The Big Ten had four games on Tuesday night, highlighted by Michigan State in the Champions Classic and two Big Ten teams in the Gavitt Games. Ultimately, the league went unbeaten on the night, which turned a lot of heads nationally.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Michigan State Spartans 86, No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats 77 (2OT)
While Spartans fans were hoping Michigan State would show up in this one, most expected a loaded Kentucky squad to show up and grab a win over an unranked Spartan squad. The talent seemed largely one-sided and the projections matched that deficit.
However, Michigan State had other thoughts.
From the opening tip, it was clear the Spartans were ready to play. Joey Hauser went off for 23 points and Malik Hall had one of the best games in his career, finishing with 20 points and five rebounds. Mady Sissoko also played well yet again with 16 points for himself. The Spartans were able to keep things close early, then capitalized before half. The two teams then battled it out into overtime, where Michigan State narrowly pulled off the win.
Obviously, it’s hard to understate the significance of this win. After Friday’s narrow defeat to Gonzaga, the team needed a bounce back and this certainly fits the bill. The Wildcats are one of the most talented teams in the country and taking them down on a neutral court should be massive for the team’s resume on Selection Sunday. The frontcourt also represented yet again, showing what this team can be capable of later on.
Michigan State improved to 2-1 on the season with the win and will now return home to East Lansing to prepare for Villanova at home on Friday night. The Spartans will be favored in that one. A win there and things could really heat up going into Thanksgiving.
-Maryland Terrapins 76, Binghamton Bearcats 52
The Terps faced their third straight subpar opponent to open the season on Tuesday night. Fortunately for fans, things ended well yet again, with Maryland scoring a 24-point win at home to improve to 3-0 on the season. Julian Reese led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds. A few of the team’s underclassmen also got some action, including Noah Batchelor and Caelum Swanton-Rodger. Maryland will now prepare for a really challenging game against Saint Louis on Saturday.
This projected as a really interesting game and lived up to the hype, as the Wildcats went on the road and picked up a quality win against a respectable Hoya squad. Chase Audige led the way with 17 points, four assists, and four rebounds. Boo Buie also had 12 points. The win was Northwestern’s first road win over a top 130 team on KenPom since beating Michigan State in East Lansing last January.
Northwestern will now prepare for a home game against Purdue Fort Wayne on Friday. It’s the team’s final tune up before heading to Mexico for Thanksgiving.
This was a revenge game for Purdue, who was hoping to get back at Marquette for a loss in the Gavitt Games a few years ago. Fortunately for Boiler fans, Purdue was able to get the job done, grabbing a 75-70 win at home. Zach Edey led the way with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Braden Smith also had 20 points.
Unfortunately for fans, the game was far closer than fans had hoped heading into tip, as Purdue needed a frantic effort in the closing minutes to escape with the victory. The team’s defense looked suspect and David Joplin went off for the Eagles, finishing with 21 points in 21 minutes. It leaves Matt Painter and his staff with some areas to fix moving forward.
Still, Purdue did get the win and improved to 3-0 overall. The Boilers will now prepare for a trip out west for Thanksgiving, which will start with a game against West Virginia on Thursday. Expect a physical battle down low.
-Wisconsin Badgers 56, Green Bay Phoenix 45
This was expected to be an easy win for the Badgers and that’s how things turned out, as Wisconsin cruised to a double-digit win over Green Bay. Jordan Davis led the way with 11 points and three rebounds, though it was largely a team effort to get the win. Wisconsin’s offense only scored 0.92 points per possession, but it was enough to grab the win to improve to 3-0 on the season. The Badgers will now prepare for the Bahamas, where the team will face Dayton to open things up next Wednesday.