The Big Ten only had one game on Wednesday night after Minnesota’s matchup against Penn State was postponed due to COVID-19 issues. As such, Iowa went on the road to face Rutgers in the night’s only conference action.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 48, Iowa Hawkeyes 46
Though this game didn’t attract a ton of national intrigue, it was a quietly important one for the league and both sides. Iowa was hoping to add another win toward its push for a national rankings and Rutgers desperately needed another quality win to improve its NCAA resume. It figured to be a pivotal game for both sides.
Ultimately, the game ended up being extremely competitive. Neither team could get its offense going and momentum shifted with each basket. However, Ron Harper did just enough to push Rutgers to a win and finished with 15 points and five rebounds. The Scarlet Knights also did a great job against Keegan Murray, holding one of the Big Ten’s most prolific scorers to 13 points and an 83 offensive rating.
Rutgers improved to 11-6 overall and 5-2 in Big Ten play with the win. It followed up a quality win over Maryland on the road last Saturday. Rutgers has now won six of its last eight games and really seems to be trending up in most NCAA projections. The Scarlet Knights were only 105th in the NET ratings at the time of this article, but it was an eight spot jump from earlier in the week. And with more winnable games on the docket, it wouldn’t be shocking to see that improve substantially by the end of the month.
For Iowa, this is going to be a tough one to stomach in the days ahead. Not only because the Hawkeyes were in position to win the game and project as a better team than Rutgers, but also because of just how ugly Iowa played. Iowa entered with one of the nation’s best offenses and finished with 46 points. Fans will have to hope that doesn’t repeat.
Rutgers will now move toward a game against Minnesota on the road on Saturday. Meanwhile, Iowa will hope to get back on track against Penn State at home on Saturday.