The Big Ten only had one game on Sunday, with Minnesota traveling east to face off against Rutgers. It offered the Scarlet Knights the team’s second opportunity to score a quality win this week.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
On paper, this was the expected outcome. Rutgers was favored, playing at home, and was coming off a nice win over Indiana earlier in the week. However, following up on success isn’t an easy task and playing with expectations can be even harder. Many were curious to see whether Rutgers could back up the team’s recent success.
For the most part, Rutgers responded well. The Scarlet Knights battled early, but gradually pulled ahead and didn’t look back. The team’s defense was fantastic and what had been a really productive Minnesota offense recently slowed down. All told, Rutgers grabbed a 64-56 win over the Gophers.
This was another huge win for Rutgers. The team has steadily built its resume all season and now seems to be on the verge of crossing from NCAA contender to top 25 team. The Scarlet Knights are legitimately good and are starting to get national attention. And with a 14-4 overall record, Rutgers is now just a few wins away from being in outstanding NCAA at-large position with a ton of games left on the slate. That has to be incredibly encouraging. Rutgers will return to action on Wednesday on the road against Iowa.
For Minnesota, this was a tough loss. This was a winnable road game, even though the Gophers were underdogs. If the team is going to find its way into the NCAA Tournament, this is a game that would have been really valuable. The Gophers will hope to bounce back on Thursday on the road against Ohio State.