into the outcome as well.
Following the game, Illinois improved to 10-5 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play, while Wisconsin fell to 11-3 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play. Illinois will hope to build off the win on the road against Nebraska on Tuesday. The Badgers will try and bounce back at home against Michigan State on Tuesday.
-Michigan State Spartans 59, Michigan Wolverines 53
This has arguably been the Big Ten’s best rivalry game over the last decade and it generally delivered again on Saturday with a physical game decided in the closing minutes. Despite a late comeback effort by the Wolverines, Michigan State was able to grab a 59-53 win thanks to strong defense and 15 points from Malik Hall.
The win pushed Michigan State to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play while it dropped Michigan to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play. The Spartans will return to action on the road against Wisconsin on Tuesday. Michigan will hope to rebound on the road against Iowa on Thursday.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 81, Minnesota Golden Gophers 79 (OT)
The Huskers entered this game as favorites and grabbed a hard fought win, beating a struggling Gopher squad in overtime to improve to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play. Derrick Walker led the way with 22 points, seven assists, and eight rebounds. Minnesota fell to 6-8 overall and 0-4 in Big Ten play with the loss.
Nebraska will return to action on Tuesday at home against Illinois. Minnesota will try again to secure its first Big Ten win on Thursday on the road against Ohio State.