The Big Ten had three games on Monday. None were played against marquee opponents but all were important for building the league’s resume.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Northwestern Wildcats 89, Northern Illinois Huskies 67
The Wildcats entered Monday’s matchup coming off a week off. Fortunately, the team got right back on track with a 22-point win over Northern Illinois. Boo Buie led the way with 23 points, seven assists, and two rebounds. Matthew Nicholson also had an impressive 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
The win pushed Northwestern to 5-1 overall. And while Northern Illinois isn’t a great team, the Huskies are at least flirting with the top 150 on KenPom, which means the win might be worth something on Selection Sunday. That’s welcome news for a program hoping to get back to the NCAA Tournament this March.
All eyes will now tune on Friday, when Northwestern prepares for a massive home matchup against No. 1 ranked Purdue. An upset there could drastically reshape the team’s expectations for the season.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights 71, Saint Peter’s Peacocks 40
The Scarlet Knights scored a fifth straight win on Monday night, besting Saint Peter’s at home by an impressive 31-point margin. Noah Fernandes led the way with 19 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Clifford Omoruyi also had 17 points and eight rebounds.
Rutgers’ win pushed the team to 5-1 overall. The Scarlet Knights will now prepare for a marquee matchup against Illinois at home on Saturday. It’s a chance for the team to score its first marquee win of the season.
-Wisconsin Badgers 71, Western Illinois Leathernecks 49
The Badgers cruised in this one, pulling away early and unloading the bench in the closing minutes. Steven Crowl led the way with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. Chucky Hepburn also had 13 points, two assists, and two rebounds.
Wisconsin improved to 5-2 overall with the win. The Badgers will now prepare for a massive home game against Marquette on Saturday. Pull off the upset and the team could quickly move up the rankings.