The Big Ten had two great matchups on the docket last night. Purdue traveled to face Michigan in the early game and Michigan State hosted Minnesota thereafter. Both games came with some surprising twists and turns.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 19 Michigan Wolverines 84, Purdue Boilermakers 78 (2OT)
The Wolverines were favored heading into tip-off in this one, but I don’t think anybody expected a win to take as much out of Michigan as it did. The teams exchanged the lead all night and nobody seemed like they could avoid enough mistakes to pull away. Eventually, Michigan grabbed a narrow 84-78 win in double overtime.
With the win, Michigan improved to 11-4 overall and to 2-2 in league play. The win also gave Michigan its sixth win over a top 75 opponent this season. The Wolverines have won three of the team’s last four games and now have two really challenging games on the docket with road trips to Minnesota and Iowa up next. The first game against the Gophers will be this Sunday.
On the other side, Purdue showed a lot of fight in this one. In particular, Trevion Williams had an outstanding night with 36 points and 20 rebounds. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as Purdue fell to 9-7 overall. The team has now lost two in a row and three of its last five. The good news is that Purdue will get a great opportunity to grab some momentum on Sunday at home against Michigan State. It figures to be a really entertaining game.
-No. 8 Michigan State Spartans 74, Minnesota Golden Gophers 58
For roughly 25 minutes on Thursday night, it looked like Minnesota might be in position to score its best win of the year. Unfortunately for Gopher fans, that wasn’t the case. Despite playing really well in the first half, Minnesota faded in the second. Cassius Winston finished with 27 points and six assists and Michigan State grabbed a 74-68 home win.
Michigan State was clearly rolling prior to Thursday night. And the win over Minnesota did little to change that narrative. The Spartans are now 13-3 overall and have won eight in a row, including four games against top 40 opponents. Michigan State leads the conference with a perfect 5-0 record and is up to third nationally on KenPom. We’ll see if the team can keep it up on Sunday on the road against Purdue.
For Minnesota, there really isn’t anything to be ashamed about with this loss. The Gophers fought hard and just came up short on the road against a superior opponent. Minnesota is still a solid team and will have an opportunity to rebound on Sunday at home against a ranked Michigan team. A win there and people will forget about this one.