The Big Ten had a loaded slate on Friday with five teams in action, including top 10 teams in Michigan State and Wisconsin. We ended up seeing an absolute thriller out of Milwaukee and a handful of other competitive games as well.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Marquette Golden Eagles 67, No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers 65
What an absolute thriller. Although the Badgers didn’t come out on top, this is one of the better games you’ll ever see in regular season college basketball. The teams went back and forth for the first 35 minutes or so and then things went ballistic in the closing segments as well. In the last 30 seconds, the teams exchanged the lead multiple times before Marquette hit this buzzer beater:
Again, a heartbreaking loss for Wisconsin, but an absolutely great game. There’s plenty to take away about Marquette, but both teams seemed to performed pretty well. D’Mitrik Trice led the Badgers with 17 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Perhaps the long difference maker in this one was Wisconsin’s underwhelming three-point shooting. The Badgers only hit on 29.2 percent of the team’s attempts from deep.
Wisconsin fell to 3-1 overall with the loss and will now prepare for Louisville at home next Wednesday as part of this year’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
-Maryland Terrapins 90, Saint Peter’s Peacocks 57
There isn’t a ton to take away from this one. Maryland faced its third straight team outside the top 150 on KenPom and dominated throughout. Hakim Hart had quite an outing in this one, finishing with 33 points, three rebounds, and one assist. Jairus Hamilton also had a nice night with 15 points and six rebounds. Maryland improved to 4-0 with the win and will now prepare for Clemson on the road next Wednesday
-No. 8 Michigan State Spartans 83, Detroit Mercy Titans 76
This ended up being much closer than many thought heading in, but Michigan State was eventually able to do enough to walk away with a win. Rocket Watts again led the way with 23 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Gabe Brown also had a nice night with 16 points. In particular, Michigan State’s defense struggled throughout, giving up 1.00 points per possession to what projects to be an underwhelming Detroit squad. Michigan State will now prepare for a matchup against Western Michigan at home on Sunday.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 76, North Dakota Fighting Hawks 67
After a close outing against Loyola Marymount earlier in the week, Gopher fans were hoping for a more convincing victory in this one. Fortunately, fans got their wish. Minnesota grabbed a 76-67 win that felt over much sooner. Both Gach led the way with 21 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Minnesota improved to 4-0 with the win and will now prepare for Boston College at home on Tuesday.
-Purdue Boilermakers 68, Valparaiso Crusaders 61
This one didn’t go as Boilermaker fans might have hoped. After Purdue demolished Oakland earlier in the week, fans were hoping for an easy win over Valparaiso as well. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as Purdue wasn’t able to get any significant kind of lead. In fact, Purdue trailed for much of the first half and with about eight minutes remaining as well. Purdue had to use a massive 10-0 run late in the game to score the win. Sasha Stefanovic led the way with 19 points, three rebounds, and three assists.
With the win, Purdue improved to 3-1 overall and the team will now prepare for a really challenging road game against Miami (FL) next Tuesday. KenPom projects Purdue as a narrow underdog in that one.