The third weekend of conference play was marked by several unexpected results. After Nebraska knocked off Ohio State Monday night, three Big Ten underdogs had come away with unlikely wins. The Cornhuskers got their first conference win against a staggering Buckeyes squad while Northwestern has now won two more league games than some predicted it would get all year. Here are the rest of the extended weekend highlights from a relatively crazy weekend.
Player of the Weekend: Caris LeVert, Michigan: One of the main reasons why Michigan has survived Mitch McGary’s unfortunate injury is because players like LeVert have stepped up in his absence. He was a huge factor on Saturday, scoring 20 points on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc. He also produced seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in a stellar outing. His length allows him to be a defensive menace on the perimeter, where he pestered the Wisconsin guards throughout the evening. On the offensive end, he was able to not only knock down outside shots, but also penetrate and drive at will. LeVert continues to be one of the most improved players in the Big Ten this season.
Super Sub of the Weekend: Zach McCabe, Iowa: This bullish bench player for the Hawkeyes has been struggling with his shooting. He went 0-of-8 from the field against Ohio State last Sunday, but he came back against Minnesota and played the most minutes (22) he’s played since Iowa’s early December win against Notre Dame. He was extremely productive in that extended time against the Gophers despite not lighting up the scoreboard, ending up with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and a team-high three steals. McCabe and Josh Ogelsby show why Iowa is so dangerous — they can avoid foul trouble and ineffectiveness from the starters and still beat a solid team handily.