Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Ohio State Buckeyes 76, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 72
Heading into tip, this looked to be a clash of styles, with Ohio State’s prolific offense against Rutgers’ feisty defense. The game eventually came down to the final minutes with the Buckeyes pulling out a 76-72 win. Bruce Thornton led the way with 24 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. Rutgers’ offense performed decently, but just couldn’t get quite enough from the bench to escape Columbus with a win.
Ohio State improved to 12-2 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play with the win. The Buckeyes have now won four straight and 11 of the team’s last 12 games. Outside of the loss to Penn State, the team has been about perfect since early November. That’s a tremendous improvement from last season and has the Buckeyes in serious consideration for the second-best team in the league, especially with Terrence Shannon out for Illinois.
On the other side, Rutgers fell to 8-5 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play with the loss. This looked like an uphill battle heading into tip, so the loss doesn’t change expectations much around the squad. However, the team desperately needs to get things turned around or risk missing the postseason altogether. Things certainly aren’t trending well at the moment.
Ohio State will return to action against Indiana on Saturday in what figures to be a winnable game. Rutgers will get Iowa on the road on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights are significant underdogs.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 86, Indiana Hoosiers 70
This was a crucial game for both sides heading into tip. Indiana and Nebraska both entered the evening in the bubble conversation and fans were hoping to add a quality win to their respective resumes. Fortunately for Husker fans, Nebraska would be the team to come out on top as the team scored a double-digit win at home over Indiana. Keisei Tominaga was the difference, as he finished with an impressive 28 points on the night.
Nebraska improved to 12-2 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play with the win while Indiana fell to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Huskers will hope to keep things rolling on Saturday on the road against Wisconsin. Indiana will try and get back on track against Ohio State at home on Saturday.