Welp, I was wrong about Ohio State- Wisconsin, but I’m gonna keep on trying. Here is my analysis of the top half for day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament. Again, to see Jed’s analysis of the bottom half for day 2, click here.
Thursday, March 9th | Game 3: #9 Rutgers vs. #8 Michigan
My analysis of this game hasn’t changed: [This game really has a “loser gets bounced” feel as both Michigan and Rutgers are squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Both teams have underperformed this season, as expectations were high for both. Michigan has really struggled against top tier teams this season, only beating Northwestern and Michigan State at home. Considering the talent the Wolverines have, this season has been somewhat disappointing. As for Rutgers, the season was off to a nice start, as the Scarlet Knights raced to a 13-5 start with a win over #1 Purdue on the road. Then Rutgers tripped, finishing the season 18-13 while losing 6 of their last 8 games. Both of these teams are desperate for a victory, with Michigan needing at least two BTT wins to get into the dance. In their only matchup this season, Michigan took down Rutgers in Piscataway, 58-45, but I think Rutgers gets revenge in this one. This just seems to be an off-year for Michigan and Rutgers seems due for a big performance.]
Thursday, March 9th | Game 4: #13 Ohio State vs. #5 Iowa
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I was once good at predicting these things, but Ohio State shut me up in a hurry. OSU jumped off to a hot start against Wisconsin and never let go of the lead. Can they keep up with Iowa’s offense today, however? Grad transfer Sean McNeil had a great shooting performance yesterday, but Ohio State still only managed 65 points. Was yesterday’s game more of an OSU win or a Wisconsin loss (there’s a difference). I don’t think Iowa will struggle as mightily scoring the ball as Wisconsin did yesterday, especially from the perimeter. I like the Hawkeyes to roll in this game, but I’ve been wrong before. Ohio State is playing its best basketball since the calendar flipped to 2023, so a Buckeye win wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world given the talent under Chris Holtmann. There is a part of me that wants to see a FranCon 1 situation as well, just for kicks.
Ohio State: 71