The Big Ten had two games on Monday. While neither featured a top team in the league standings, both carried significant NCAA Tournament implications.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan Wolverines 73, Ohio State Buckeyes 65
This one certainly didn’t have the hype of recent Michigan-Ohio State meetings, but it was a fun game on Monday afternoon with plenty of attention paid to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message. Ultimately, Michigan came out on top thanks to an 18-point showing for Terrence Willliams and 20 points from Olivier Nkamhoua.
Michigan improved to 7-10 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play. This one won’t change the team’s overall outlook much, but Wolverine fans will hope it’s something to build on as Juwan Howard and his group hopes to turnaround a spiraling campaign. The Wolverines will return to action on Thursday at home against Illinois, hoping to pull off another upset.
On the other side, Ohio State fell to 12-5 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play with the loss. This marked the third straight loss for the Buckeyes after an encouraging start to the season. And given how last season went (a fast start and collapse from January on), fans have to be getting concerned about where things are heading. The Buckeyes desperately need to get back on track. The team will try and do that against Penn State at home on Saturday.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 86, Minnesota Golden Gophers 77
This looked like a pretty even game heading into tip and played out that way. The teams exchanged blows early on and things remained relatively close throughout. However, a few key buckets in the first half helped the Hawkeyes get a bit ahead. Ben Krikke led the way for Iowa with 25 points and five rebounds. Notably, Patrick McCaffery missed the game.
Iowa improved to 11-6 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play with the win while the Gophers fell to 12-5 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes will return to action on Saturday at home against Purdue. Minnesota gets Michigan State on the road on Thursday.