The Big Ten had a loaded slate of games on Sunday, which included three ranked teams in action and multiple upsets. Two ranked teams eventually went down and Iowa delivered another shocker at Rutgers.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Northwestern Wildcats 84, No. 15 Indiana Hoosiers 83
At the end of November, Hoosier fans were on top of the world. Indiana was a perfect 7-0, rising in the national polls and statistical projections, and was coming off a double-digit win over North Carolina at home. The team seemed destined to challenge for the Big Ten title and much more in March.
However, fast forward to Sunday and things were starkly different. Indiana was coming off a brutal loss to Iowa on Thursday and desperately hoping for a win against Northwestern to stop a brutal skid since the team’s win over North Carolina on November 30th. Meanwhile, the Wildcats were simply hoping to prove spoiler and build off the program’s upset over rival Illinois on Wednesday.
Unfortunately for Hoosier fans, the bleeding didn’t stop.
Indiana not only underperformed in the matchup, but eventually fell by an 84-83 final margin against the Wildcats. Indiana had no answer for Chase Audige, who finished with 19 points, eight assists, and one rebound. Boo Buie also had 26 points as Indiana allowed Northwestern to score an impressive 1.14 points per possession. Indiana got great games from Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino, but little from anyone else.
The win pushed Northwestern to 12-3 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play, while Indiana fell to 10-5 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play. For Northwestern, this is a massive boost to the team’s resume, who has now won seven of the team’s last eight games. Indiana falls to 3-5 over its last eight games.
Northwestern will now prepare for what is becoming a massive home tilt against Rutgers on Wednesday. Indiana will try and rebound against Penn State on the road on Wednesday.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 76, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 65
The Scarlet Knights were rolling heading into this one, coming off wins over Purdue and Maryland earlier in the week. However, Iowa had different thoughts in this one, as the Hawkeyes pulled off a 76-65 road upset. Payton Sandfort was the star of the show, finishing with 22 points against an elite Rutgers defense.
The win pushed Iowa to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play while the loss dropped Rutgers to 11-5 overall and 3-2 in Big Ten play. Iowa will hope to keep things rolling on Thursday at home against Michigan. Rutgers returns to action on Wednesday on the road against Northwestern.
-Maryland Terrapins 80, No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes 73
Both of these teams entered Sunday’s matchup coming off rough losses. Maryland was coming off road losses to Michigan and Rutgers while Ohio State entered off a narrow home loss to Purdue on Thursday. The recent struggles added a little extra excitement to the matchup as both teams were desperate to get back on track.
Ultimately, Maryland was able to grab the win thanks to 30 points from Jahmir Young. It was one of Maryland’s best offensive performances of the season, as the Terps finished with 1.19 points per possession. Ohio State got 43 combined points from Justice Sueing and Brice Sensabaugh, but it wasn’t enough to grab the win.
The Terps improved to 11-5 overall and 2-3 with the win while Ohio State fell to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play with the loss. Maryland will return to action on Sunday on the road against Iowa. The Buckeyes will hope to rebound at home against Minnesota on Thursday.
-No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers 76, Penn State Nittany Lions 63
While the game itself was decided by double-digits, this was a fun matchup played in a really fun venue. The game was scheduled in the Palestra in Philadelphia and fans were lively for the event. Unfortunately for Penn State, it wasn’t enough to grab the win as Purdue won by a final margin of 76-63. Zach Edey led the way with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists. Fletcher Loyer had 17 points as well.
Purdue improved to 15-1 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play with the win while Penn State fell to 11-5 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Boilers will hope to keep things rolling on Friday at home against Nebraska. Penn State will hope to bounce back at home against Indiana on Wednesday.