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2/2 Big Ten Recap: Wisconsin Tops OSU

Recap all the Big Ten action from Thursday.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Big Ten had two respectable matchups on Thursday, highlighted by a meeting between struggling Ohio State and Wisconsin squads. Fans also got to enjoy a battle between Michigan and Northwestern.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-Wisconsin Badgers 65, Ohio State Buckeyes 60

Over the last 20 years, few programs have enjoyed as much consistency as Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have been a consistent team in the NCAA Tournament and have enjoyed numerous runs in March and the Badgers have been the dream of consistency, challenging for the Big Ten crown for the vast majority of the last two decades.

Unfortunately, things haven’t gone well for these Big Ten powers this season. Both had nice starts, but those quickly spiraled into January struggles. It made Thursday’s meeting an intriguing one as both sides looked to get back on track.

The game itself would prove highly competitive. Wisconsin got up double-digits in the first half, but Ohio State was able to keep it close enough in the second half to make things relatively interesting. However, it was eventually too much to overcome as the Badgers grabbed the win. Connor Essegian led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds. The most notable event in the game was a freakout by Chris Holtmann that got him ejected from the game.

Wisconsin improved to 13-8 overall and 5-6 in Big Ten play with the win. The Badgers may only be 3-6 over the team’s last nine games, but Thursday was certainly a step in the right direction. Winning on the road in the Big Ten is never easy, let alone against a squad like Ohio State, so fans have to be excited about that.

On the other side, Ohio State fell to 11-11 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Buckeyes are just 1-8 over the team’s last nine games. The run includes three losses to teams outside the top 50 on KenPom, three losses at home, and two losses to teams outside the top 100. The struggles have put the team’s postseason hopes in serious jeopardy. Ohio State desperately needs to get back on track, and soon.

Wisconsin will now prepare for Northwestern at home on Sunday. Ohio State will hope to rebound with arch-rival Michigan on the road on Sunday.

The Rest:

-Michigan Wolverines 68, Northwestern Wildcats 51

Roughly two weeks ago, these teams met in Ann Arbor. They played a competitive game that was decided in the closing minutes. The Wolverines were able to narrowly pull away in the closing minutes thanks to some foul trouble for the Wildcats. That led many to believe the rematch on Thursday would be close as well, potentially with Northwestern winning.

Instead, we got a one-sided affair.

While the game was competitive early on, it quickly got out of hand after halftime thanks to a plethora of mistakes from Northwestern and total domination for the Wolverines on the defensive boards. Kobe Bufkin led the way for Michigan with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Michigan improved to 12-10 overall and 6-5 in Big Ten play with the win while Northwestern fell to 15-7 overall and 6-5 in Big Ten play with the loss.

Wolverine fans will hope Michigan can build off Thursday’s performance at home against arch-rival Ohio State on Sunday. Northwestern will try and bounce back on the road against Wisconsin on Sunday.