Wisconsin basketball was almost given a gift last night…almost. Instead, it appears to be Purdue on the receiving end.
Chris Collins and the surprising Northwestern Wildcats played on the road at Purdue yesterday. The Boilermakers scratched out a 105-96 overtime victory thanks to 30 points and 15 rebounds from Zach Edey, 26 points on 5/7 shooting from three from Lance Jones and, most importantly, a free throw disparity of 46 to eight. Yes, Purdue went 29/46 from the free throw line while Northwestern went only 6/8.
The Boilermakers could have five Zach Edeys on the floor and get hacked every time down the court, but that still wouldn’t explain one team shooting nearly 40 more free throws than the other. Last night was just a terribly officiated basketball game.
For Wisconsin purposes, a Northwestern victory in the contest would’ve given the Badgers a full-game lead atop the Big Ten standings with a tough two-game stretch upcoming — at Nebraska tonight and home against Purdue on Sunday. Instead, Wisconsin and Purdue are technically tied entering the Badgers’ contest tonight at Nebraska.
Regardless of the Big Ten ramifications and Wisconsin fans’ rooting interests, the officiating did give us an all-time ejection from Wildcats head coach Chris Collins:
This is just an incredible and hilarious ejection by Northwestern’s Chris Collins.
– On the court during play
– Shaking Purdue’s hands on way out
– Pumping up the crowd
— Jake Marsh (@PMTsportsbiz) February 1, 2024
And a terrific postgame monologue. I’d call it a rant, but it was too calm and well-directed.
Chris Collins when asked about the officiating/foul discrepancy that led to his eventual ejection
From the line
— Hoop Informatics (@HoopInformatics) February 1, 2024
I think Collins is in the right here, even if it meant losing his mind at the end of the game. Now Wisconsin will hope it doesn’t experience the same fate when Edey and the Boilermakers visit Madison on Sunday afternoon.