Corey Sanders: One of the things a lot of Rutgers fans have been clamoring for is for Pikiell to take the offensive chains off Sanders. His defense has been incredible this year, but at times it’s seemed to wear him down on the offensive end. Not tonight. Corey got to the rim effortlessly and his shots were falling. And Corey has a nose for the ball when he needs to. Think of his famous three against Illinois and then today’s game winner. Both were wild shots that had no chance of going in, but the follow up off the offensive rebound were good basketball smarts.
A 40 Minute Effort: The effort Steve Pikiell was looking for all conference season was finally here. Rutgers dominated the first half and completely shut Nebraska down in the final 7 minutes of the half. Nebraska really upped the effort to get back in the game. It didn’t appear to me that Rutgers let up, the Cornhuskers just had a few guys get hot. But Rutgers played elite defense nearly the entire game. This is the kind of defense where you start to think... if they just add a few more talented pieces...
This Was the RAC: When the noise bleeds through on the TV side (more on that in a moment), you know the place is rumbling. Good for the fans to step up and get to see this team play in person. And it’s great that Rutgers finally got a conference win. This is the sort of game that can give the team confidence and allow some momentum to grow. This might not be the only Big Ten win this season. Plenty of chances coming up.
I Wasn’t at the RAC: I was busy helping brew a beer to promote my next book (pre-order, natch). So I was following the game on my phone, knowing I would be able to avoid the score. So, of course, Rutgers won in dramatic fashion. While I’ve seen some wild games in my time (Florida, UConn, Syracuse, and Wisconsin come to mind), I did miss the famous Villanova game from year one because of work. When that happens, expect madness.