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'Cats crumble, Hoosiers halted, Terps toppled, badgers buckle

Not a pretty week for the Big Ten's Tournament hopefuls

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Ohio State
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

#14 Purdue 74, Penn State 70 (OT)

Babaoreally: Purdue managed to survive a rough one at Penn State. The Boilers started out slow and somehow started a late second half run with Swanigan on the bench. And then Purdue managed to blow a decent lead in the last couple of minutes to force OT.

Ryan Cline hit some threes in OT to win the game. It was a game that Purdue was lucky to win; they're going to have to better to finish out the season and win the conference championship.

Aaron Yorke: This was another close loss for Penn State, as three of the program's last four defeats have either been by two points or in overtime. It's easy to say that the inexperienced team just doesn't know how to finish games, but I saw a lot of good things down the stretch for Penn State.

The Lions got big stops when they needed them and didn't panic when they had to get late buckets. The bigger problem is depth. Penn State came back thanks to the starting lineup being on the floor, but overtime and the lack of quality subs led to fatigue. The bench only scored four points in this one, and Payton Banks was particularly disappointing with zero points on 0-for-6 shooting.

Purdue, on the other hand, hit 46 percent of its three-point attempts and got a clutch performance off the bench from Ryan Cline, who scored in double digits for just the second time all season and nailed a couple of clutch shots in overtime.

Illinois 66, Northwestern 50

MNW: That was just fucking awful. No offense. None. Credit Illinois for coming out with an aggressive gameplan which denied the 'Cats dribble-penetration and kepy Bryant McIntosh off-balance. Vic Law is effectively bordering on a non-entity.

Whatever. It was never The Year.

Thump: At halftime, John Groce implored his team to remember the rich history of Illinois by looking to the rafters and seeing those honored numbers. Suddenly, he broke into song in a rich baritone.









But realistically, Illinois played a decent though unspectacular game. Forced some turnovers, but couldn't protect the rim and couldn't generate any offense in the paint. However, Northwestern played a spectacularly bad game on offense, settling for long jumpers even as Illinois proved unable to stop dribble drives. I've never seen a team have such a long drought without a field goal, and I've been watching John Groce Illinois Basketball for four years.

Iowa 96, Indiana 90 (OT)

Stewmonkey13: Iowa came out flat, and the Hoosiers came out red hot, opening up an early 14 point lead. Iowa countered by playing 12 different guys in the first 4 minutes, somewhere along the way something sparked and Iowa started to claw back.

In the 2nd half Indiana couldn't stop fouling and turning the ball over, meanwhile, Iowa couldn't shoot very well from deep, which lead to another overtime game for this young Hawkeye team.

In overtime the foul trouble for Indiana caught up with them, as Iowa scored 21 points in 5 minutes of overtime, mostly from FTs.

Oh, and Tyler Cook posterized Thomas Bryant and then did this:

Candystripes: I think this is the end of our season mattering on a national scale.

Minnesota 89, #24 Maryland 75

WSR: I believe The Barn may be slightly energized for the PSU game Saturday, assuming everyone doesn't die in the snowstorm we're supposed to get on Friday.

DJ: I would straight up trade Ivan Bender for rutger worst big.

They needed to be rested up to shoot so many bricks from the three point line.

That is my recap.

Michigan 68, rutger 64

MNW: Michigan beat rutger. Graham proceeded to write about Michigan and the NCAA Tournament. Talk about them there.

Michigan State 88, Nebraska 72

BigRedTwice: Welp, I didn't see this coming, but some nights are like this when you're Nebrasketball. I'll be honest, it's a little disappointing to see it happen at this point in the season, when, by and large, the Huskers have hung tough with almost everyone.

But the last team to really take it to the Huskers was MSU a few weeks ago, and apparently their anti-Husker juju is still in full force. Nothing really worked for the Huskers in any aspect of the game, although the second half was fairly even, score-wise. But Nebraska wasn't able to overcome a disastrous end to the first half, which featured a 15-3 MSU scoring differential in the final three minutes.

Quite a bummer, but they'll just have to shake this off before they head home for a winnable game against Illinois on Sunday.

AK: The future is now for the Spartans; of the 62 shots they attempted from the field against Nebraska, only 18 were not taken by freshmen. Nick Ward and Miles Bridges got to 20 and Josh Langford took advantage of what figures to be a larger role with Eron Harris going down for the season.

Other than the Penn State game, MSU continues to beat the teams they are clearly better than and lose to clearly superior opponents. That should be enough to get them to the tournament, where the matchup will determine everything.

Ohio State 83, #16 wisconsin 73

MNW: Caught a bit of this one at the bar. Ohio State came out gunning and matched the badgers shot for shot. A return to form by Bronson König couldn't save wisconsin, as something called CJ Jackson dropped 18 for the Buckeyes, who should be into the NIT if they hold serve.

Feel free to chat with your thoughts on the week's games. Can the 'Cats still pull it together and nab a seventh bid out of the worst Big Ten in 15 years? (no.) Can wisconsin right the ship? (I hope not.) How high can the Gophers rise?