The Big Ten had two games on Saturday afternoon. And while neither looked particularly intriguing before tip, we got plenty of excitement. Northwestern went on the road to face Michigan State and Maryland hosted Rutgers.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Northwestern Wildcats 64, No. 10 Michigan State Spartans 62
When these two teams met earlier this month, it projected as a potential upset. Northwestern had been playing well and would have a shot to take on Michigan State before a key stretch for the Spartans. And while the Wildcats would play well in that game, it was Michigan State who came out with a win.
Little did we know the upset would be in East Lansing, not in Evanston.
Saturday’s meeting was a sloppy one. Neither team finished above a point a possession and both sides had some key starters held to underwhelming totals. However, Northwestern got just enough from Ryan Young and Chase Audige to come away with a 64-62 win.
Obviously, this is a massive win for the Wildcats. Going on the road and beating a top 10 team isn’t easy, especially one like Michigan State who seemed impervious to anyone but the nation’s best teams. It likewise snaps a four-game losing streak and gets Northwestern the marquee win the team so desperately needs for its NCAA resume. The Wildcats now sit at 9-6 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play.
On the other side, Michigan State fell to 14-3 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. It was the team’s first blemish since a loss to Baylor on Black Friday. And while losing at home is never preferred, it’s hard to overreact to something like this. Michigan State will be fine. It was one bad day over the course of a long season.
Both teams oddly get Wisconsin next. Wisconsin gets the Badgers on Tuesday at home and Michigan State gets them on Friday on the road.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 70, Maryland Terrapins 59
The Scarlet Knights took care of business in this one, thanks to 31 points from Ron Harper and a monster second half. Conversely, Maryland held up well early, but couldn’t keep up as the game continued. The win pushed Rutgers to 10-6 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play, while the loss dropped Maryland to 9-8 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play.
Rutgers now gets a huge game against Iowa at home on Wednesday while Maryland will hope to rebound against Michigan on the road on Tuesday. Both are key matchups.