The Big Ten had three intriguing games on the slate on Sunday, highlighted by a marquee matchup between Michigan State and Purdue in the early afternoon. All three games ended up being decided by double-digits.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers 77, Michigan State Spartans 61
On paper, this figured to be a potential stumbling block for the Boilers. The team was overdue for a letdown performance, Michigan State was coming off a huge win over Iowa on Thursday, and the teams had played a first close in the first meeting between the two a few weeks ago. Instead, Purdue delivered blow after blow to the Spartans and cruised to a 16-point win. Zach Edey led the way with an incredible 38 points and 13 rebounds.
Purdue improved to 21-1 overall and 10-1 in Big Ten play with the win. The team has now won eight straight and easily has the nation’s best resume to date, which is wild considering some of the preseason and early expectations. Edey is also the National Player of the Year frontrunner and should be an easy pick for Big Ten Player of the Year.
On the other side, Michigan State fell to 14-8 overall and 6-5 in Big Ten play with the loss. It’s the team’s second loss in three games. The team is also an underwhelming 2-4 over its last five games. The Big Ten title is now out the window and the goal for the Spartans now needs to be recovering and building the team’s resume for Selection Sunday.
The Boilers will return to action on Wednesday at home against Penn State. Michigan State will hope to rebound on Saturday in New York City against Rutgers.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 93, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 82
This projected as an even game, at least on paper, and played out that way, as Iowa controlled, but didn’t dominate the matchup. Kris Murray led the way with 24 points and six rebounds. Iowa’s offense simply proved to be too much, even against a loaded Rutgers defensive group.
Iowa improved to 13-8 overall land 5-5 in Big Ten play with the win while Rutgers fell to 14-7 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Hawkeyes will hope to build off this win on Tuesday at home against Northwestern. Rutgers will get Minnesota at home on Wednesday.
The Nittany Lions absolutely rolled in this one, turning what was an early game in the opening minutes into a rout by the early second half. Michigan’s defense was absolutely shredded in the game and four Nittany Lions finished with double-digits. Penn State eventually secured an 83-61 win to improve to 14-7 overall and 5-5 in Big Ten play. Michigan fell to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in Big Ten play with the loss.
Penn State will hope to carry over its momentum on the road against top ranked Purdue on Wednesday while Michigan will hope to bounce back on the road against Northwestern on Thursday night. Both games will be challenging.