The Big Ten had two games on Wednesday. Wisconsin traveled to face a struggling Michigan squad in the early game and Northwestern hosted Nebraska later on.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan Wolverines 72, No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers 68
Once or twice a season, we get a monumental upset in the Big Ten. A top contender goes on the road and is shocked by one of the teams struggling in the standings. We’ve seen programs like Minnesota, Nebraska, and Penn State do it in the past.
And on Wednesday, we saw Michigan do it.
The Wolverines entered this one as sizable underdogs, but played really well out of the gate and eventually took a lead into halftime. Then, for the first time in weeks, Michigan was able to deliver on its early success, grabbing a massive 72-68 home upset over the Badgers. Tarris Reed was a key part of the win, finishing with 12 points and six rebounds. Dug McDaniel also had 16 points.
Michigan improved to 8-15 overall and 3-9 in Big Ten play with the win. Generally speaking, the win won’t change much in the standings for the Wolverines. The team is too far removed from postseason consideration for this to change its prospects. However, it’s an emotional win that Wolverine fans hope carries over to future games. Perhaps the team can build some momentum and end the season with some positivity. That would be something after the last two months of play.
On the other side, Wisconsin fell to 16-7 overall and 8-4 in Big Ten play with the loss. It’s the team’s third straight loss and the Badgers are now surprisingly just 3-4 over the team’s last seven games. More significantly, the loss dropped Wisconsin two games back from Purdue in the conference standings, which is likely an insurmountable margin with just eight games remaining and Wisconsin’s forthcoming slate. That won’t be easy to stomach.
Michigan returns to action on Saturday on the road against Nebraska. Wisconsin will try and bounce back on the road against Rutgers on Saturday.
-Northwestern Wildcats 80, Nebraska Cornhuskers 68
The Wildcats got revenge in this one, after falling to Nebraska in the first meeting in late January. The game was somewhat competitive, but the Huskers never really got close enough to seriously challenge in the second half. In fact, a frantic effort down the stretch probably made it look closer than things really were. Boo Buie led the Wildcats with 22 points and four assists. Ryan Langborg also had 18 points and six assists.
Northwestern improved to 16-7 overall and 7-5 in Big Ten play with the win while Nebraska fell to 16-8 overall and 6-7 in Big Ten play after the loss. Notably, the win puts the Wildcats on the verge of locking up an NCAA bid with eight regular season games remaining. Even a win against Penn State on Sunday at home would be massive. Nebraska will try and bounce back against Michigan at home on Saturday.