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B1G-ly Basketball Week 9 in Review: Conference Play Here To Stay

Big Arenas. Big Stakes. Big Games.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Penn State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) dunks against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at The Palestra.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Your week 9 of Big Ten action saw the last two non-conference games of the season just before the clock struck zero on 2019. And with 2020 came the return of conference play from here on out until March. Some of these write-ups are going to start being on the shorter side as I mentioned might happen due to time constraints, and the fact they will now be redundant to a degree in the recaps.

As a reminder, all AP rankings listed are based on previous week, and RPI based on the date it was looked up over the course of the previous week and will likely be slightly outdated by time of actual match-up in the coming week ahead.

Again, the order of teams in the recap is now updated to what will remain a mixture primarily based on conference standings thus far, but with my own power poll influence at times to differentiate similar standings until we have more games played.


#14 Michigan State Spartans 12-3 (4-0)

Game 1

The Spartans kicked off their return to conference action with a romp over Illinois Thursday night at the Breslin Center, 76-56. The Spartans just 43% in the game from the floor, but a mixture of poor Illini shooting and quality MSU defense held the Illini to a mere 29% shooting overall in this one. Illinois and MSU ended up even on the boards with 48 each, but the Illini won offensively with 20 to MSU’s 11 whereas defensively the Spartans won 37-28. Marcus Bingham got the start in this one, grabbing 12 boards to lead MSU. Meanwhile, Cassius Winston led the Spartans in scoring and assists with 21 points and 6 assists, while Xavier Tillman scored 19.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2

Michigan State got an early start to rivalry action this season when #12 Michigan came to town for the first game in the series this season. The Spartans sent Juwan Howard packing in this one with a reminder that it isn’t the 90’s anymore. Michigan managed to keep this one close at first, but never led at any point. Cassius Winston’s layup with 5:50 left in the first half essentially marked the moment MSU kept the game out of striking distance from Michigan from there on out. In the second half, MSU only failed to keep a double-digit lead for two separate 24 second long periods, letting Michigan cut the lead to 9, and then again later to only 8 before answering with buckets to keep it back in double-digit comfort.

While Michigan was out Isiah Livers for this one, MSU is also out Langford for the season. Jon Teske also fouled out late in the game for Michigan. The Spartans show 47% from three, and out-rebounded Michigan 43-34. Meanwhile, Xavier Tillman notched a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while also getting 6 of MSU’s 12 blocks. Cassius Winston scored a team high, and career high, 32 points, while dishing out 9 assists. He now sits only 14 behind Mateen Cleaves for the all-time Big Ten career assists record, so expect that record to fall as early as this next Sunday against Purdue, or likely then the following Friday against Wisconsin.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Week Ahead

The Spartans stay in East Lansing for yet another home game against Minnesota at 9 pm ET Thursday (broadcast tbd). Then MSU hits the road Sunday with a trip to Purdue, tipping off at 12 pm ET on CBS.


#21 Penn State Nittany Lions 12-2 (2-1)

Game 1

The Nittany Lions played #23 Iowa at a quasi-home game in Philly at the Palestra, and got the close win 89-86. This one was a classic worthy of the venue, as warm east coast weather Saturday (man, it was a beautiful day here in DC, I can attest) left the non-air conditioned historic venue reaching inside temperatures in the 80’s late in the game. Penn State never led by more than 10, and Iowa never by more than 7. Penn State took advantage of 15 Hawkeye turnovers, including 11 steals in this one. Izaiah Brockington led the Nittany Lions off the bench with 23 points, while Mike Watkins fouled out with only 4 points. Lamar Stevens and Curtis Jones both scored 16 each as well.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Penn State Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Week Ahead

The Nittany Lions head to Rutgers Tuesday night for a 7 pm ET tip on BTN.


#15 Maryland Terrapins 12-2 (2-1)

Game 1

Maryland saw the Hoosiers come to town, but got the win 75-59 in the end. They struggled to really put this one on ice until around the 13 minute mark of the second half. However, prior to this game we also all learned the Mitchell twins have entered the transfer portal and will be leaving the Terps which is a big blow. Jalen Smith led Maryland with 19 points and 8 rebounds, while Anthony Wiggins also got 8 boards and 13 points and Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 13 as well.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Week Ahead

Maryland gets a visit from the #5 Buckeyes Tuesday at 7 pm ET (TBD). Then Friday they head to #23 Iowa for a 7 pm ET tip on FS1.


Wisconsin Badgers 9-5 (2-1)

Game 1

Wisconsin hosted Rider Broncs. They managed only 65 points in the game, which is pretty bad, but held Rider to only 37.

Game 2

Wisconsin headed to #5 Ohio State and got the road upset in their return to conference play, winning 61-57. The Badgers only managed 26% shooting from three, going 6-23, and just 37% overall from the floor. They also trailed most of the game, but finally wrested the lead from Ohio State for good with 1:54 left. Getting five steals while keeping turnovers to just ten also really made the difference here. Nate Reuvers led Wisconsin with 19 points, while Kobe King scored 13.

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

Week Ahead

The Badgers get a visit from Illinois Wednesday at 9 pm ET on BTN. Then Saturday is a trip to #21 Penn State with tip at 2:15 pm ET on BTN.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights 11-3 (2-1)

Game 1

Rutgers hosted the DII Caldwell Cougars Monday night to finish up their non-conference play. Rutgers dominated them 94-49. The opponent doesn’t warrant more time than this as I warned you I would need to start cutting down on time spent on this at times. Don’t be offended Rutgers, Wisconsin got the same treatment.

Game 2

Rutgers came to Lincoln, and as you surely all know, got the win. The game recap is here.

Week Ahead

Rutgers gets a visit from #21 Penn State Tuesday night with a 7 pm ET tip on BTN. Then Saturday brings a trip to Illinois with a 12 pm ET tip on BTN.


#5 Ohio State Buckeyes 11-3 (1-2)

Game 1

The Buckeyes returned to conference action with a visit from unranked Wisconsin, and proceeded to fall for their second straight loss on the year, this time at home 61-57. The Buckeyes managed 30% shooting from deep, going 6-20, but overall managed just 40% shooting from the floor. They also committed 14 turnovers while narrowly losing the rebound battle 34-32. Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with a double-double, scoring 22 and grabbing 13 rebounds.

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

Week Ahead

The Buckeyes have a heavyweights showdown with a trip to #15 Maryland tomorrow night at 7 pm ET (network tbd). Then Saturday they keep on the road with a trip to Indiana (5 AP votes) for a 12 pm ET tip on Fox.


#23 Iowa Hawkeyes 10-4 (1-2)

Game 1

The Hawkeyes went to Philly to take on Penn State, but came up short. As mentioned above, it was a close one, but Iowa didn’t pull it out in the end. CJ Fredrick also left the game with an ankle injury and his status is unsure moving forward. Luke Garza was once again a monster in this one as he led the team with a double-double, scoring 34 points and grabbing 12 boards. Joe Wieskamp also got a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Penn State Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Week Ahead

The Hawkeyes come to Lincoln Tuesday night for a 9 pm ET tip on BTN. Then Friday night it’s a visit from the #15 Terps at 7 pm ET on FS1.


Illinois Fighting Illini 10-5 (2-2)

Game 1

Illinois got beat badly on the road at #14 Michigan State. Ayo Dosunmu scored 18, while Alan Griffin scored 17 for the Illini. Beyond that, no Illini player scored more than 6 in their 76-56 road loss.

Game 2

Illinois got a visit from Purdue Sunday, and got the brutal beat down win over the Boilermakers 63-37. The Illini shot 37% from three in this one, going 7-19. They also won the boards 46-34. Alan Griffin led Illinois in scoring with 16 points, while Kofi Cockburn and Trent Frazier both scored 12.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Week Ahead

The Illini head to Wisconsin Wednesday night for a 9 pm ET tip on BTN. Then Saturday Rutgers comes to town for a 12 pm ET tip on BTN.


Minnesota Golden Gophers 8-6 (2-2)

Game 1

Minnesota drew the short end of the stick in a double-overtime loss at Purdue when it came to calls down the stretch. However, the Gophers ended up with the loss in this one, falling 83-78. Daniel Oturu got a double-double leading the way with 29 points and 18 rebounds, while Marcus Carr also scored 27. Winning the rebound battle 50-41 couldn’t quite overcome 18 turnovers and home court advantage in officiating for this one.

Game 2

Minnesota got a visit Sunday from Northwestern, and got the win 77-68. Daniel Oturu had a monster game as he led the Gophers with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Minnesota also went an incredible 19-19 from the free throw line. The team also had 19 assists on the game.

Minnesota Gophers top Northwestern Wildcats Photo by Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Week Ahead

Minnesota visits East Lansing Thursday for a 9 pm ET tip (TBD) against the #14 Spartans. Then Sunday the #12 Wolverines come to Minneapolis for a 1 pm ET tip on BTN.


Indiana Hoosiers 11-3 (1-2)

(5 AP votes)

Game 1

Indiana hit the road for a trip to Maryland, but left with a loss 75-59. 14 turnovers and just 36% shooting from the floor doomed this one for the Hoosiers. Devonte Green led the team with 18 points, and Joey Brunk grabbed a team high 10 boards while finished second in scoring with 9 points.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Week Ahead

Indiana gets a visit Wednesday by Northwestern, tipping at 7 pm ET on BTN. Then Saturday the #5 Buckeyes come to town for a 12 pm ET tip on Fox.


Purdue Boilermakers 9-6 (2-2)

(12 AP votes)

Game 1

Purdue got a visit from Minnesota Thursday and escaped with a double overtime win 83-78. Matt Haarms came off the bench for a team high 26 points and also grabbed 9 boards. 11-25 from three also helped as that meant Purdue managed 44% from three, despite 15 turnovers.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2

Purdue headed to Illinois and managed 37 points. That’s just abysmal. The Boilermakers shot 25% from the floor, and 18% from three. Sasha Stefanovic led Purdue in scoring with a paltry 8 points.

Week Ahead

The Boilermakers visit #12 Michigan Thursday for a 7 pm ET tip on FS1. Then Sunday it’s a visit from #14 Michigan State at 12 pm ET on CBS.


#12 Michigan Wolverines 10-4 (1-2)

Game 1

Who’s the little brother this week?

Michigan v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Week Ahead

Purdue comes to town Thursday night with a 7 pm ET tip on FS1. Then Sunday is a trip to Dinkytown to take on the Gophers at 1 pm ET on BTN.


Nebraska Cornhuskers 6-8 (1-2)

Game 1

Huskers got a visit from Rutgers, and lost 79-62. You can find the full recap here.

Week Ahead

Nebraska gets a visit from #23 Iowa Tuesday night at 9 pm ET on BTN. THen it’s a trip to Northwestern Saturday with a 4:30 pm ET tip on BTN.


Northwestern Wildcats 5-8 (0-3)

Game 1

Northwestern headed to Minnesota for a Sunday evening game, but left with the loss 77-68. The Wildcats got out-rebounded 28-43 in this one, but did manage 39% shooting from three on 13 attempts. Pat Spencer led Northwestern with 22 points.

Minnesota Gophers top Northwestern Wildcats Photo by Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Week Ahead

Northwestern heads to Indiana Wednesday with tip-off at 7 pm ET on BTN. Then Saturday its a visit from the Cornhuskers tipping off at 4:30 pm ET on BTN.