Ohio State 64 Minnesota 58
In a game huge for both teams’ NCAA Tournament hopes, Ohio State gave themselves a big lift, while pushing the Gophers back into the bubble. As usual, the Buckeyes were led by the incomparable Evan Turner. He led a balanced attack that saw five players in double figures, with an 18-point, 10-rebound effort. OSU won the free throw scoring battle 14-7 to spell the difference.
Wisconsin 54 Penn State 44
Bo Ryan’s Badgers won’t go away quietly. After dropping to 3-6 in the conference and their NCAA Tournament hopes fading fast, they bounce back this week by first beating Illinois, and then taking out Penn State in Happy Valley. PSU, much like Minnesota, was in position to solidfy its NCAA position, but instead played itself back to the bubble while letting a rival get into the picture. It was a UW win in the mold of 2007-08, as the defense shut Penn State out from three-point land and held Jamelle Cornley to four points.
Illinois 66 Purdue 48
Mike Davis dominated the glass, hauling in 16 rebounds, while scoring 14 points for Bruce Weber’s team. It capped off a rough week on the road for the Boilers, who had to visit Columbus and Champaign back-to-back. JaJuan Johnson had another strong game though, with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Michigan State 75 Indiana 47
While the middle class of the league battled each other, its extremes also squared off. The first-place Spartans turned over the last-place Hoosiers 19 times in coasting to an easy win. Kalin Lucas was the only MSU starter to play 30 minutes, so the leading scorers came off the bench in this one. Chris Allen and Draymond Green combined for 31 and Tom Izzo’s team maintained its two-game lead on the pack.
Iowa 56 Northwestern 51
These teams combined to hoist 56 three-point shots. Iowa managed to hit 40 percent of their attempts, while NU was cold. The Hawkeyes also doubled the Wildcats up at the free-throw line and the combination of treys and free throws enabled them to overcome 17 turnovers. Craig Moore had 20 points in a losing cause.
UConn 69 Michigan 61
I really wish CBS wouldn’t push these February non-conference games. I understand why teams play them, given the networks are willing to pay for it. But this time of year should be reserved for conference races. Out in Storrs, Michigan was hammered on the glass, 46-21, and outscored by 11 points at the line. Stu Douglass scored 20 points though, and a nice defensive outing enabled the Wolverines to throw a credible effort on the road at the #1 team in the country.
Player Of The Sequence: Mike Davis' big rebounding effort was the key reason his team scored a decisive victory in a huge game. It was enough to trump JaJaun Johnson, who was on the losing end in that game, and Evan Turner who had a little more help than normal.