The Big Ten had three important games on Sunday, highlighted by a rivalry battle between Michigan and Ohio State. Fans also got to enjoy Penn State battling for NCAA Tournament eligibility and a matchup between Northwestern and Wisconsin.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan Wolverines 77, Ohio State Buckeyes 69
While neither of these teams have been as successful as their fans might have hoped in November, nothing will get the fires going like a rivalry battle as we approach the end of the season. And fans got treated to a fun one between Michigan and Ohio State on Sunday. The game had plenty of fireworks and a good crowd in Crisler Center. Ultimately, Michigan proved to be too much for the Buckeyes and scored a 77-69 win. Hunter Dickinson led the way with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists.
Michigan improved to 13-10 overall and 7-5 in Big Ten play with the win, as the Wolverines continue their efforts to resurrect their season. Despite an abominable effort against Penn State last week, Michigan is quietly trending up, having won three of the team’s last five games and one of the losses coming by just a few points to an elite Purdue squad. The question is simply whether that play can carry over enough to get the Wolverines across the finish line and on the right side of the NCAA bubble on Selection Sunday.
On the other side, Ohio State fell to 11-12 overall and 3-9 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Buckeyes have now lost 9 of the team’s last 10 games. That horrendous stretch includes home losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin and a loss to Nebraska. The run has been bad enough to decimate Ohio State’s hopes of postseason eligibility. It’s now going to take massive effort down the stretch to even have a shot.
Michigan will hope to keep things rolling with Nebraska at home on Wednesday. The Buckeyes will hope to bounce back at home against Northwestern on Thursday.
A few weeks ago, Penn State looked like a pretty safe bet for this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions had marquee wins, were playing well, and had a manageable slate. Unfortunately, the wheels have come off on that run, highlighted by Sunday’s loss against the Huskers. Nebraska controlled the game from tip and Keisei Tominaga led the way with 30 points and three rebounds.
Nebraska improved to 11-13 overall and 4-9 in Big Ten play with the win while Penn State fell to 14-9 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Huskers will try and build off the effort on Wednesday on the road against Michigan. Penn State will try and bounce back at home against Wisconsin on Wednesday.
This figured to be a competitive game and ended up that way, as the battle went down to the closing minutes before the Wildcats pulled out the win. Both sides played quality defense, but Northwestern made just enough shots to grab the win. Boo Buie led the way with 13 points and four assists.
Northwestern improved to 16-7 overall and 7-5 in Big Ten play as Wisconsin fell to 13-9 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats will hope to build off this game with Ohio State on the road on Thursday. The Badgers will hope to rebound with Penn State on the road on Wednesday.