COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michigan and Ohio State have played each other 185 times in basketball, but never once when both teams were ranked in the top five. That finally happened on Sunday in Columbus, and the game lived up to the hype.
No. 3 Michigan came away the winner in a well-played game on both sides, winning 92-87 over the No. 4 Buckeyes. The game between two projected No. 1 seeds featured 17 lead changes and 11 ties and was pretty much a one-possession game throughout. Both teams shot 53 percent from the field.
"It was like a boxing match," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. "One team delivered a blow. The other team delivered another blow. It went back and forth. Our guys showed their mental toughness through some of those ups and downs."
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan's 7-foot freshman center, has a size advantage inside and took advantage of it, scoring 22 points to lead the Wolverines. He also had nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Four other Wolverines were in double figures, too, including Eli Brooks (17) Chaundee Brown (15), Isaiah Livers (12) and Mike Smith (11).
With the win, Michigan moved to to 16-1 overall and 11-1 in the Big Ten, only the third time they've started a conference season with just one loss in their first 12 games. Ohio State is 17-5, and 12-5 in the Big Ten. Purdue is now just a game behind the Buckeyes in the Big Ten standings, and would win the tiebreaker with the Buckeyes for that coveted No. 4 in the Big Ten tournament that gets a double buye.
"It was a great game, man," said Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr., who had 30 points and made 5-of-10 three-pointers. said. "Those were two top-five teams, and I thought we competed at a really high level. We were in a good position to bring it home. Basketball is a game of runs, and they had theirs toward the end there, and we just got to be a little better in the closing stretch."
Garza becomes Iowa's all-time leading scorer
Iowa center Luka Garza scored 23 points and the No. 11 Hawkeyes beat Penn State 74-68 Sunday. In doing so, Garza became Iowa's all-time leading scorer with 2,126 points. He passed the late Roy Marble, who scored 2,116 points from 1985 through 1989.
Garza needed 14 points to break the record. He had 12 when he was fouled early in the second half and he made the first free throw. Then he air-balled the second one.
"Yeah, I've never air-balled a free throw in my life," Garza said. "When the first one went in of the two of them, I was very surprised. Neither of them felt good. I was just thinking about (the record) too much. They called the timeout, I looked up at the scoreboard and knew where I was at. I had the whole timeout to think about it."
It was the fourth straight win for the Hawkeyes, who are now 17-6 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten. CJ Fredrick added 18 and Joe Wieskamp had 11. With the win, the Hawkeyes stayed a game ahead of Purdue for the fourth spots in the Big Ten standings, which would earn them a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament.
Purdue plays at Penn State on Friday.
Maryland completes 4-game sweep
This was a busy week for the Maryland Terrapins, but also a week of opportunity. They played four games in eight days and won them all, getting a huge 68-59 win at Rutgers on Sunday.
The hot week, spurred by great defense and timely shooting, has the Terrapins right back in the NCAA Tournament picture. They're 14-10 overall now and 8-9 in the Big Ten. They passed Indiana in the standings and are now tied for seventh with Rutgers, who's a likely tournament team, too.
“It changes everything,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “Today really changes a lot because we beat a really, really good team that’s been playing well in their building. And they were ready for us.
"It was one of those games we knew we were going to have to play well to beat them. It’s just the maturation of our team. We’ve gotten better.”
Northwestern's losing streak reaches 13
Micah Potter came off the bench to score 19 points, leading No. 21 Wisconsin to a 68-51 loss over Northwestern. It was the Wildcats' 13th-straight loss in the Big Ten, the worst Big Ten stretch since Indiana lost 12 of 13 Big Ten games in 2019.
It was a big win for the Badgers, who had lost three of four coming in. They're now 16-8 overall and 10-7 in the Big Ten, good for sixth place at the moment. The Badgers have three games left, all against teams ahead of them in the standings, Illinois, Purdue and Iowa.
The Wildcats continue to struggle to score. They're averaging only 55.3 points per game in their last three losses, and eight of their 13 losses have been by double digits or more.
Related stories on Big Ten basketball
- TIME FOR INDIANA TO MOVE ON: The Archie Miller era at Indiana continues to feature far too many bad losses, and now four years in, it looks like another losing record in the Big Ten. It's time to move on from Miller, HoosiersNow publisher Tom Brew says in his column. CLICK HERE
- STEFANOVIC FINDS HIS GROOVE: Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic has been struggling since returning from COVID, but he finally got hot against Nebraska, hitting four three-pointers in the Boilers's win on Saturday night. CLICK HERE