The Big Ten had two games on the docket on Wednesday night, though the matchup between Iowa and Wisconsin attracted most of the attention. Maryland also hosted Minnesota in the other game.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Wisconsin Badgers 64, Iowa Hawkeyes 52
Heading into tip, this projected as a really competitive matchup. While Wisconsin got the game at home and the Badgers had played well there, Iowa had all the momentum and had clearly been a better team over the last month or so. Add in that the teams played an overtime game in the first meeting in December and it felt like it was going to be a battle.
And for 30 minutes, those projections proved true. The teams went back and forth as Iowa’s loaded offense battled Wisconsin’s stout defense. However, as the game neared its close, Wisconsin went on a run and was able to close things out. Tyler Wahl led the way with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Wisconsin also held Iowa’s nationally relevant offense to 0.85 points per possession. An impressive outing.
Wisconsin improved to 16-11 overall and 8-9 in Big Ten play with the win. ESPN had the Badgers as the last team in the field in its latest bracketology and that was before Wednesday’s win over Iowa, so fans have to be feeling a renewed confidence about the postseason. Wisconsin will now prepare for a road matchup against Michigan on Sunday. The Badgers beat the Wolverines in the first meeting between the two.
On the other side, Iowa fell to 17-11 overall and 9-8 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Hawkeyes are still a safe bet for the NCAA Tournament, even with this misstep. Iowa will return to action on Saturday at home against Michigan State. We’ll have to wait and see if Iowa’s formidable offense can bounce back after such a rough outing.
-Maryland Terrapins 88, Minnesota Golden Gophers 70
This looked like a lopsided affair heading into tip and played out that way, with Maryland scoring an 18-point win over a reeling Gopher squad. Hakim Hart led the way for the Terps with 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Julian Reese also had 21 points.
Maryland improved to 19-9 overall and 10-7 in Big Ten play with the win while Minnesota fell to 7-19 overall and 1-15 in Big Ten play with the loss. Maryland will now prepare for a crucial home matchup with Northwestern on Sunday. The Gophers are presently scheduled to return to action on Saturday on the road against Nebraska.