The Big Ten only had three games on Sunday, but it ended up being a massive day on the court, as two of the league’s better teams went down. Northwestern also scored a nice win at home against a non-conference opponent.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 84, No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes 71
Following a brief stretch where Ohio State had to sweat it out against Cincinnati on opening night, things have been pretty easy for the Buckeyes. The team has pounded opponents into the ground and hasn’t played a competitive game in more than a month. That run pushed Ohio State into the top five nationally and to No. 1 nationally on KenPom.
And while Buckeye fans were hoping to see that continue on Sunday on the road against Minnesota, it just didn’t happen. The Gophers came out with plenty of energy and got a massive night from Marcus Carr, who finished with 35 points and seven assists. That effort was enough to push Minnesota to an 84-71 upset win over Ohio State.
Obviously, this is a huge win for Minnesota. The team was 4-5 heading into Sunday night and desperately needed to get some momentum going heading into the real start of conference play. Sunday night did just that. And while it’s only one game, Gopher fans have to be excited about how good the team looked. If Carr can continue that type of play, Minnesota has a chance to do some big things going forward.
On the other side, Ohio State has to be disappointed with its effort in this one and in allowing a team that had struggled to date to beat it by 13 points. With that said, we all knew Ohio State couldn’t keep up its absurd level of play to open the season and that the team would hit a bump somewhere. The team can now work on its issues, improve, and get ready for some big games coming up later this month.
Minnesota will now get a week off before facing Oklahoma State on a neutracl court next Saturday. The Buckeyes will play at home on Tuesday against Southeast Missouri State.
Just when you think you know what’s going to happen in the Big Ten, a game like this shows up and surprises you. Winning on the road in college basketball is always hard, but there’s no way to describe this result other than shocking. Nebraska was 4-6 coming into this game and ranked 150th on KenPom, while Purdue was 6-3, ranked sixth on KenPom, and coming off two double-digit victories. So, yeah, it was pretty shocking to see the Huskers cruise to a 14-point win over Purdue.
For Nebraska, this is obviously a huge win for fans and the program. This looked like a lost season, but fans can at least hang their hats on this one in the months to come. It also could have massive implications for the team’s buy in moving forward and perhaps could be the start of a resurgence under new head coach Fred Hoiberg. Nebraska will now have a week off before facing North Dakota at home on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Purdue will now have to head home at just 6-4 and 1-1 in Big Ten play. All four losses came in games that Purdue had a pretty solid shot at winning. Consistency will certainly have to be a coaching point for this group moving forward. The Boilermakers will get a chance to get back on track on Tuesday on the road against Ohio.
After losing to Purdue on the road last Sunday, Northwestern got some time off to refocus and fans were hoping for a bounce back effort. That got that on Sunday against a really weak SIU Edwardsville team. The Wildcats will now prepare for a massive home game against Michigan State on Wednesday. A win there and expectations for the Wildcats could really change moving forward.