A historic season came to an end last Sunday, as No. 10 seed Rutgers men’s basketball fell to No. 2 seed Houston 63-60 at Lucas Oil Stadium in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet Knights broke new ground for the program this season, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. On Friday night, the team defeated No. 7 seed Clemson for the first NCAA Tournament win for RU since 1983.
The Scarlet Knights completed the landmark campaign with a record of 16-12. While playing in the best conference in the nation, RU won 11 games over Big Ten teams, marking double-digit conference wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1989-90 and 1990-91.
“This team made history,” head coach Steve Pikiell. “They got through a two-year journey, all the obstacles they had to fight through. They now become the standard for what we want to be here at Rutgers.”
Rutgers got 14 points from Geo Baker and 10 points from Montez Mathis. The team shot 44 percent, holding Houston to 37 percent, but the Cougars claimed a 39-29 advantage in rebounding.
“We’ve been through so much this year,” Geo Baker said. “It’s been two years leading up to this moment. To lose like that today was tough. Afterwards, everyone was just saying how much we loved each other and how proud we were of what we’d accomplished.”
No. 21/23 and sixth-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball (14-5) fell to 11-seed BYU (19-5) by a score of 69-66 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday afternoon, held at Strahan Arena on the campus of Texas State.
The Scarlet Knights end the 2020-21 season, which was highlighted by overcoming a five-week COVID-19 pause with its longest conference winning streak in 17 years. Rutgers made its 26th appearance at the NCAA Tournament, and 17th under head coach C. Vivian Stringer, who coached in her 28th NCAA Tournament in her 50th year as a college head coach.
“I thought our attitude was great and we fought, but sometimes you miss some shots in this game,” Coach Stringer said. “We were right there on the press, we got them to fold. They got a few breaks, but nothing to take away from BYU and their coaches. They did a great job. I was disappointed that we couldn’t hit more shots in a physical game, which we’re usually ready for playing in the Big Ten.”