The Big Ten had two monster games on Monday, highlighted by a matchup between Michigan State and Purdue. Fans also got to enjoy Illinois go on the road to face Minnesota.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers 64, Michigan State Spartans 63
Heading into tip, this looked like a fantastic matchup and it played out that way, as things went down to the final seconds. Ultimately, Purdue pulled out the win thanks to an impressive 32 points and 17 rebounds from Zach Edey. Fletcher Loyer also had 17 points and four assists.
Purdue improved to 17-1 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play with the win. It’s the program’s best start in KenPom history and could very well be poised to continue with a few more winnable games approaching, beginning with an underwhelming Minnesota team on the road on Thursday. Avoiding a loss there would be huge for the team from a NET perspective.
On the other side, Michigan State fell to 12-6 overall and 4-3 in Big Ten play with the loss. Obviously, it’s a disappointing one. Anytime you get that close to upsetting a top three team, falling short is going to be painful. However, Michigan State remains in good shape overall and will have more than a chance to get back in the Big Ten title race. That will begin with Rutgers at home on Thursday.
-Illinois Fighting Illini 78, Minnesota Golden Gophers 60
This looked like a one-sided affair heading into tip and played out that way, as Illinois cruised to an 18-point win against an overmatched Minnesota team. Illinois improved to 13-5 overall and 4-3 in Big Ten play with the win while the Gophers fell to 7-9 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play with the loss. Matthew Mayer led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Illinois will now prepare for a marquee matchup against Indiana at home on Thursday night while Minnesota will hope to rebound against Purdue at home on Thursday.