The Big Ten had a loaded slate on Tuesday. Indiana started things off against a ranked Texas team in the 2021 Maui Invitational, teams like Nebraska and Wisconsin were in action against middling opponents, and Michigan State closed out things with a marquee battle against Duke.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 8 Michigan State Spartans 75, No. 6 Duke Blue Devils 69
Talk about a statement win, right? After knocking Notre Dame off on Saturday, Spartan fans were feeling pretty good about where the team was sitting. However, beating a middling Notre Dame and going on the road and beating Duke is a different story. But Michigan State delivered on Tuesday night, going into Cameron and beating a talented Blue Devil squad.
The star of the night was undenibaly Rocket Watts. He was dynamite in transition and on the defensive end, finishing with 20 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Aaron Henry also had a bit night with 14 points. Duke seemed out of sorts throughout and struggled to find consistency on either side of the floor. And while the Blue Devils used a late push to make things closer in the final minutes, this one really wasn’t in doubt late. It was a massive win for Tom Izzo and his team in a wild season.
Moving forward, Michigan State will now return home to face two underwhelming in-state opponents in Detroit and Western Michigan this weekend. That should set up a showdown with Virginia in December. But Tuesday’s win puts the Spartans in good position to enter conference play at 7-0 or 6-1, which is a heck of a start. Fans should be thrilled with how Michigan State looked in this one.
-No. 17 Texas Longhorns 66, Indiana Hoosiers 44
After Monday afternoon’s domination against Providence, most thought this would be a pretty interesting game. Indiana was playing well and Texas seemingly had the roster to do some major damage this year. Instead, we got a game that was non-competitive in the closing minutes. The Longhorns eventually grabbed a 66-44 win.
For Indiana, this is going to be a tough one to stomach. The team’s defense held, but it’s offense was almost non-existent, finishing with a horrid 44-point outing and 0.66 points per possession. The only player to finish in double-digits was Trayce Jackson-Davis and he did it pretty inefficiently, finishing with an offensive rating of 80. It was a sign that Indiana still has a long way to go if it’s going to achieve its season goals. Indiana will look to rebound tomorrow, though we don’t know who the team will face just yet.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 76, South Dakota Coyotes 69
This game ended up being significantly closer than Husker fans would have liked to see. However, Nebraska used a 12-2 run with roughly 10 minutes remaining to put the game to bed. Teddy Allen had another solid outing with 23 points and five rebounds, despite a slow night from Nebraska’s offense. Fans will hope things improve in the team’s next outing on Sunday at home against Florida A&M.
-Purdue Boilermakers 93, Oakland Golden Grizzlies 50
The Grizzlies may have put on a show against their last Big Ten opponent (Michigan), but that didn’t hold up on Tuesday. Purdue throughly dominated Oakland as the Boilermakers bounced back from a tough loss to Clemson last week. Sasha Stefanovic led the team with 20 points, seven assists, and one rebound. Zach Edey also remained productive, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Purdue will now get a few days off before facing off against Valparaiso on Friday. The Boilermakers will be favored, but the guy should be considerably tougher than Tuesday’s matchup.
-No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers 82, Green Bay Phoenix 42
There isn’t much to take away from this matchup. Wisconsin entered as a substantial favorite, jumped out to a massive lead by halftime, and never looked back. The final score was a 40-point margin and it felt that way. Perhaps the lone interesting note was Tyler Wahl’s great play. He finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds. The Badgers will now prepare for a challenging game on the road against Marquette on Friday.