It was a strange night in the Big Ten last night as Iowa at Michigan State ended up being the most exciting conference game of the evening. Iowa looked like a real Big Ten team for a lot of the night, and rallied from a 19 point second half deficit to get within 3 in the final minutes before the Spartans finally put them away. Had the Hawkeyes not shot so poorly from three point range, they may have pulled the upset. Meanwhile, this will probably serve as a wake-up call for Michigan State, who did not play hard for 40 minutes and drew the ire of Tom Izzo.
In Madison, Wisconsin and Michigan played one of the uglier games of the season, as the Badgers escaped with a 54-48 win. While there's usually no shame in losing at the Kohl Center, Michigan really missed a golden opportunity to get a marquee win, as Wisconsin did not show up until there were 10 minutes left in the second half, yet Michigan was unable to open up a big lead and then unable to hold on when Trevon Hughes started going off late. As for Wisconsin, they had absolutely no business winning that game, but just like they did at Northwestern they out-hustled Michigan and made smart decisions down the stretch. Little-used reserve Rob Wilson also provided a spark off the bench, making up for the poor shooting of Keaton Nankivil who's never seen a top of the key three-pointer he couldn't brick.
NC State shocked everyone last night by winning easily at home over #6 Duke, thanks to all 5 starters scoring in double figures and lights out shooting from the field (58%). So the Wolfpack appear they will at least be competitive in the ACC and not finish in last place as many expected. The win also vaulted them into the top 100 in the RPI, which will certainly help out Northwestern (more on that later today).
Big Ten games: 11-10-1
Northwestern games: 8-2
Indiana at Penn State (-10), 6 PM, ESPN2
I must be missing something with this line, no way can Penn State be a double-digit favorite here right? I know Indiana has been blown out in their only 2 true road games this season, but Penn State has been playing awful. I would be surprised if Indiana wins, but I expect a close game as Jeremiah Rivers should be able to slow down Talor Battle. I'm actually nervous taking the Hoosiers here as this seems too good to be true.