The feature NCAA Men’s Basketball game from Thursday night provided some great Big 10 action when the Hoosiers of Indiana University went up to the University of Wisconsin to take on the Badgers, who were 9-2 and ranked number 8 in the AP poll. The action was fast and furious all evening as these two teams know each other very well. While that was the big game, there was still a lot of action going on elsewhere.
Badgers Prove Too Strong For The Hoosiers
D’Mitrik Trice scored 21 points and Tyler Wahl made consecutive 3-pointers in the second overtime to spark Wisconsin to an 80-73 victory over their number-one Big 10 rivals. The win marked the seventh win in eight games for the Badgers, who have plans to make the Final Four this year.
“Getting this win in double overtime is a big help and momentum booster for us to get back to where we need to be,” said Trice after the game. “We just know that we’re a hard-nosed gritty team. We’ve got to continue to play Wisconsin defense, and that’s what’s going to get the job done.”
AP number-five ranked Iowa counted on big Luka Garza in the end to pull them out of the fire and score 17 of his 24 points in the decisive first half as the Iowa Hawkeyes roared back from behind to take an 89-67 victory over the Maryland Terrapins on Thursday night. “Credit to Maryland. They had a lot of energy to start the game” said Luka Garza, “I am glad that our team was able to bounce back and make a run of our own.”
Zags Continue To Rule NCAA Basketball
The number-one team in the nation at the moment is from Gonzaga, better known as the Zags, or the Bulldogs. They had a game with BYU on Thursday evening and predictably dominated the contest. Gonzaga’s star shooter, Jalen Suggs, put up 16 points with 5 rebounds and five assists plus 4 steals and a blocked shot as the Zags beat BYU by a final score of 86-69.
After the game, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few talked about his star player, saying, “He has so many gifts and one of his greatest gifts is his vision. You have to be very confident to be able to execute passes like that.” Suggs is just a freshman who was playing quarterback in high school just a year ago and he loves to show off his quarterback skills making long accurate passes nearly the length of the court, perfect for the daily highlight reels.
Defensively, Suggs practically shut down BYUs big man, Alex Barcello, by holding him to just 9 points on 3 for 11 shooting. “You always have a chance to impact a game by shutting down the other team’s player,” Suggs said in a postgame interview.
The Fighting Illini Fight Back
In another Big 10 thriller, AP number 12-ranked Illinois rolled past Northwestern by a final score of 81-56. The game was played on the Northwestern campus at Evanston, IL. The Fighting Illini had fallen behind 43-28 to the unranked 6-4 Northwestern Wildcats. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood went into the halftime break to speak with his team and saw exactly what he need to see. His team was angry and disappointed; they were better than they played that first half.
Then, Kofi Cockburn caught fire and scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and the Fighting Illini rallied like something out of a movie, beating the totally overwhelmed Northwestern team by a final score of 81-56. It was an awe-inspiring spectacle and Cockburn said after the game, “I’ve never been a part of anything like that. You saw it, man. You saw how we reacted to it. I was in awe.”