The Big Ten Men’s Tournaments heads to Washington D.C. for the first time in conference history. This will prove to be one of the most exciting, if not, unpredictable tournaments in recent. Though most feel like Purdue is head and shoulders the best team in the conference, in a one and done situation on a neutral court, anything can happen.
The host school, Maryland, got themselves back on the right track with a Melo Trimble buzzer beater against Michigan State. Northwestern is poised to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in school’s history. Teams like Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa are still trying to cement their place in the Big Dance.
(13) Penn State vs (12) Nebraska
The Cornhuskers come into the game on a 4 game losing streak. What’s troubling for Coach Tim Miles is the fact that they’ve lost each game by double digits with the closest being a 15-point loss to Minnesota. Penn State has lost five in a row including a loss in Lincoln.
In that game, Nebraska had 4 players score in double digits and shot a robust 55.4% from the field in the 82-66 win. Nebraska dominated the Nittany Lions in the paint, outscoring them 46-28. Penn State struggled shooting in the second half. They shot 31% in the half including 1-9 from the three point line.
Neither teams comes into this game with much momentum. The key could be something as simple and whichever team gets hot from the field will win.
(14) Rutgers vs (11) Ohio State
Rutgers broke a 7 game losing streak with a home victory over Illinios in the regular season finale. DeShawn Freeman’s 3-pointer with 7.6 left put a cap on the Scarlett Knights second half comeback. Ohio State might be the team that has been playing the best among the four teams playing on Wednesday. The Buckeyes lost a tough game to Indiana in their last outing but had won their previous two games including upsetting Wisconsin.
In their first match up, Ohio State defeated Rutgers 70-64. Rutgers came back from 12 down to tie the game at 62 with 1:05 left. But Kam Williams’ four point play after that proved to be the difference in the game. Statistically, Rutgers was ahead in most categories.
Both teams have positives coming into the game but it seems like the Buckeyes are playing a little better than the Scarlet Knights. Keep an eye on how many free throw attempts the Buckeyes get. When they are playing well, they are aggressive on offense.
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook