Big Ten upsets: Reviewing 12 Big Ten stunners

If there is a theme to this Big Ten season, it would be “expect the unexpected.” Down is up … up is down … in is out … out is in. You get the idea. Each week is like a roller-coaster, as upsets seemingly have become the norm. Heck, we even had one last night, with last-place Illinois winning at Minnesota.

Here’s a look at the 12 biggest upsets so far this season, in no particular order. At the bottom, you can vote for your favorite one. Oh, and keep your seat belt fastened—you know more craziness awaits between now and the Big Ten tourney. I’ve laid out my 12 complete with video highlights from each game.

Nebraska 60, Michigan State 51

Yes, the Cornhuskers came into East Lansing with momentum. Still, they weren’t supposed dump the No. 9 Spartans. But Nebraska took control early and never let up vs. the first-place team in the Big Ten, as MSU shot just 34 percent.

The defeat made the Spartans 3-4 in their last seven games, while the Huskers’ improbable push to the NCAA bubble continues.

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Penn State 71, Ohio State 70, OT

Yes, the Buckeyes were in a bit of a funk entering this home game, losing four of five games. But no one saw this coming. The Nittany Lions came in with a 10-10 overall mark and a 1-6 Big Ten ledger. But D.J. Newbill propelled Penn State to victory with 25 points, hitting the winning shot in the waning seconds after drilling a three-pointer to force overtime vs. No. 24 Ohio State.

Northwestern 54, Indiana 47

The Wildcats used suffocating defense to stifle the Hoosiers in Bloomington. And Drew Crawford poured in 17 points with 11 rebounds to help NU earn its first league road win since Jan. 2013. The Wildcats arrived in Assembly Hall with an 8-10 overall record and a 1-4 Big Ten mark. Even wilder: Indiana was coming off a rousing home win over No. 3 Wisconsin, which bring us to …

Indiana 75, Wisconsin 72

The Badgers brought a 16-0 record and No. 3 national ranking to Bloomington. Didn’t matter. The Hoosiers, who were 11-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten, pulled out the win behind 25 points by Yogi Ferrell. And fans stormed the court. Wisconsin was trying to become the first team ever to win 13 consecutive games vs. Indiana.

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Northwestern 65, Wisconsin 56

The Wildcats never had won in the Kohl Center. No shame there. Not many teams do. But Drew Crawford smashed that notion by notching 30 points in this upset of the No. 14 Badgers. It was the Wildcats’ first victory in Madison since 1996. On the same night, Penn State won at Ohio State, marking the first time the Nittany Lions and Wildcats won road games on the same day since Penn State joined the conference in 1993.

Indiana 63, Michigan 52

On Super Bowl Sunday, the Hoosiers were super, knocking off the No. 10 Wolverines. Yogi Ferrell led the way with 27 points for an IU team that entered the game 13-8 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines (16-5, 8-1 Big Ten) had been the last unbeaten club in conference play, off to their best Big Ten start since 1976-77. Indiana ended Michigan’s 10-game winning streak by holding the Wolverines to their lowest point total of the season.

Iowa 85, Michigan 67

It wasn’t a total shock that the No. 17 Hawkeyes beat the No. 10 Wolverines. But no one saw Iowa winning by 18 points. Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery called it his team’s best performance of season. No one will argue that, as Roy Marble tallied 26 points.

Wisconsin 75, Michigan 62

The Badgers brought a No. 21 ranking to Ann Arbor to face the No. 15 Wolverines. Wisconsin took control right from the start and never looked back, fueled by 25 points and 11 rebounds by Frank Kaminsky.

Ohio State 59, Wisconsin 58

Ohio State lost five of its previous six games as it trudged off to play at Wisconsin. Now way the Buckeyes win this one, right? Wrong. No. 24 OSU used a balanced attack to win in the Kohl Center vs. the No. 14 Badgers. It was Wisconsin’s third home loss in a row.

Ohio State 76, Iowa 69

On the heels of an upset win at Wisconsin, Ohio State waltzed into Iowa City and stunned the No. 17 Hawkeyes. Aaron Craft led the way with 17 points, six assists and six steals. The win capped a rebirth for the Buckeyes, who had lost five of six games before winning at Wisconsin and at Iowa.

Michigan 80, Michigan State 75

This early-season showdown surprised most, as No. 21 Michigan prevailed at No. 3 Michigan State, which was riding an 11-game winning streak. Nik Stauskas had a big game, notching 19 points to help make Michigan the lone unbeaten team in Big Ten action at 7-0. Michigan became the first team since at least the 1996-97 season to win three straight games against top-10 teams in the regular season, according to Stats, LLC. The Wolverines were coming off a win against No. 10 Iowa at home after beating then-No. 3 Wisconsin on the road.

Nebraska 68, Ohio State 62

The Cornhuskers were dragging, having opened Big Ten play 0-4 and riding a five-game losing skid. A visit from No. 17 Ohio State wasn’t what the doctor ordered. But Nebraska sprung the upset behind Terran Petteway’s 18 points, as the fans stormed the court. This was OSU’s fourth loss in a row after a 15-0 start.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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5 Comments

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stefan alexandrescu on 2/20/2014 @ 1:40pm EST Said:

the iowa-michigan game was actually in Iowa City as the picture depicts as well, not Ann Arbor as you wrote. Otherwise, good list of upsets.

    BTN.com staff on 2/20/2014 @ 3:28pm EST Said:

    Our mistake. We have corrected this post to reflect the change. We apologize for the error.

Doug on 2/20/2014 @ 2:55pm EST Said:

the hawkeyes didn’t beat michigan in ann arbor, it was at iowa, but yes, it was still a blow out !

Mitch on 2/20/2014 @ 4:15pm EST Said:

No love for Minnesota? Big wins against Ohio State, Wisconsin? Seems like any conference-wide “best of” lists put together by Deinhart lack much recognition for the slightly less sports-dominant schools (MN, Purdue, Illinois…). Contrary to popular belief, there is more to this conference than Michigan, Ohio St, Michigan St, and Wisconsin.

Big Bill on 2/20/2014 @ 4:26pm EST Said:

Gophers over Ohio State and Wisconsin.