Well now that was quite a Super Bowl Sunday — in Evanston.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a number of high-profile upsets during my career and Northwestern beating No. 1 Purdue 64-58 at Welsh-Ryan has to be in the top 10. This was the biggest home win for Northwestern since upsetting Michigan in 2017, a win that ultimately catapulted the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA tournament berth.
The win over Purdue will likely do the same — their second-ever berth — as the Wildcats continue to pile up quad-one wins (6-4).
The play of senior guard Boo Buie this week was sensational for Northwestern, leading the Wildcats to wins at Ohio State and over Purdue. Buie’s 19 points against Ohio State and his 26 against the Boilermakers earned him our March Madness National Player of the Week. The Wildcats are tied with Indiana for second place in the Big Ten and play the Hoosiers for a second time this season (they already won in Bloomington) later this week.
And while Vanderbilt isn’t going to be in the NCAAs unless the Commodores win the SEC tournament, they are our March Madness Team of the Week (and get a spot in the Power 36) after a stunningly good week with a buzzer-beating win over rival Tennessee in Nashville and a road W at Florida. Liam Robbins scored 32 points and grabbed 10 boards in the win over the Gators in Gainesville and Tyrin Lawrence’s 3-pointer beat the Vols. Vanderbilt is now 6-6 in the SEC and 13-12 overall.
The loss to Purdue means we’ve got a shakeup at the top of the power rankings:
1. Houston (2): The Cougars are atop my power rankings and deservedly so after holding serve in the American.
2. Alabama (4): The Tide beat rival Auburn and are still undefeated in the SEC.
3. Purdue (1): The Boilermakers drop down after falling at Northwestern.
WILDIN' WILDCATS: Northwestern surges late to shock No. 1 Purdue men's basketball 64-58 on Super Sunday
4. UCLA (9): The Bruins got a sweep in Oregon and are the clear favorite to win the Pac-12.
Got the win, 𝐝𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬.— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) February 12, 2023
See you 𝑻𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒅𝒂𝒚!#GoBruins 🏀 pic.twitter.com/cOFP40Vz2A
5. Indiana (8): The Hoosiers followed up the Purdue win by beating Rutgers and winning at Michigan.
6. Texas (5): The Longhorns are currently atop the loaded Big 12.
7. Virginia (22): Controversy aside, the Cavaliers appear to be the best in the ACC — for now.
8. Baylor (10): Look out for the Bears, who are storming back in the Big 12.
9. Marquette (13): Shaka Smart is the Big East coach of the year.
10. Miami (30): The Hurricanes are playing their best basketball at the right time.
11. Tennessee (3): Rough week for the Vols, losing at the buzzer TWICE.
SATURDAY RECAP: No. 6 Tennessee falls at buzzer (again), Stanford stuns No. 4 Arizona, more from a super Saturday in men's hoops
12. Kansas (17): The Jayhawks are still the team of record to knock off in the Big 12.
13. Creighton (19): The Bluejays are back to playing the way they were projected in the preseason.
14. Oklahoma State (31): Welcome to the Big 12 top-four chase Cowboys.
15. Xavier (15): A crazy ending at Butler may cost the Musketeers the Big East title.
16. Kansas State (18): Still bullish on the potential of the Wildcats.
17. Northwestern (NR): The Wildcats shocked No. 1 Purdue and are tied with Indiana for second in the Big Ten.
Court stormed. pic.twitter.com/o4XAQhWmni— Northwestern Basketball (@NUMensBball) February 13, 2023
18. Maryland (12): Love the way the Terps are playing now. They get No. 1 Purdue Thursday.
19. Illinois (24): The Illini got the best of Rutgers and are ready for the stretch run.
20. Saint Mary’s (11): The Gaels got clipped by LMU, just like Gonzaga.
21. Gonzaga (28): The Zags escaped with a win over BYU but still trail Saint Mary’s by one game.
22. Texas A&M (34): The Aggies are two games behind Alabama and two ahead of Tennessee.
23. Iowa (14): The Hawkeyes still need to prove more on the road, but they can score with any team in the country.
24. Pitt (21): The Panthers have zoomed to the top of the ACC with five-straight wins.
SCOREBOARD: Stay up to date with every game
25. Missouri (NR): The Tigers got the buzzer-beater win at Tennessee to move into a tie for fourth in the SEC.
26. Arizona (7): I’m still bullish on the Wildcats but the loss at Stanford is going to sting.
27. Iowa State (6): The Cyclones are on a bit of a slide but that’s life in the Big 12.
28. Rutgers (16): The Scarlet Knights had a brutal week going to Indiana and Illinois, minus Mawot Mag.
29. San Diego State (33): The Aztecs simply know how to win late games.
30. Nevada (32): Steve Alford has the Wolf Pack primed for an NCAA tournament berth.
31. Wake Forest (NR): The Demon Deacons got a solid W over North Carolina.
32. Vanderbilt (NR): The Commodores beat Tennessee and won at Florida.
Make that THREE wins in a row.— Vanderbilt Men's Basketball (@VandyMBB) February 12, 2023
33. Providence (27): The Friars got clipped by a desperate St. John’s at the Garden.
34. TCU (29): The Horned Frogs are competitive but just in a brutal Big 12.
35. UConn (NR): The Huskies were within a possession of getting the W in Omaha.
36. NC State (25): The Wolfpack are holding on for a spot in the field, barely.
Dropped out: Kentucky (20), USC (23), Duke (26), VCU (35), Akron (36)