Revenge Tour, Stop 1: Rutgers, just a few short weeks ago, lost to Ohio State in a tightly contested game. But tonight, Rutgers took everything they had learned and used it to play a smart game to take it right to Ohio State. There was a lot of talk on the broadcast that Ohio State did not want to be at the Tournament after a down year. Their effort was not there. But, historically, the Buckeyes are 9-1 in the first game they played in the Tournament. Now they’re 9-2.
Offensive Rebounding: This is what has carried the Scarlet Knights all year. And today, it’s what won them the game. Rutgers dominated in second effort, and even when the shots weren’t falling, the lay-ups were. Rutgers hustle was on display on the Big Ten Network tonight.
Free Throw Shooting: While it wasn’t perfect, (Corey Sanders had an off night), Rutgers made the shots they needed to. This is the first game this year they won without having to come from behind or win with little time left on the clock. Rutgers made their free throws and held on to the lead. They executed and didn’t panic. They may have given me a panic attack but they didn’t have one.
TWO IN A ROW: Rutgers is playing their best ball right now. For the first time in this conference, Rutgers won two Big Ten games in a row. They have reached 15 wins. You can recruit off this. Steve Pikiell and company need to be sending tapes of the past two games to everyone they are eyeing make sure they’re ready to jump on board. Because if future Steve Pikiell teams have more offensive talent and play defense like this, they will be rolling.
No time to celebrate. I’m writing this at 9:49 pm, which means it is less than 24 hours until a rematch with Northwestern.