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Embracing Expectations: 4 thoughts on Rutgers 77-70 OT Win Over Minnesota

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Minnesota David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

They did it. Dancing.

Four Thoughts

They Never Make It Easy: This was it. Two wins in their last four games. That’s all they needed and they would be in the Tournament. But this is Rutgers and it is never easy. A loss to Maryland. A win over Indiana. A loss to lowly Nebraska. And then—this game was Rutgers season in a microcosm. They started out struggling. Then they got on a roll. And then they sagged again. And in overtime, Rutgers, ultimately, did what they had to do. After 30 years, countless heartbreaks and a spectacular once in a lifetime pandemic, the Scarlet Knights should be an NCAA lock.

Jacob Young Was a Beast: Early in the game while the Scarlet Knights were struggling, Young was being the point guard and I thought that was a bad decision. I thought the ball should have been in Geo Baker’s hands to run the point. Boy was I wrong. Jacob Young did everything today. He was a man on fire. He completely shut down Marcus Carr. He scored 23 points. Had 5 boards. Passed for 7 assists and had 4 steals. Including a game saver at the end of regulation, when the Golden Gophers would have had a run out. I haven’t been on the Young bandwagon most of this year, but he was an all star today. Wow.

Everyone Chipped In: From ten minutes left in the first half until about ten minutes left in regulation—everyone chipped in. Ron Harper hit threes and got to the rim until foul trouble got the best of him. Geo Baker hit some big time threes, including a deep one and a coveted four point play. Montez Mathis was all over the court. Myles Johnson played fanastic D. It looked like Rutgers in a walk. Everyone played a part today. It wasn’t just Young. It wasn’t just Geo. It was Rutgers.

Dancing: A short fourth thought. By all accounts, Rutgers locked themselves into the NCAA Tournament. No need to stress the rest of the week. No need to scoreboard watch. They should be a lock. Through all the ups and downs of this season—they did it the hard way, but they did it. Enjoy this, Rutgers fans.