It’s good to be Ohio State … at least for this week. The Buckeyes have risen from the dead, notching two big wins in the last week to breathe life into a season that had gone terribly bad. Here’s a look back at the last week—with a peek ahead, too.
Michigan State welcomed back Adreian Payne in a blowout of Penn State. The big man played very well in 18 minutes off the bench, and the Spartans performed much better than the final margin suggests. Penn State made a big run in garbage time to turn a 25-point deficit into a 15-point loss, but it was done entirely on a lineup that included guys like Colby Wollenman, Keenan Wetzel, and Dan Chapman.
Big Ten fans were treated to another outstanding Super Wednesday. No. 16 Michigan cruised by Nebraska, 79-50 in the first game of the night. Purdue followed with a memorable 77-74 triple overtime victory over Minnesota in the nightcap.
Ohio State picked up a big road win at Iowa thanks to surprisingly hot shooting. The Buckeyes shot 44 percent on threes, a number that stood in stark contrast to the Hawkeyes’ unusually cold outside shooting (3-for-20, 15 percent). Iowa dominated the glass and shot 60 percent on twos, but the three-point shot is the great equalizer, and it carried Ohio State to a huge win.
Next Saturday at halftime, Joe Barry Carroll’s work on the basketball court will be honored by the Boilermakers as they play host to rival Indiana. His work off the court – as an artist – has recently taken center stage on campus.
We begin to head down the backstretch of the season, as my friends at Big Ten Geeks pointed out earlier this week. If you are like me, getting a clean read on the season makes you as confused as ever. But, don’t worry. Things will begin to crystallize … I think. Here’s my ranking of this week’s men’s basketball games.