The Big Ten only had one game on Sunday with Rutgers going on the road to face Indiana. Both the Scarlet Knights and Hoosiers were looking for a valuable win for their NCAA resumes. Nebraska and Iowa were also set to play, but the game was postponed.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 74, Indiana Hoosiers 70
After Indiana’s win on the road against Iowa earlier in the week and Rutgers’ recent struggles, most thought the Hoosiers would take care of business in this one. It seemed like a great opportunity for Indiana to grab a win and build its NCAA Tournament resume. Instead, Rutgers would get 19 points from Geo Baker and grab a 74-70 win.
For Rutgers, the win snapped a five-game skid and a rough stretch since around Christmas where the Scarlet Knights had lost six of seven. The difference was the offense, which finished with an impressive 1.12 points per possession against a really good Indiana defense. Baker had 19 points as described above and Ron Harper finished with 15 points himself. The ball just moved better offensively than it had in weeks.
On the other side, this was an absolutely crushing loss for the Hoosiers. While beating Rutgers was far from a “sure thing” heading into tip, Indiana was a clear favorite and was coming off a monster win at Iowa earlier in the week. Add in Rutgers’ recent struggles and this seemed like a prime opportunity for Indiana to get things going. Unfortunately, that just didn’t end up happening and it shows how tough Big Ten play is this year.
Both teams now have really interesting slates moving forward. Rutgers gets two fairly winnable games with Michigan State at home on Thursday and Northwestern on the road on Sunday. Meanwhile, Indiana gets a week off before facing Illinois and Iowa at home during the first week of February.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes
This would have been an interesting matchup given Iowa’s loss to Indiana on Thursday night. However, we won’t get that opportunity because of a COVID-19 related pause for the Huskers. We certainly wish everyone health and safety as the pause continues.