February 2, 2023

Raven Tribune

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The Rutgers continue their scramble through the Big Ten with a blast over Illinois: Is NCAA's spectacular show closed?

The Rutgers continue their scramble through the Big Ten with a blast over Illinois: Is NCAA’s spectacular show closed?

The moment was right for another massive win in it A whole month of them.

Rutgersagain historical week, It hosted one of the best teams in the country. jersey mike stadium, packed in gills With wine back on the menu and the stands darkening, it was a cauldron. chance to survive My dear college basketball world there was Scarlett Nights Fingertips.

And Rutgers – a program that has failed so many times in the past, and was a losing cause at the beginning of February – left no doubt that it would benefit from it.

The Crimson Knights obliterated No. 12 in Illinois with a 70-59 win at Piscataway Wednesday night to continue one of the greatest stretches in program history. They may have already clinched a berth in the NCAA Championship, but at worst, a win or two is more than an unpredictable sprint into a full-scale attempt in program history. And depending on how the Bordeaux-Northwestern game shakes up on Wednesday, she will likely be in the first place game in the Big Ten by the end of the night.

Rutgers (16-9, 10-5) won four consecutive games against seeded opponents — No. 13 Michigan State, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 14 Wisconsin and now Illinois — becoming the first unranked team to defeat four consecutive ranked teams in college basketball history, According to ESPN statistics and information.

The Crimson Knights are 31-3 at home with fans in the stands for the past three seasons, including two wins over Eleni (18-7, 11-4), who have the most road wins in a Big Ten game (18) casually. the past three seasons.

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The most exciting thing? This wasn’t even close to most of the game.

Rutgers avenged him 35 points loss for Illinois In Champaign in December in an incredible way, I topped by 23 points with 6:45 to play and control every aspect of the game. The score was very close to a break of late as Eleni advanced 17-4 to cut the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 10 points with 2:50 to play, but Rutgers regained his composure.

The second-placed runner-up Cliff Omuroy, who had the toughest game of the night against Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Kofi Cockburn, was the biggest match of the breakout season. He got a double-double 15 minutes before the end of the game, and finished the match with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He played a big role in the Scarlet Knights as he beat Eleni by 18 plates and Cockburn caught 20 points in an 8 of 14 shot.

He was aided by base guard Paul Mulcahy, whose elite performance continued into February with 13 points and seven assists, and from Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Becker, who both hit big shots en route to a 23-point total. Caleb McConnell made several defensive plays in a timely manner with seven rebounds and four steals. He has 18 steals in his last four games.

The Crimson Knights defensively swept Illini, sending them a 39% shot. For the second game in a row, Rutgers’ defense had some luck with three points: Eleni, who entered the game with a 26% three-point lead, missed his first 13 attempts from deep and finished 6 of 23 from behind. Arch.

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It all culminated in one of the greatest regular season wins in program history.

If he’s not in the tournament, the victory puts Rutgers in a hair of March Madness, with two wins in the last five games of the regular season enough to secure his ticket. It makes the Scarlet Knights legitimate contenders for the regular-season Big Ten title, which was amazing to say in November, not to mention early February when it looked like their season was over and their post-season destination NIT.

Rutgers—who was the laughing stock of major college basketball in the early weeks of the season when he needed extra time to beat Lehigh and then lost to Lafayette—is the biggest major title in college basketball, a story of Cinderella on the road to a second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance .

12 days ago, that seemed highly improbable at best. After his latest win, nothing seems impossible for this team.

Thank you for counting on us to provide journalism you can trust.

Brian Fonseca can be reached at [email protected]