Football normally rules on Thanksgiving week but thanks to the lateness of the holiday this year there was no shortage of great college basketball. From major tournaments for fictional cities to the absolute demolition of teams you probably have never heard of, the B1G ran the gamut this week in terms of basketball. I spent my week alternating between watching some of the better tournaments (I caught all of Maui and most of the Old Spice Classic, Cancun, and the Battle 4 Atlantis) and going to some football games (I was in Memorial Stadium for the Iowa victory over the Huskers and also watched my first ever Kansas football game in Lawrence).
In case you spent the entire weekend in a turkey and football induced coma, here is a recap of what happened this past week in B1G basketball.
The Hoosiers had a pretty uneventful week, dropping Evansville 77-46 on Tuesday. Hanner Mosquera-Perea led the Crimson and Cream in scoring and Noah Vonleh recorded his third double double of the season. IU took the rest of the week off to prepare for their upcoming match up with Syracuse in the B1G/ACC Challenge. Indiana also hosts North Florida on Saturday.
Illinois traveled to Las Vegas las Tuesday and knocked off UNLV 61-59. They followed that up by barely scrapping by IPFW on Friday 57-55, despite the fact that IPFW shot an absolutely miserable 2-13 from the charity stripe. Rayvonte Rice led the Illini in both games, scoring 25 points against the Rebels, including the game winning layup with 27 seconds left, and 17 against the Mastodons. Tracy Abrams also had a solid week, giving Rice the assist that led to the game winning score in Las Vegas and hitting the go ahead jumper against IPFW that gave the put the Illini ahead for good.
The Illini travel to Atlanta this week to face Georgia Tech.
The Hawkeyes traveled to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas this week. Their first opponent was Xavier and the Musketeers were on fire early. Iowa did not take a lead in the game until a Gabe Olaseni free throw in overtime but the Hawks still managed to rally and advance with a 77-74 final. In the second round Fran McCaffery's squad took on UTEP and dominated the Miners 89-53. That took Iowa to the final game where they faced Villanova, who took down Kansas in the semi-final. The Hawkeyes seemed to be coasting, leading 42-33 at intermission and extending their lead to as much as 15 during the second half. However, the Wildcats hit nine three point shots in the second half and overtime to knock off the Hawks 88-83.
Iowa hosts Notre Dame on Tuesday and then travels to Des Moines Saturday for a neutral site contest against the Drake Bulldogs.
The Wolverines destroyed Coppin State 87-45 with freshman guard Zak Irvin leading the scoring. Irvin notched 24 points off the bench and, along with Caris LeVert and Glenn Robinson, was one of three players for the Maize and Blue to score in double digits. Michigan travels to Cameron Indoor this week to face Duke in the B1G/ACC Challenge and then hosts Houston Baptist on Saturday.
Michigan State (7-0)
The Spartan's blasted Mount St. Mary's 98-65 even while starting mostly backups (Keith Appling, Adrein Payne, and Branden Dawson all came off the bench though each player also played at least 20 minutes). Up next is a home date with North Carolina for the B1G/ACC Challenge, the only game for the Green and White this week.
The Gophers traveled to Maui early in the week where they started off by taking on the Syracuse Orange. Richard Pitino's crew fought hard in this one, trailing by only three at the half but the Orange came out hot, extending their lead to 14 early in the second stanza before holding on to win the game 75-67. Minnesota then fell to the loser's bracket where they faced Arkansas. The Gophers ran out to a 40-35 halftime lead but Arkansas' up tempo press forced mistakes from the Maroon and Gold in the second half. The Hogs' pressure defense keyed a 52 point outburst in the second half and propelled them to an 87-73 win over Minny. Now down 0-2, Minnesota faced tournament host Chaminade in the final game. They started without much intensity, allowing the Silverswords to claim a five point half time lead, but the Gophers got hot in the second half and cruised to an 83-68 victory.
Minnesota hosts Florida State in the B1G/ACC Challenge on Tuesday and the New Orleans Pirates visit the Barn on Saturday.
Led by junior guard Deverell Biggs, the Huskers knocked off Northern Illinois at home the week by a score of 63-58. The five point margin was only three points greater than the University of Nebraska-Omaha's road victory over the Huskies the first week of the season. Nebraska hosts Miami Wednesday in the B1G/ACC Challenge before traveling to Omaha to face Creighton on Sunday.
Northwestern started the week at home against Gardner-Webb and the Wildcats took over at halftime and cruised to a 72-59 victory. Then the Cats headed to Las Vegas where they took on Missouri and UCLA. THey lost both games by double digits, 78-67 to Mizzou and 95-79 to UCLA. The WIldcats actually led Missouri at intermission 39-34 but the Tigers used a 14 point run to start the second half and never trailed again. UCLA led for all but the first 40 seconds of the game and was never really challenged by the boys in purple after the Bruins started the game on an 18-7 run. Northwestern will travel to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State on Wednesday and then return to Evanston to host the Western Michigan Broncos on Saturday.
Ohio State (6-0)
The Buckeyes cruised past their two non conference opponents this week, taking down Wyoming 65-50 and North Florida 99-64. Junior center Amir Williams had a solid weekend for the Bucks, notching a double double against the Cowboys and then leading the team with 18 points against the Ospreys. Ohio State hosts Maryland on Wednesday and Central Connecticut State on Saturday.
Penn State (6-2)
Penn State started the week off by downing Monmouth 84-52 before traveling to Brooklyn for the Barclays Center Classic. In the first round they faced St. John's and Tim Frazier scored 10 of his 29 total points in overtime to lead State over the Red Storm 89-82. D.J. Newbill tacked on 25 points of his own in the contest and Ross Travis was one rebound away from a double double. In the championship they faced Ole Miss and Marshall Henderson. Henderson and Jarvis Summers each tallied 19 points to lead the Rebels to a 79-76 victory. D.J. Newbil again broke the 20 point mark with 23 and Ross Travis managed a double double, grabbing 13 rebounds and 17 points.
The Nittany Lions head to the Peterson Events Center tomorrow to face Pittsburgh in the B1G/ACC Challenge before facing Marshall in Happy Valley on Saturday.
The Boilermakers headed to Orlando this past week for the Old Spice Classic. In the first round they took on Oklahoma State who ran up a 52-29 half time lead and held on in the second half to defeat the Boilers 97-87. Purdue then took on Washington State who came into the contest on a three game losing streak. The Boilers held a comfortable 27-17 lead at the break but the Cougars scored 52 points in the second half to stun Purdue 69-54. After an 0-2 start to the tournament, Purdue took on Siena in their final game of the tournament. This time it was Matt Painter's crew that came back at halftime, overcoming a 13 point deficit at intermission to drop the Saints by a final tally of 68-63.
Purdue hosts Boston College on Wednesday and Eastern Michigan on Saturday this week.
Bo Ryan's team traveled to Cancun this weekend where they opened up their two game tournament with a match up against St. Louis. The Badgers were impressive, never trailing in the second half and leading by as much as 15, they smothered the Bilikens with a 63-57 final score. In the championship round Wisconsin took on West Virginia and it was more of the same as the Badgers used an early 18-0 run to take care of the Mountaineers 70-63. Sam Dekker scored a career high 21 points against West Virginia in addition to leading the team with 12 rebounds. Up next the Badgers travel to Virginia for the B1G/ACC Challenge before hosting Marquette on Saturday.