Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan State Spartans 61, Maryland Terrapins 59
After Maryland’s wins over Michigan and Illinois earlier this month, it looked like the Terps might finally be figuring things out. And Sunday’s matchup with the Spartans presented an opportunity for the team to take another major step forward. Unfortunately for Terp fans, that wouldn’t be the case. Maryland played relatively well in this one, but couldn’t close things out as the Spartans escaped with the win. Tyson Walker led the way with 15 points.
Michigan State improved to 12-7 overall and 4-4 in Big Ten play with the win. The Spartans have now quietly won three straight overall, dating back to the close road loss to Illinois. It’s been an encouraging run for the squad and could set up a great push toward the end of the season. The team will return to action on Friday on the road against Wisconsin.
On the other side, Maryland fell to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten play with the loss. The team has now lost two straight and is just 2-4 over its last six games. In many ways, this felt like the final blow to Maryland’s realistic at-large hopes. You only get so many marquee opportunities like this and the Terps let one slip away. Fans will hope the team can bounce back on the road against Iowa on Wednesday.
-No. 14 Illinois Fighting Illini 86, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 63
This one was completely one-sided, as Illinois cruised to an easy win over Rutgers at home. Justin Harmon led the way off the bench with 18 points and eight rebounds. The big news was the return of Terrence Shannon, who played 27 minutes in the win. His return is a major boost for the team’s chances on the court this season.
Illinois improved to 14-4 overall and 5-2 in Big Ten play with the win while Rutgers fell to 10-8 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten play with the loss. Illinois will return to action on Wednesday on the road against arch-rival Northwestern. Rutgers is off until Sunday, when it hosts Purdue.