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B1G Basketball Diaries: Michigan State Takes Control

An interesting Saturday of college basketball in the Big Ten saw Michigan State climb into first place.

Gregory Shamus

B1G Basketball Diaries is The Champaign Room's recap of all the basketballs being basketballed around the Big Ten. It is not about Leonardo DiCaprio in any way.

Michigan State 59 Ohio State 56

The biggest game of the day in the Big Ten as also the best game of the day in the Big Ten, and it's always nice when that turns out to be the case. The Spartans jumped out to a big lead early but Ohio State worked it's way back in and stayed there thanks to Deshaun Thomas' 28 points, but Shannon Scott's three-pointer as time expired barely managed to land in the same building as the rim he was shooting at.

Keith Appling led Michigan State with 15 points and also hit the free throws at the end to ice it.

Nebraska 68 Penn State 64

The co-main event of the day was the Battle To Get The Hell Out Of Last Place, and it went to Nebraska. Shavon Shields had a career high 29 points to lead the Huskers to the win. Meanwhile, former Penn State president Graham Spanier sat courtside watching the entire game, but he'll probably just go on with his life pretending everything he saw and was told didn't happen.

Of course, when it comes to basketball at Penn State, that's probably the best approach to take.

Purdue 79 West Virginia 52

West Virginia isn't as good as most thought it would be before the season, but it is at least somewhat comforting to see that at least Purdue continues to improve since beating the Illini. Still, I've now asked on Twitter and in the Power Rankings on Friday, and nobody has explained to me why the fuck Purdue and West Virginia were playing a game against one another in the middle of January.

Iowa 70 Wisconsin 66

The reason Michigan State has first to itself is because Wisconsin finally lost, but man, Iowa tried to keep Wisconsin undefeated at the end of this one. The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 30-10 lead in the first half and had a 52-37 lead with 8 minutes to play. Then they gave up 29 points down the stretch and made this one a hell of a lot closer than it had any right being.

That being said, I'd love for the Illini to have a terrible final 8 minutes of a game and win right now.