Quick Takes: Road wins for Cal, Northwestern
Northwestern is trying to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time – as in ever. To finish the task, the Wildcats need a solid Big Ten campaign. And that means finding ways to win league road games against fellow contenders. Sunday, Northwestern took a step in that direction by winning at Nebraska. While it may not sound all that impressive, consider that the Huskers recently won at Maryland and Indiana despite a shaky start.
Out west, California picked up a road win at USC. The Bears have struggled to win against the better teams on their schedule. So much so, in fact, that Sunday’s victory was the Bears first Top 100 RPI win. They’ve been close in losses to Virginia, Seton Hall, Arizona, and even UCLA. If there’s a fifth team to emerge from the Pac-12, Cal might be the most likely candidate.
Other Quick Takes from Sunday …
- Theo Pinson returned and North Carolina demolished rival NC State in Chapel Hill. Try not to read too much into the final score. It’s difficult, for sure. And definitely not the look NC State wanted.
- Close losses are piling up for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are now 0-3 in B1G play for the first time under coach Thad Matta.
- Minnesota continues to be one of this year’s biggest surprises. The Gophers used a fast start to beat the aforementioned Buckeyes Sunday at The Barn. To date, UM has road wins at Purdue and Northwestern. Impressive stuff.
- UCF’s resume took another hit with a lopsided loss at Connecticut on Sunday.
- A day after winning at Valparaiso, Oakland escaped UIC by one point. College hoops: you just never know.
A light evening in hoops on Monday. Enjoy the CFB National Championship.