You can slice up Thursday’s college basketball results a few ways.
One way — the way this blog is going to go — is chalking it up as a win.
First off, let me get a “WE ARE” from your couch, office or wherever you’re reading this. For the second time this season Penn State topped Ohio State, this time in a 79-56 beatdown on the Nittany Lions home floor.
Of course, that puts the Buckeyes at two conference losses — now tying them for first place with MSU. There are also no head-to-head tiebreakers to decide a conference champion, so the Spartans loss at Ohio State doesn’t mean anything if both finish with two losses.
About an hour before Ohio State lost, Purdue went down to Wisconsin for the Boilermakers third straight loss. That doesn’t just put Purdue at three conference losses — it also gives MSU a better shot at snagging one of those Detroit bids for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.
The easy path to MSU’s title is to win out. The difficult way is to lose one to make things exciting and then root for Ohio State to lose one more. Those are just two of the scenarios with two weeks to go.
Here is what the home stretch looks like for the Big Ten contenders...
Saturday at Northwestern
Feb. 20 vs. Illinois
Feb. 25 at Wisconsin
Sunday at Michigan
Feb. 20 vs. Rutgers
Feb. 23 at Indiana
Sunday vs. Penn State
Feb. 22 at Illinois
Feb. 25 vs. Minnesota
With three games to go, who is crowned Big Ten champs?
This poll is closed
MSU and OSU tie
MSU, OSU and Purdue tie
Other (total mayhem)
ALSO, Cincinnati also fell to unranked Houston, 67-62. The Bearcats were ranked ahead of MSU in the NCAA Selection Committee’s puzzling seedings last Sunday, taking No. 8. The Spartans were ranked No. 11.
Will it move up the Spartans? The answer should be a simple “yes,” but there’s nothing the committee an do that would surprise me at this point.