Big Ten Daily, Volume 2: Illinois Becoming True Road Warriors

Tom Brew

No one is hotter than Illinois in the Big Ten right now, and that fire is even carrying over on the road. 

The Fighting Illini stunned Michigan Saturday afternoon with a last-second shot by Ayo Dosunmu that gave them a 64-62 win and sole possession of first place in the league. 

Here's the highlight of the game-winning shot:

And it was just the first buzzer-beater of the day. Rutgers won on a last-second shot by Geo Baker, too.

Here's his game-winning highlight:

And that's exactly why I'm bringing you Big Ten Daily. This league is crazy right now, and the next six weeks are going to be wild. There's fun every day, so that's my vow to keep you updated with EVERYONE in the league

Here we go with Volume 2:

LOOKING AHEAD

Sunday's game: Maryland at Indiana

  • Who: No. 17 Maryland at Indiana, 1 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)
  • What it means for Maryland: The Terrapins (5-3 in the Big Ten, 15-4 overall) have really struggled on the road in the Big Ten, so this a huge chance to flip that. They're 1-3 in the league so far away from home, and even in that one win Tuesday at Northwestern, they were down 15 at one time. They can't be this soft on the road.
  • What it means for Indiana: This is a huge chance for Indiana (5-3 in the Big Ten, 15-4 overall) to have a great week at home after knocking off No. 11 Michigan State Saturday night. They were embarrassed at College Park three weeks ago when they went from down three points to down 30 in the second half of that 75-59 loss to the Terps. They're ready to bounce back.
  • The line: Indiana is favored by 1 point, according to Vegas Insider.
  • Maryland must-read stories: Turgeon on road woes, especially with shooting
  • Indiana must-read stories: Archie Miller pushing all the right buttons for Hoosiers

Sunday's game: Michigan State at Minnesota

  • Who: No. 11 Michigan State at Minnesota, 3 p.m. ET (TV: FOX)
  • What it means for Michigan State: The Spartans (6-2 in the Big Ten, 14-5 overall) are still smarting from that tough road loss at Indiana on Thursday, and they have no interest in losing back-to-back road games in the league. They need to get back to hitting the boards again, something they're usually good at — No. 5 in the nation in rebounding margin — before Indiana beat them.
  • What it means for Minnesota: The Gophers (5-4 in the Big Ten, 11-8 overall) played a brutal nonconference schedule to prepare them for the league, and it's been paying off. They are really tough to beat at "The Barn'' too, so this is a golden opportunity to catch the Spartans when they're down.
  • The line: Michigan State is favored by 3 points, according to Vegas Insider.
  • Michigan State must-read stories: Cassius Winston talks about bouncing back after Indiana loss 

Sunday's game: Ohio State at Northwestern

  • Who: Ohio State at Northwestern, 6:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • What it means for Ohio State: The Buckeyes (2-6 in the Big Ten, 12-7 overall) need a win in the worst way. Once on the verge of being voted the No. 1 team in the country, they've been in a free-fall, and need to snap out of it. Evanston is the perfect place for that, even for an Ohio State that has lost six of its last seven games.
  • What it means for Northwestern: The Wildcats (1-7 in the Big Ten, 6-12 overall) have put a scare into a few people lately, having Maryland down by 15 and then only losing by four at Big Ten leader Illinois. They just don't have enough horses, but they play hard every game and have a legitimate shot at getting a win against an Ohio State team that just seems lost right now.
  • The line: Ohio State is favored by 6.5 points, according to Vegas Insider.
  • Ohio State must-read stories: Buckeyes in search of a backbone

LOOKING BACK

Saturday's result: Illinois 64, Michigan 62

  • The skinny: This one went right down to the wire, with Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu hitting a jumper with 0.5 seconds left to give the Illini their fifth straight win. During this run that has included a national ranking for the first time in a decade, Dosunmu has been tremendous. During the five wins he has averaged 19.2 points and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 53.7 percent from the field.
  • What it means for Illinois: The Fighting Illini (7-2 in the Big Ten, 15-5 overall) are now alone at the top in the Big Ten. They have now won road games at Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan this year, something that's only been done twice in 27 years, both times by Illinois teams. Are they now the best team in the Big Ten?
  • What it means for Michigan: The Wolverines (2-6 in the Big Ten, 11-8 overall) are in trouble, for many reasons. Losing on a last-second shot at home is always a dagger to the heart, but how they did it was even worse. When you haven't won in nearly three weeks, you can't miss five consecutive free throws over the final three minutes to let Illinois sneak back in. This season is falling apart in a hurry.
  • The game story: Dosumnu has career-high 27 in huge win for Illinois 
  • Illinois must-read stories: What Illinois coach Brad Underwood said after the game. VIDEO 
  • Michigan must-read stories: Wolverines don't have the horses without Livers. 

Saturday's result: Rutgers 75, Nebraska 72 

  • The skinny:  Rutgers guard Geo Baker hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to send No. 24 Rutgers past Nebraska 75-72 to end a wild afternoon of buzzer-beats in the Big Ten. With the win, the Scarlet Knights are still perfect at home season, with a 14-0 record.
  • What it means for Nebraska: The Cornhuskers (2-7 in the Big Ten, 7-13 overall) continue to be competitive on the road, but can't get that first league win away from Lincoln. They played really well, much better than back in Lincoln against Rutgers in early January when they lost by 17. Nebraska is going to stun someone with a road win soon, they've been that close. 
  • What it means for Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights (6-3 in the Big Ten, 15-5 overall) are nipping at the heels of Big Ten leader Illinois, and coming up with big shots like Baker's just gives them more confidence going forward. Akwasi Yeboah had a huge game, scoring a team-high 20 points. 
RutgersGeoBakerNebraska
Geo Baker hits the game-winning shot for Rutgers over Nebraska on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. (Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS)

Upcoming Games This Week

  • MONDAY
  • Wisconsin at No. 19 Iowa, 8:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • TUESDAY
  • Michigan at Nebraska, 7 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNU)
  • Purdue at No. 24 Rutgers, 8 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • WEDNESDAY
  • Northwestern at No. 11 Michigan State, 6:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • Indiana at Penn State, 8:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • THURSDAY
  • Minnesota at No. 21 Illinois, 7:30 p.m. ET (TV: FoxSports1) 
  • No. 19 Iowa at No. 17 Maryland, 8:30 p.m. ET  (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • FRIDAY
  • No games
  • SATURDAY
  • Indiana at Ohio State, Noon ET (TV: ESPN)
  • Michigan State at Wisconsin, 1 p.m. ET (TV: FOX)
  • No. 24 Rutgers at Michigan, 4:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
  • Penn State at Nebraska, 7 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
  • Purdue at Northwestern, 9 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
  • SUNDAY
  • No. 21 Illinois at No. 19 Iowa, 1 p;m. ET (FoxSports1)

Big Ten Standings

Screenshot 2020-01-26 09.52.19
Big Ten standings as of Sunday morning, Jan. 26

Real-Time Big Ten Standings CLICK HERE

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