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12/9 Big Ten Recap: Rutgers Upsets Purdue

Recap all the Big Ten action from Thursday.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Rutgers Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only had two games on Thursday night, but they were both great ones. Purdue went on the road to face Rutgers in the early game and Iowa State hosted rival Iowa in the late game.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 70, No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers 68

What a game. Despite the divergent resumes between the two heading into tip, the RAC had plenty of energy from tip. Rutgers played well above its head and put on a defensive clinic, routinely frustrating one of the nation’s best offensive units in Purdue. Even when the Boilermakers would take control, it always felt close.

Then, in the closing minutes, we got some college basketball magic:

The Big Ten is going to play hundreds of games moving forward and nothing might top that. It’s the magic of college basketball. A top seed going on the road, getting upset, and the fans storming the court. An incredible sight.

Ron Harper led the way with 30 points, but it was truly a team effort. Rutgers held Purdue to just 68 points and 1.05 points per possession on the night, which was probably Purdue’s worst offensive performance of the season. Purdue’s big men had a big night, but really nobody else could get going.

For Rutgers, this is obviously a massive win. It’s the program’s first win over a No. 1 in its history and will do wonders toward rebuilding a rough resume. The Scarlet Knights needed a shot in the arm and this will do it. Will it be enough to change the direction of the season? Who knows, but for now, it’s a special night.

On the other side, Purdue fell to 8-1 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. And while it’s going to take a bit to get over a gut punch like this, Purdue remains in fine shape. The Boilermakers are a fantastic team and can learn a lot from this loss. One loss isn’t going to derail the team’s season.

Moving forward, Rutgers will get Seton Hall on the road on Sunday. Purdue will get North Carolina State in New York on Sunday.

The Rest:

-No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones 73, Iowa Hawkeyes 53

Iowa kept things relatively close in the first half, but completely lost control in the second half, eventually falling by 20 points to the Cyclones. Iowa’s high-powered offense finished with just 53 points and a dreadful 0.80 points per possession. The only Hawkeye to even score double-digits was Jordan Bohannon and he only attempted 12 field goals. It was a rough night across the board for Iowa.

The Hawkeyes will now get a week off to regroup and try and recover from this beat down. The team will return to action on the 18th on a neutral court against Utah State. It projects to be a competitive game.