Rutgers is the Cinderella the NCAA Tournament needs
CHICAGO — In just a few days, most Americans will do the same thing – fill in brackets. And when everyone’s deciding which nasty 12 out of 5 team they’ll pick, or which team can pull off a deep game out of nowhere, I’m here to tell you that the first game of the day on Thursday. Six at the Big Ten Tournament gave you the right answer. Because even though No. 9 Rutgers lost to No. 1 Purdue 70-65 inside United Center, they got the pitch in the spotlight.
Even if you lose, sometimes you win.
“They are clearly an NCAA Tournament team. I think they can do some real damage,” said Purdue head coach Painter Matt after the game.
If you’re reading this because you’re confused about how the Rutgers can be the team that can break the brackets, don’t feel bad. The Scarlet Knights are ninth in the Big Ten, have a 19-14 record, and have lost to teams like Temple and Seton Hall – a game they were held to a draw by just 43 points – this season. It’s also the show with only eight tournament appearances in the show’s history. In fact, their most infamous moment might have been when former head coach Mike Rice has become a national story in 2012 when he was suspendedLater Firedafter a his video shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players while using gay profanity during practice has been released.
A thorn on the Purdue side
But that was later and this is now. And over the past few years, the Rutgers have been a thorn in the side for Purdue – one of the best teams in the Big Ten and the country. Going into Friday’s game, the Scarlet Knights have led 5-1 in their last six games against the Welsh side.
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In 2021, they beat No. 1 Purdue on their home turf in New Jersey.
And in January, they beat #1 Purdue again. But this time in West Lafayette.
Aside from some bad run late in the game, Friday’s game result was Purdue shooting 14 more free throws than Rutgers and beating Scarlet Knights. on the board at seven o’clock. But in a tight back-and-forth match almost all the way, it was Rutgers hold the biggest lead of the game because of it increased to 12 in the first half.
According to ESPN bracket expert Joe Lunardi, Rutgers has done enough to make it to field 68. Nothing is certain until Sunday’s Selection, however.
When Rutgers started playing in Ten adults in 2014, it looks like the convention was just doing it to hold onto the New York TV market, since the conference reorganization all involved money, media rights, and football—even if that team sucks. But nearly a decade later, the Rutgers have become the detriment of one of the better teams in the conference, as they become Purdue’s arch-enemies. In March, a team that most people ignored, was lots of confidence, and yes Best beaten, just the team that can destroy your frame on the first day. It’s Saint Peter’s – another school in Jersey – last year. It could be this year’s Scarlet Knights.