Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Three-Pointers, a chance to take the temperature of the Big Ten in several different areas. It’s a good time to be John Beilein and Michigan. Conversely, it’s not such a good time to be Tom Crean and Indiana.
On Wednesday night, Penn State stamped out any remaining Indiana tournament hopes with a shocking road upset. The Hoosiers seemingly had this game in hand the entire way, and it felt all but over when Indiana held an 11-point lead with three minutes remaining. Somehow, the Nittany Lions roared back, and they took their first lead of the entire game on a Tim Frazier layup with six seconds remaining. Yogi Ferrell missed a tough jumper at the horn, and the upset was complete.
There were two Big Ten men’s hoops games on Thursday night, and both had NCAA Tournament implications. No. 9 Michigan State cruised to an 85-70 victory over Northwestern in the early game, while No. 21 Wisconsin held off Minnesota, 78-70, in the second game of the evening.
Most of us can agree with the notion that five Big Ten schools appear headed for the NCAA tourney: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin. And there is one school that’s seemingly on the fringe: Minnesota. The Golden Gophers can spruce up their resume with a win tonight at Wisconsin. And, let’s be honest: Minnesota’s resume needs some polishing.
Indiana’s strange and bizarre season took another unexpected and maddening turn last night with a home loss to last-place Penn State. How can this IU team beat top-10 squads like Wisconsin and Michigan in Bloomington, and then lose to the likes of the Nittany Lions and Northwestern at home? It’s safe to say, panic has set in for Indiana.
Michigan came up with big road win over Ohio State thanks to a second-half surge. The Buckeyes seemed to be in control of this game, as they led for nearly all of the game’s first 29 minutes, but the Wolverines then ripped off a 12-0 run fueled by Aaron Craft turnovers and Michigan layups to take a lead they would not relinquish.