It was a pretty solid weekend for Big Ten hoops, all things considered. A couple games of note from the weekend, then looking ahead to a week which includes the Gavitt Games Tip-Off.
#11 Indiana 103, #3 Kansas 99 (OT)
The Hoosiers rode 26 points from James Blackmon, Jr. and out-rebounded the Jayhawks 50-39 en route to an upset win in Honolulu. Thomas Bryant was a beast inside (19 points and 10 boards), and Curtis Jones came off the bench with the hot hand, going 3/5 from deep for 15 points.
Frank Mason III sent the game to overtime with a pair of late free throws, but in the extra session the Hoosiers got a timely three from Jones (who had 7 of their final 9 points) and a late dunk to seal it. Look out for Indiana if they keep this momentum rolling through the non-conference.
#10 Arizona 65, #12 Michigan State 63
I said in the preview that Michigan State would have to get out and run to avoid letting the Wildcats set up shop in the paint, and while the Spartans jumped out to a massive lead, the Wildcats patiently clawed their way back and got a coast-to-coast Kadeem Allen layup with :01.3 left to pull it out at the Armed Forces Classic.
The 19 turnovers for Michigan State are of concern, but with a young lineup there’s a lot to be optimistic about in East Lansing, chief among them Miles Bridges. The freshman guard from Flint went for 21 points and 7 boards and grabbed a key offensive rebound that set up Tum Tum Nairns’ game-tying 3. But the Spartans couldn’t stop Allen and start the season with a loss (though a good one, to be sure).
#25 Maryland 62, American 56
Oof. Thank goodness for Melo Trimble, because without his 22 points we’re talking about a bad, bad upset for the Terps. They’ll need to get their raw lineup settled in quick and that requires much, much better shooting (38.5% from the field, 28.6% from deep).
Albany 87, Penn State 81
We won’t dwell too long on this one, but it’s a noteworthy loss for a Big Ten team. Pat Chambers did get his wish for 80+ points per game, though, so there’s something.
#9 wisconsin 79, Central Arkansas 47
#15 Purdue 109, McNeese State 65
Rutgers 86, Molloy (D-II) 57
Minnesota 86, Louisiana-Lafayette 74
Northwestern 94, Mississippi Valley State 63
Michigan 76, Howard 58
Ohio State 78, Navy 68
Illinois 81, SE Missouri State 62
Iowa 91, Kennesaw State 74
Penn State 82, Duquesne 74
Tied at 56 with 10:19 to play, Penn State opened up a 9-point lead with a Lamar Stevens dunk with 3:49 left and held on to beat the Dukes. Stevens had 24 points on 6/12 shooting and was an impressive 12/13 from the charity stripe.
Rutgers 87, Drexel 66
Yes, I know you think this game is not that notable, but Rutgers looked competent! That’s exciting! Drexel also might be really bad, but the Scarlet Knights had 6 different players in double-digits and got a double-double from junior forward Deshawn Freeman (10 and 10 boards) while amassing a dominant 56-29 rebounding advantage. Look out for the Scarlet Knights’ height.
Michigan 77, IUPUI 65
Iowa 116, Savannah State 84
Illinois 79, Northern Kentucky 64
Nebraska 83, Sacramento State 61
#15 Purdue vs. #3 Villanova (-3)
6pm || BTN
This is the game you tune in to tonight. Caleb Swanigan will look to have his way with the Wildcats inside, but the guards of Villanova will make life tough for the Boilermakers in West Lafayette. It’s hard to say “look out” for any of Villanova’s players, but sixth man Mikal Bridges has the potential to come off the bench and pour in points for the Wildcats.
I had Purdue losing this game in my preseason lineup and I’m sticking with that, but I can totally see the Boilermakers finding a way to pull this off at home.
Minnesota (-1) vs. UT-Arlington
7pm || BTN+
Minus-1 is what the Gophers are getting at home, per ESPN. That’s gotta be a typo, right? No? Welp.
Amir Coffey is already being hailed in Minnesota as the Swiss Army knife with the smarts and wherewithal on the court (see his alley-oop to Bakary Konate as proof), and the Gophers could quietly amass double-digit wins against a soft, soft non-conference slate.
Northwestern (-17) vs. Eastern Washington
8pm || BTN
The ‘Cats host an Eagles club that has shown a predilection to be feisty from deep, but Dererk Pardon and Gavin Skelly outclassed an undersized Mississippi Valley State team on the glass and should do the same to Eastern Washington.
Ohio State (-24) vs. North Carolina Central
8pm || ESPNU
Why is this on ESPNU? Anyways, the Buckeyes should roll.
Full previews and betting lines to come tomorrow.
Maryland at Georgetown
5:30pm || FS1
The Terps fell out of the Top 25 with their squeaker over the Eagles, while the Hoyas got 32 from Rodney Pryor in a romp over SC Upstate.
#13 Michigan State vs. #2 Kentucky
Madison Square Garden
6pm || ESPN
You have to wonder if later in the year when the lineup has settled down a bit, Spartan fans are looking at this brutal opener to the season and wondering “What if...”
#9 wisconsin at #22 Creighton
7:30pm || FS1
Creighton’s good again? Why the hell did no one tell me?
Penn State vs. Grand Canyon
Nittany Lions should handle the ‘Lopes.
Nebraska vs. University of Mary
Illinois vs. McKendree
Shame these two schools for playing D-II teams.
As always, usual open thread rules apply. Let’s talk some Big Ten basketball!