Daily Roundup: Day 31

College Basketball continues to be the best sport and Thursday night’s game was just further proof of why that is the case. Purdue gets ranked #1 and immediately loses to a Rutgers team that had struggled all season long on a buzzer-beater from Ron Harper Jr. Meanwhile, Texas lost to Seton Hall in a solid matchup, making it two Top-10 teams that lost. The full daily roundup takes us through what was a small but great slate of College Basketball.

Rutgers pulls off the massive upset of Purdue 

Based on this season’s performances alone, this game should have been a blowout. Add in the fact that Geo Baker was out as well and it seemed like Purdue would be able to roll in this matchup, but that’s why College Basketball is the best. Ron Harper Jr had a huge game, scoring 30 points, including the game-winning heave. It was a dramatic game, Purdue let Rutgers hang around for a little bit too long but led the game 65-59 after a Jaden Ivey windmill dunk. From then Rutgers went on an 8-1 run to take the lead. Trevion Williams scored what seemed to be a game-winning basket before chaos ensued. Ron Harper Jr got the ball and a decent shot attempt, drilling a 40 footer at the buzzer to win the game. The fans stormed the court, as Rutgers got its first win over the #1 ranked team in school history. Purdue will be fine going forward but needs to learn how to put teams away, as they weren’t able to do in this matchup. 

Seton Hall grinds out win against Texas

This is a good old-fashioned rock fight, both teams grinding out possessions and playing tough defense to win a game. In the end, Seton Hall once again walks away with another quality victory that should end up being a quadrant one win. At halftime, the game being tied seemed like a major in-game victory, as Texas’ Tre Mitchell was dominating inside. The Pirates made some great second-half adjustments, they sent extra help to the post and let the Longhorns shoot from the perimeter, which was met with 1-13 shooting from Texas. In the end, Seton Hall got a big three from a previously ice-cold Bryce Aiken and held on for a 64-60 win. In the second time watching Texas this season, I was still unimpressed, the ball got stagnant and the lineups weren’t in tune. They still can get to where they want to go, but it will take longer than we thought for them to be a Top-10 team. 

Iowa State dominates in the Cy-Hawk rivalry 

In a game that was supposed to be pretty close, Iowa State dominated and proved that this hot start was not just a fluke. Izaiah Brockington had a huge game in this one, while the Hawkeyes were held under 70 points for the first time all season. This Cyclones team is an elite defensive team, they play hard, and have enough shot-making to beat good teams. I don’t think they’ll win the Big 12, but this team is deserving of their Top-25 ranking and should be ranked for the rest of this season. This is a major credit to TJ Otzelberger and the job he has done rebuilding this team in such a short time. 

St. John’s survives another scare against Monmouth

Much like most of St. John’s games against opponents they should beat, St. John’s survived and advanced against Monmouth. Monmouth is a decent team, so this shouldn’t be treated like their other buy games this season, as a trio of Shavar Reynolds, George Papas, and Walker Miller are a really good three-star tandem, and this was a team that already won at Cincinnati. Winning 88-83 will not look great on paper for this team, but with Monmouth scoring at a high level, this could have easily been a loss. Posh Alexander certainly has taken a major step forward offensively, while Julian Champagnie remains one of the best pure bucket-getters in the sport, which is why they are able to win games like these. There’s still room for the Red Storm to improve, and they will need to come Big East play, but once again it is big for them to win this type of game when they didn’t necessarily have this as a guaranteed win. 

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