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11/24 Big Ten Recap: OSU Upsets Alabama

Recap all the Big Ten action from Friday.

NCAA Basketball: Emerald Coast Classic-Western Michigan at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten had a loaded slate on Black Friday, with five teams in action and four against quality competition. The biggest matchup came between Alabama and Ohio State.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-Ohio State Buckeyes 92, No. 17 Alabama Crimson Tide 81

The Buckeyes were pretty underwhelming through the team’s first four games. Ohio State barely avoided a loss against Oakland and dropped a game against Texas A&M at home. It left few believing the team could knock off a ranked Alabama squad on a neutral court.

However, that’s exactly what Ohio State did on Friday night.

The Buckeyes went into a battle with the Crimson Tide and went ballistic offensively, finishing with 1.28 points per possession. Alabama was able to keep pace for a bit, but faded in the second half. Bruce Thornton led Ohio State with 29 points, four assists, and three rebounds. Roddy Gayle also had 23 points.

Ohio State improved to 4-1 overall with the win, but more notably got the team’s first resume win of the season. This is the kind of victory that could easily mean the difference between making and missing the NCAA Tournament, so fans have to be thrilled. The Buckeyes will return to action on Saturday against Santa Clara.

The Rest:

-Illinois Fighting Illini 84, Western Illinois Leathernecks 52

The Illini scored an easy win in this one, cruised to a 32-point win against an overmatched Western Illinois squad. Terrence Shannon led the way with 19 points, two rebounds, and one assist. Dain Dainja also had 16 points and eight rebounds. Illinois improved to 5-1 overall with the win. The team will return to action next Saturday on the road against Rutgers.

-Texas Tech Red Raiders 73, Michigan Wolverines 57

This was a rough one for the Wolverines. Though the team had a few bright spots, another slow start and underwhelming defense left Michigan on the short hand. Olivier Nkamhoua led the way in a losing effort with 16 points and five rebounds. Unfortunately, four Red Raiders finished in double-digits en route to a 1.18 points per possession performance.

Michigan fell to 4-3 with the loss and the Wolverines have now dropped all the way to 55th on KenPom. There’s still time for Michigan to get back on track, but the next few games will be massive. That effort will begin with Oregon on the road next Saturday.

-Butler Bulldogs 88, Penn State Nittany Lions 78

The Nittany Lions dropped the team’s second game in as many days against Butler in what was a pretty competitive game. Penn State started decently, but faded as the game continued. Like Michigan above, most of the struggles were due to underwhelming defense. Kanye Clary led the way in the game with 28 points and five rebounds.

Penn State fell to 4-2 overall with the loss. The team will hope to get back on track on Sunday against VCU. That matchup should have some interesting vibes, considering Mike Rhoades was coaching the Rams just a few months ago.