The Big Ten had two games on Sunday, which featured two ranked teams playing on the road against quality opponents. Ultimately, both home teams ended up coming out on top and pulling off significant upsets.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Purdue Boilermakers 71, No. 8 Michigan State Spartans 42
There really isn’t much to say about a performance like this. Michigan State went on the road to face the Boilermakers and got absolutely spanked. The game was never competitive, with Purdue pulling ahead early and never looking back. The Boilermakers ended up cruising to a 71-42 win. It was Michigan State’s worst loss in several seasons.
This is obviously a monumental win for Purdue, but it’s hard to know what to make of the Boilermakers at this point. The team is 10-7 overall, 3-3 in league play, and has a number of highly divergent results. Purdue has blown out Michigan State and Virginia at home, but also has losses to a mediocre Texas and an underwhelming Nebraska team.
Purdue is honestly one of the most bizarre resumes I’ve ever seen at this point in the season. Purdue certainly isn’t bad, but it’s hard to tell just how good this team is moving forward. The good news for fans is that the Boilermakers were really good on Sunday. The team will hope to keep things rolling on Saturday on the road against Maryland.
On the other side, this was certainly Michigan State’s worst loss of the season from a point differential perspective. The Spartans were red hot coming into the game, but were flat out of the gate and were run off the floor. Cassius Winston had nine turnovers and Rocket Watts was the only Spartan to finish with an offensive rating above 100. The good news is the team is still 13-4 overall and gets an opportunity to bounce back on Friday at home against a tricky Wisconsin squad.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 75, No. 19 Michigan Wolverines 67
Unlike the early game, this was a highly competitive and really entertaining game. Michigan was playing without Isaiah Livers once again, but played pretty well on the road early on. The Wolverines were able to grab the lead in the first half and were in the game for most of the afternoon. However, Daniel Oturu proved to be too much and the Gophers were able to score a 75-67 win at home.
It’s too early to label any game as a “must win,” but this probably wasn’t too far off for the Gophers. Minnesota was just 8-7 heading into the game and desperately needed another resume win. And while the Selection Committee looks at more than a team’s raw win-loss record, it is something that matters and Minnesota needed to improve there. Fortunately for Gopher fans, that’s exactly what happened as Minnesota scored a really nice win.
For Michigan, it’s probably time to start getting a bit concerned about where things are sitting. The Wolverines are still in fine shape, but the team has now lost four of its last seven games, including two against teams ranked lower than it on KenPom. Add in the lingering injury to Livers and a challenging road game against Iowa awaiting on Friday and things could get even more dicey in the coming days. We’ll have to see what Juwan Howard and his staff can get figured out.