Iowa and Indiana pull major upsets: Big Ten basketball week in review (1/29-2/3)

Another fun week of Big Ten hoops is led by Iowa dominating Michigan, Indiana upsetting Michigan St., and Wisconsin with two big wins. Six teams hit the Top 25 this week! There were 12 games, so let’s dive into it!

Results & Mini-Recaps

Ohio St. vs. 5 Michigan: Michigan 65, Ohio State 49

Zavier Simpson’s triple-double with 11 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds helped Michigan cruise past Ohio State. Four different Michigan players got into double-figures, including 12 points off the bench for sophomore Isaiah Livers. Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.

Northwestern vs. 21 Maryland: Maryland 70, Northwestern 52

Bruno Fernando’s 22 points and 10 rebounds helped lead Maryland to a convincing win over Northwestern. Maryland held Northwestern to just 31 percent from the field. Jalen Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds to support Fernando. Anthony Gaines had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead Northwestern.

24 Wisconsin vs. Nebraska: Wisconsin 62, Nebraska 51

Wisconsin held Nebraska to just 28 percent from the field to beat Nebraska, despite being out-rebounded. Three Wisconsin Badgers were in double figures, including Ethan Happ who also had nine rebounds. Isaiah Roby had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska.

Indiana vs. Rutgers: Rutgers 66, Indiana 58

Rutgers strong effort on the boards helped them beat the struggling Indiana Hoosiers. Three Scarlet Knights were in double-figures, and they held Indiana to just 35 percent shooting. Romeo Langford led Indiana with 20 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Illinois vs. Minnesota: Minnesota 86, Illinois 75

Five Minnesota players were in double-figures as they beat Illinois by 11. Minnesota shot a strong 50 percent in the win, compared to 45 percent from Illinois. Trent Frazier had a huge 30 point performance for Illinois in the loss, and two Fighting Illini were in double-figures off of the bench.

17 Purdue vs. Penn St.: Purdue 99, Penn St. 90 (OT)

Purdue shot the lights out at 55 percent, and survived the last-place Penn State in overtime. Conference scoring leader Carsen Edwards exploded for 38 points, and teammate Ryan Cline added 20. Lamar Stevens had 24 points for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions hit 30 free-throws to counter their poor 39 percent shooting.

5 Michigan vs. Iowa: Iowa 74, Michigan 59

Iowa jumped out to a 13 point halftime lead on their home floor and used that to knock off the number five team in the country. Luke Garza and Joe Wieskamp had 19 and 16 points, respectively for the winners. Iowa held Michigan to just 32 percent from the field. Three Wolverines made it into double-figures.

21 Maryland vs. 24 Wisconsin: Wisconsin 69, Maryland 61

Wisconsin used a dominating second half after trailing at halftime to beat Maryland at home. Brad Davidson had 21 points for Wisconsin, and Ethan Happ had an 18 point, 11 rebound double-double as well. Bruno Fernando had a double-double to lead the Terrapins.

Indiana vs. 6 Michigan St.: Indiana 79. Michigan St. 75 (OT)

Despite losing Juwan Morgan in the first half to a shoulder injury, Indiana ended their skid with a huge road upset over Michigan St. Romeo Langford led the winners with 19 points, and Justin Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds with the game-sealing block. Cassius Winston had a huge night for the Spartans with 26 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Rutgers vs. Ohio State: Ohio State 76, Rutgers 62

Ohio State shot the ball 53 percent to lead to a victory over Rutgers. Kaleb Wesson had 27 points and five assists, and C.J. Jackson had 20 points and seven rebounds. Despite the win, they trailed -11 in the rebound margin.  Eugene Omoruyi had 19 points, eight rebounds, and six rebounds for Rutgers in the loss.

Nebraska vs. Illinois: Illinois 71, Nebraska 64

Illinois balanced scoring and strong defense led them to a win over Nebraska. Kipper Nichols had 18 points off the bench, while Illinois held Nebraska to just 36 percent from the field. James Palmer Jr. had 22 points and eight rebounds for Nebraska, and Tanner Borchardt had 12 points and 18 rebounds.

Minnesota vs. 17 Purdue: Purdue 73, Minnesota 63

Purdue had five players in double-figures and shot the ball 48 percent in a win over Minnesota. Carsen Edwards led Purdue with 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists, and Nojel Eastern had 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in an all-around effort. Amir Coffey had 22 points for Minnesota, and Daniel Oturu had 19 points and nine rebounds off of the bench.

Standings & Rankings

7 Michigan, 20-2 (9-2 )

9 Michigan St., 18-4 (9-2)

15 Purdue, 16-6 (9-2)

19 Wisconsin, 16-6 (8-3)

24 Maryland, 17-6 (8-4)

20 Iowa, 17-5 (6-5)

Minnesota, 16-6 (6-5)

Ohio State, 14-7 (4-6)

Rutgers, 11-10 (4-7)

Indiana, 13-9 (4-7)

Northwestern, 12-9 (3-7)

Nebraska, 13-9 (3-8)

Illinois, 7-15 (3-8)

Penn St., 7-14 (0-10)

Big Ten Highlights: Carsen Edwards In Midseason Form Already

College basketball season is underway, and it’s time to see how some of the top players in the Big Ten are doing. Michigan State went down to Kansas on the first night of the season, but some of the other teams in the conference, including Purdue and Indiana, picked up wins. Of course, those two teams are notable for having players who are expected to contend for Player of the Year awards come the end of the season.

There’s a bit of a contrast here with Romeo Langford being the highly anticipated freshman newcomer and Edwards already having experience, as a junior who looks to take his game to the next level this year.So far, that experience has given Edwards a bit of an advantage. He put up 30 points in Purdue’s second game, a victory against Fairfield.

Edwards’ jumpshot shone specifically in the performance, as well as his shooting from deep. However, Edwards isn’t the only highly touted Big Ten player to put on a scoring performance recently. Freshman Romeo Langford scored 19 in his college debut, for state rivals Indiana. In contrast with Edwards and his range, Langford was more aggressive and scored from around the basket.

Langford didn’t put up as many points as Edwards did, but that’s reasonable considering his status as a freshman. Going into the season, he’s perhaps the most highly rated freshman that doesn’t play for the Duke Blue Devils. Langford will also be one of the most important players for second year head coach Archie Miller when Indiana faces some of their tougher non-conference opponents such as Marquette and Arkansas, and eventually, a top three Duke team.

Carsen Edwards Leads Big Ten In Preseason All-American Team

Love it or hate it, analysts love to compare college basketball players and teams before the season even begins. It’s not always the best way to determine who will actually be the last one standing come April, but preseason All-American teams are an annual tradition anyway and ESPN has released theirs for this upcoming season, which begins in a matter of days.

The ACC predictably dominated again with three players in the first team, but fans of the Big Ten can find comfort in the fact that the conference has one player in the first team in addition to one each in the second and third teams. The Big Ten’s one first team player is more than the Big Twelve and PAC-12 after all, as both of those conferences couldn’t get a single player into the first team.

Carsen Edwards is the one that made it, with ESPN effectively projecting him as the best player in the conference. Predictably, Edwards is a junior who should have an experience based edge on some of the younger star players this year, such as rival Indiana’s big name freshman Remeo Langford. He’s also one of the high scoring players whose offensive performances will likely stand out to awards voters at the end of the year.

Edwards averaged roughly 18 points per game after all, and made the second most single season three point shots in Purdue history as a sophomore. His average went up to 20.5 in the postseason and Edwards also scored double digits in 35 out of the 37 games that he played in. In other words, he was one of the most reliable options for the Boilermakers and that was as a sophomore.

Some are saying Edwards can compete to win some of the national player of the year awards, and that’s not entirely unreasonable. However, Edwards isn’t the only Big Ten player represented in the preseason All-American teams.

On ESPN’s second team, one of the forward positions is occupied by Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ. Like Edwards, Happ is an experienced player that will be expected to be a leader for his team. Happ is going into his senior year and is more of an all around player than Edwards is, scoring 17.9 points per game but also adding 8 rebounds per game on top of that. He had a pretty good amount of minutes per game last season, with 30, and was one of the three players that led Wisconsin in playing time.

There’s one Big Ten freshman that made the ESPN preseason All-American teams, but you’ll have to look all the way to the third team to find him. This is none other than Indiana’s Romeo Langford, the biggest name recruit for the Hoosiers in a long time. Lanford really needs no introduction and any time a player has so much hype for their high school games and for their college commitment, you expect them to carry the momentum into college.

The Big Ten Conference as a whole wasn’t the top one in terms of getting players onto these teams, but it was certainly represented and its three players are better than the Big Twelve and the PAC-12, as well as the Big East. But preseason predictions don’t always come true, so it will be interesting to see just how accurate this preseason team is when everything is said and done.