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12/17 Big Ten Recap: Nebraska Beats Kansas State

Recap all the Big Ten action from Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Kansas State Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only had two games on Sunday, but both looked relatively interesting. Illinois hosted Colgate in the early matchup and Nebraska battled Kansas State after that.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers 62, Kansas State Wildcats 46

The Huskers went on the road for only the second time this season to face old Big 12 foe Kansas State. Fortunately for Husker fans, this one didn’t go like the first and Nebraska was eventually able to escape with a valuable road win.

The game itself was pretty competitive early on. Kansas State controlled the opening minutes and the teams exchanged blows after that. However, Nebraska began to pull away in the second half thanks to some quality defense. Kansas State was held to just 0.69 points per possession and 46 points on the night. Rienk Mast led the way for Nebraska, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists.

Nebraska improved to 9-2 overall following the win and fans have to be thrilled with the progress the Huskers have shown to date. This has easily been the team’s best start of the Fred Hoiberg era and the team only seems to be getting better. The Huskers are now up to 42nd on KenPom and on pace to win around 20 games, at least according to KenPom’s numbers. That would be good enough to put Nebraska in serious NCAA consideration.

The team will hope to keep things rolling this week, with North Dakota at home on Wednesday. The Huskers will be significant favorites.

The Rest:

-No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini 74, Colgate Raiders 57

Illinois entered this one with the advantage and lived up to the billing, grabbing a double-digit lead and never looking back. Quincy Guerrier led the way with 15 points and seven rebounds. Coleman Hawkins also had 16 points and seven rebounds.

Illinois improved to 8-2 overall. The team will now prepare for a marquee rivalry battle against Missouri in St. Louis on Friday. Illinois figures to be a sizable favorite heading into that one, but it’s been a wild series over the years, so it’s hard to project what might happen. There’s a reason it’s one of the better rivalry games out there.