Northwestern men’s hoops pulls off a rare feat vs Michigan State


EVANSTON – Just a few days before, they played their last contest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and things didn’t go well.

After a positive start to the season, including a one-point loss to No. 13 Auburn in Cancun, Northwestern was dominated last Tuesday night in a 29-point loss to Pittsburgh at Welsh Ryan Arena.

But the Wildcats used the start of another part of their season as a way to get back on their feet quickly, and in the process, they made a little bit of history.

Chris Collins’ team shook off the bad loss to the Panthers at home in their Big Ten opener against No. 20 Michigan State and played their best game of the season. Northwestern led by a point going into the half and held off every challenge by the Spartans the final 20 minutes to pull off a 70-63 upset victory at the Breslin Center.

It’s the second-straight win the Wildcats have gotten against Michigan State in East Lansing, knocking off the tenth-ranked Spartans 64-62 on January 15th last season. The late time that happened was 60 years ago when Northwestern beat their Big Ten foe on the road in the 1960-1961 season and the 1961-1962 season.

Head coach Bill Rohr’s team knocked off Michigan State 77-62 on January 21, 1961 and then beat them the next season 71-70 on January 27, 1962.

It’s also the third-straight year that Northwestern has beaten a ranked Spartans team as they upset then fourth-ranked Michigan State in Evanston on December 20, 2020.

Boo Buie, who led the Wildcats with 20 points, helped to close out the game as he scored six of his team’s final eight points. That included a hoop with 25 seconds left to push their lead to three and a pair of free throws with ten seconds left that finally closed out the upset.

Larry Hawley featured the upset as part of his “Random Hawlight” for this week, which you can watch in the video above.

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