This week brings us the seventh (2020 was cancelled) and currently final rendition of the Gavitt Games: the annual Big Ten/Big East 8-game showdown. The Gavitt Games are named after the late Dave Gavitt - former Providence head coach and athletic director, as well as the first Big East commissioner. The matchups have generally been well scheduled as the first six conference showdowns have resulted in two B1G victories, one Big East victory, and three ties. Only Maryland and Michigan State remain undefeated in the competition. As of Sunday night - there have been no announced plans to extend this competition past the original 8 year schedule.
We will be attempting to use this article all week long to preview that day’s games as well as recapping the previous night’s wins and losses. Treat it like your normal game threads:
1) No pirated streams or discussion about pirated streams.
2) Have fun.
3) Don’t be a jackass.
Tell us your thoughts on the Gavitt Games, make your predictions for this year, and tell us whether you will miss this annual competition.
In this year’s Gavitt Games, the B1G will finish
This poll is closed
7-1 B1G Wins
6-2 B1G Wins
5-3 B1G Escapes Narrowly
4-4 Ties are Terrible
3-5 Big East Wins
2-6 Big East Wins
1-7 The Sky is Falling
0-8 How long until football season?
Will you miss the Gavitt Games?
This poll is closed
No, I prefer playing cupcakes. - Fran
No, but only because they don’t vary the matchups sufficiently
Yes, I enjoy watching B1G teams compete with other P6 conferences regularly
Penn State 73, Furman 68
MaximumSam: Penn State got up by 21 then held on by the seat of their pants as Furman cut the lead to one late in the second half. But held on they did behind twin twenty point games from Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy. PSU hits the winner’s bracket of the Charleston Classic and faces Virginia Tech today.
St. John’s 70, Nebraska 50
MaximumSam: Man, at halftime Nebraska was up 7 and feeling themselves. Not sure what sort of halftime speech Fred Hoiberg was giving, because they got blown off the court in the second half. Only Keisei Tominaga hit double figures with 15, and Nebraska looked decidedly like What We Thought They Were.
Minnesota 68, Central Michigan 60
Arizona State 87, Michigan 62
MaximumSam: The big surprise of the evening as Arizona State just blitzed Michigan from the jump. The Devils shot 60% from the field and 58% from three, again raising questions about Michigan’s defense, which has been, uh, not that great to begin the season. They were pretty rough shooting the ball and Hunter Dickinson had a pedestrian game, all of which contributed to them losing by 25 to a team we last saw losing to Texas Southern. We did at least get more of Michigan putting on the full court press in the closing seconds of getting blown out, a Juwan Howard special.
Last year, UM HC Juwan Howard swung at a coach because he was upset they broke an “unwritten rule.”— Justin Miller (@justinmiller_16) November 18, 2022
Last night, ASU tried running out the clock (up 27pts) and UM stole the ball and full court pressed. This led to a scuffle at the end.
Sounds like a culture problem ♂️ pic.twitter.com/CtmAMOOzpV
Friday, November 18: Coming Soon
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Virginia Tech, Noon, One of Them ESPN Channels
MaximumSam: Penn State continues in the Charleston Classic against Va. Tech, who beat Old Dominion by four today. While the Hokies haven’t really beaten anybody (ODU is 170th on Torvik), they are 4-0 and are living at the three point line. They have three guys with over 20 threes attempted, and all three are shooting over 47%. Get out and guard the line.
BoilerUp89: Both Penn State and Virginia Tech attempted to blow 20 point leads yesterday. I’m fairly certain that Furman is better than Old Dominion though, so Penn State’s win is better. The Nittany Lions better guard the 3 point line though - Virginia Tech is shooting 44.6% as a team from behind the arc.
Temple Owls v. Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 4 pm, ESPNU
MaximumSam: This game is in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun, which I found to be a delightful casino. Apparently, Rutgers originally planned to play Gonzaga, but that fell through, so here they are against Temple. The Owls are a tough team to read, because they have a win over Villanova and two overtime losses to Vanderbilt and Wagner. That is not the fault of combo guard Damian Dunn, who is averaging almost 30 points a game on a truly ridiculous 67/59/96 slash line. Rutgers will want to guard that guy. Torvik says Rutgers wins over the 80th ranked Owls by a score of 66-63.
BoilerUp89: I miss the old days when John Chaney was running Temple. That would have been a loss for Rutgers. This year’s version of Temple is more streaky. A name to keep an eye on is Damian Dunn. The 6’5” sophomore is currently shooting 10/17 from three on the year.
Indiana Hoosiers at Xavier Musketeers, 5 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: The X-Men are reunited with FBI line reader Sean Miller, and through three games they are a perfect 3-0. This will be a big step up in competition. Xavier sports a couple Name of the Day contenders in Souley Boum and KyKy Tandy, as well as Old Friend Jack Nunge, formerly of Iowa. Nunge and Zach Freemantle form a pretty large group up front, and Xavier surrounds them with a lot of experienced shooters, so this will be a test for the Hoosiers. Torvik ranks Xavier at 27th and says they pull the upset by a score of 73-72.
BoilerUp89: The rivals of my undergrad and grad school are playing in the city I live in. Of course I’m going. And I’ll be rooting for Xavier for a number of reasons: city pride, family connections, and I don’t really care at all about Cincinnati Bearcats athletics. And since my dad has season tickets to Xavier I end up watching a fair amount of their games and will in fact be the guy in a Purdue hat at this one.
As for the game, Indiana has the more talented roster. Nunge and Freemantle are decent post players, but TJD, Race Thompson, and Malik Reneau makes for a better and deeper post rotation that should wear them down. If Xavier can get turnovers (22nd in the nation in steal rate) and run in transition they have a shot in this one. If not: what I saw of there half court offense in the opener didn’t scare me, although Souley Boum really impressed me. One other thing to keep an eye on: preseason All Big East guard Colby Jones sat out their last game with an injury. He’s supposedly a game time decision.
The crowd should be rocking as the Cintas Center is a fairly good atmosphere for big games. Statistical oddities:
- IU men’s basketball has lost 10 consecutive non-con true road games.
- This is the highest ranked non-conference opponent to step into the Cintas Center since Bruce Pearl was forced to stop ducking Xavier and fill the back end of a home and home series in 2007.
Villanova Wildcats at Michigan State Spartans, 7 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: Michigan State gets their turn in the Gavitt Games fresh off of beating Kentucky. Villanova has been lackluster so far in their first season without Jay Wright, losing to Temple and winning by just 10 over 359th ranked Delaware State. They do sport another good big man in Eric Dixon, so we will get another look at Mady Sissoko’s improvement. Torvik has dropped Villanova from 16th to 41st and predicts MSU will win 70-64.
BoilerUp89: After the season he had coaching at Fordham last year, Kyle Neptune’s transition to head coach of Villanova has been more of a struggle than I predicted. Their lack of height may be an issue against Sparty and their offensive rebounding game has been non-existent. Michigan State will want to avoid putting the Wildcats at the free throw line: Villanova is shooting 86.5% from the charity stripe.
Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons at Northwestern Wildcats, 7 pm, BTN+
MaximumSam: We previously saw Fort Wayne give a decent challenge to Michigan, at least when Hunter Dickinson left the floor. Lots of seniors here, including sharpshooters Deonte Billups and Bobby Planutis. They are just good enough that a team like Northwestern needs to not fall asleep. Torvik says Cats, 73-64. This is part of the Cancun Challenge, even though the game is in Evanston and not, you know, in Cancun.
Illinois Fighting Illini v. UCLA Bruins, 8:30 ESPNU
MaximumSam: The Illini are fresh off their tour of the Worst Teams in America, and now head to Las Vegas to face one of the best. Like Illinois, UCLA has clubbed their first three opponents, and they are up to 6th on Torvik. Some names you may remember, including point guard Tyger Campbell and wing Jaime Jaquez, Jr. Some not so much, like emerging guard Jaylen Clark, who’s shooting 76/54/100 early on. Center is a question, and they’ve mostly split between senior Kenneth Nwuba and five star frosh Adem Bona. Will it be Dainja Time? Torvik says no, and UCLA wins 73-71.
BoilerUp89: Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez are still running around at UCLA while Jaylen Clark is a potential national player of the year candidate if he keeps playing this well. The Illini should have an advantage inside, but the Bruins will be able to lean on their experienced upperclassmen who have played big games before.
Monday, November 14th Recaps
Depaul 69, Minnesota 53
MaximumSam: Johnson and Garcia did lead their teams in points, and Gibson and Cooper led their teams in assists. The difference in this game was contributions from other people, as Depaul’s 6’6’’ transfer forward Eral Payne had 14 rebounds while Philmon Gebrewhit had 15 points on 11 shots. Minnesota got 12 points from Pharrel Payne, but he had more turnovers than rebounds. No one else provided much of anything, which is the recipe to get waxed at home by Depaul.
PSU 68, Butler 62
MaximumSam: Torvik got the final score differential right on the money. The big news was Jalen Pickett getting a triple double, and he was great. Penn State didn’t get clobbered on the boards, they got after the three point line (Butler went 5-23), and they didn’t really stop Manny Bates, but he didn’t dominate the game. That’s the recipe for Lion victories this year.
Illinois 103, Monmouth 65
BoilerUp89: These two teams played. Illinois scored 63 in the 1st half before reining things back in. Terrence Shannon Jr. dropped 30 points. He was joined in double figures by Dain Dainja (15) and Jaysen Epps (21). The 18 Illini turnovers was a bit sloppy, but it’s not like they had to be super focused for this one.
Tuesday, November 15 Recaps
BoilerUp89: This was a sloppy, sloppy game. But Northwestern played slightly less awful than Georgetown and crushed the rebounding battle 48-31 to pull away halfway thru the 2nd half. Primo Spears continued to do good things for the Hoyas (22 points in this one) but he didn’t get enough help from his teammates while Chase Audige’s 17 points for the Wildcats was assisted by five other Wildcats scoring 9 or more points.
Don’t know what sport this is but I’m riveted. pic.twitter.com/f1WgGgbTHV— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) November 16, 2022
Michigan State Spartans 86, #4 Kentucky Wildcats 77 (2OT)
BoilerUp89: I wasn’t paying too much attention to this one as is wound down since Purdue was playing at the same time, but this is a very impressive win for Sparty. Tom Izzo and co. have announced they are contenders in the B1G once again.
Oscar Tshiebwe got his: 22 points and 18 rebounds. But Sparty got him to foul out and was able to limit the damage from his teammates. Joey Hauser had 23 points. Malik Hall had 20 points including a couple of huge dunks to send the game to OT and 2OT.
MaximumSam: Great win for Sparty. Sissoko holding his own against two of the top centers in the country is encouraging, and this Sparty team looks like they might have the best starting five in the conference. They do not have the best bench in the conference, though.
Maryland Terrapins 76, Binghamton Bearcats 52
BoilerUp89: Marquette looked to be somewhat in control at the halfway point of the 2nd half. Up 9 points with Zach Edey not yet having gotten his short break on the bench in the 2nd half, they probably felt pretty good about their chances at that point. But Purdue clamped down defensively and went on a 20-4 run over the next 9 minutes. A couple of missed free throws later and Purdue was able to walk away with the win.
Zach Edey played 32 minutes and had 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. His defense really impressed me in this one as he has become able to guard in pick and roll situations. Braden Smith played extremely well down the stretch chipping in 20 points and making several clutch plays down the stretch. Against a Shaka Smart defense, the Boilermakers had just 6 turnovers. If I had to make one complaint it would be Painter’s late game substitution patterns. I didn’t mind taking Fletcher Loyer out for defensive possessions, but I would have played Brandon Newman instead of Brian Waddell. I like Waddell, but he isn’t there defensively yet and Newman played really well in this one - including 9 defensive rebounds.
Marquette had two shooters each make 5 three pointers: Kam Jones and David Joplin. There pressure defense bugged Purdue in the first couple of minutes but after settling in wasn’t an issue. When Purdue was able to adjust to what Marquette was doing (both on offense with their ball screens and defense with their pressure, the Eagles didn’t quite have another wrinkle to throw at Purdue. I’ll give Marquette a lot of credit for outrebounding Purdue though. That’s not something that I would have expected at all.
Wisconsin Badgers 56, Green Bay Phoenix 45
BoilerUp89: I was right. Crimes against basketball were conducted. Despite outrebounding the Phoenix by 20 the Badgers never really pulled away in this one and let the Phoenix stay within striking distance for most teams. I say most teams because Green Bay isn’t a real explosive offense. The Badgers attack was balanced with all five starters scoring between 8 and 11 points.
Wednesday, November 16 Recaps
Big Ten basketball had another sweep. Can they keep this up? The tie has been secured for the Gavitt Games. Now the B1G has three opportunities to bring home the win.
BoilerUp89: This game was still close at halftime, but Michigan put on the jets and secured the easy victory in the 2nd half. Hunter Dickinson (11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) and Jett Howard (17 points) continued to be the focal point of the Wolverines, but they got some assistance from Kobe Bufkin (14 points) in this one. The Panthers struggled to make shots in this one (just 42% from the field and 30% from three) - which wasn’t a recipe for success when the Wolverines got ten more shots up by winning the rebounding and turnover battles.
Ohio State Buckeyes 65, Eastern Illinois Panthers 43
BoilerUp89: Zed Key had another double-double and Brice Sensabaugh dropped 20 points off the bench. The Buckeyes led from start to finish in this one although Eastern Illinois did cut the lead back to three shortly after halftime. It wasn’t the best shooting night for the Buckeyes and they were a little sloppy with the basketball (17 turnovers), but it was more than enough to dispatch the Panthers.
MaximumSam: The Buckeyes got out to a 21-5 lead, then their offense went into a hole. The starters, outside of Zed Key, couldn’t shoot straight and gave them almost nothing. Eastern Illinois is a terrible team, so they got the win, but they won’t win many games playing like that. Next up is San Diego State, who will torture them defensively if they can’t make some open shots.
Iowa Hawkeyes 83, Seton Hall Pirates 67
BoilerUp89: Iowa held an 8-10 lead for most of this game, before holding the Pirates scoreless over the last three minutes, thirty seconds to get to the final margin. Kris Murray tied his career high with 29 points and with his 11 rebounds secured a double-double. He was joined in the double-double club by Filip Rebraca while Tony Perkins also added 18 points.
Iowa made their living at the FT line, getting off 33 free throws and making 28 of them. Seton Hall outrebounded Iowa and shot better from three, but Shaheen Holloway’s foul happy defense lost this the game. Must be nice to have the refs call the fouls his team commits.
Monday Previews (so you can see how wrong we were)
Depaul Blue Demons at Minnesota Golden Gophers, 6 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Gophs start the non-patsy portion of their schedule with Big East member Depaul. Like Minnesota, they are undefeated but have been a bit lackluster in their first two games.
This game looks to be the Battle of the Transfer Point Guards, as Depaul is led by sixth year Oklahoma transfer Umoja Gibson. He’s sporting an assist rate of 44% while shooting 55% from three. On the other side is Ta’Lon Cooper, who has an assist rate of 49% while shooting 50% from three. Torvik has Depaul at 93rd and predicts a 71-70 Depaul win.
BoilerUp89: Both teams struggled against overmatched opponents in their openers before cruising to more comfortable wins in their second games. While MaximumSam is more interested in the point guard battle, I think the game will be decided elsewhere. 5th year senior PF Javan Johnson is averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds while making multiple three pointers a game. Can Minnesota contain him? On the other side, will Dawson Garcia show the offensive ability he did in the opener or be less effective like he was against St. Francis? And most importantly, which of these two very poor rebounding teams will manage to win the rebounding battle and steal a couple of extra possessions?
Butler Bulldogs at Penn State Nittany Lions, 7:30 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: Finally, Thad Matta has returned to the B1G. In his long awaited return to coaching, Butler whipped cream puff New Orleans. NC State transfer Manny Bates feasted, with 25 points and 11 rebounds. He’s a reasonable facsimile of the big men PSU will see in the Big Ten, and we should get a preview of how the Lions will defend them.
Butler is ranked 94th on Torvik, which sees this as a 71-65 Penn State win.
BoilerUp89: Thad Matta is a really good coach. Micah Shrewsberry looks like he might become a really good coach. The talent on both teams isn’t great, but Penn State’s is better. All else being equal, I’d predict them to win. Former Purdue guard Eric Hunter Jr. will make his return to a B1G arena and will probably be greeted warmly by his former assistant coach.
misdreavus79: After two easy outs against overmatched competition, Penn State finally gets some a game against a team that, at least on paper, should be even with them. Yes, there’s a vast difference in Kenpom and Torvik ratings, but I still think the game will be more competitive than the numbers indicate.
We already know that until Kebba Njie is used to college (and Big Ten) play, the Lions will need to shoot lights out to have a chance. Can they do it against a team that will most likely be able to defend them through and through? That’s what I want to see most. It’s unrealistic to expect another 50+ shooting night from three, but if they can shoot above 40%, they should be in business.
Monmouth Hawks at Illinois Fighting Illini, 8 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Illini continue their tour of the worst teams in America with Monmouth, which Torvik ranks 341st. Insert pithy factoid about Monmouth. Type in the comments if you know any.
Tuesday Previews (so you can see how wrong we were)
Northwestern Wildcats at Georgetown Hoyas, 5:30 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: Want to pencil in Northwestern on the road as a likely loss in the games? Not so fast! Patrick Ewing and Georgetown were truly bad last season, going 6-25 while losing 21 in a row. They’ve started off this season 2-0, but that includes an overtime win over Coppin State.
They aren’t lacking for big men - they can put out old friend 6’11’’ Qudus Wahab or the 7’2’’ Ryan Mutombo (yes, son of Dikembe). They also have the wonderfully named Akok Akok and Primo Spears. Still, they just rank 173rd on Torvik, which projects a Norwestern WIN at 73-70.
MNW: I’m excited to see how Northwestern handles the test inside. Georgetown appears to have even less depth than the ‘Cats, so hopefully...uh..
BoilerUp89: The loser of this game jumps to the top of the list of coaches most likely to be fired at the end of the season. Georgetown didn’t win a single Big East game last year. They’ve added some decent pieces via the transfer portal, but I don’t trust Patrick Ewing to do anything with the cast he’s collected. Primo Spears has gone for 20+ points in each of the first two outings so Northwestern should probably focus on slowing him down.
Kentucky Wildcats v. Michigan State Spartans, 6 pm, ESPN
MaximumSam: Let it never be said that Tom Izzo is afraid of a challenge. Days after a heartbreaking loss to Gonzaga, the Spartans face Kentucky in the Champions Classic. This Kentucky team is a little more dependent on transfers than uber-freshmen, though Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston are still five star freshmen who will play. They’ll also trot out old friend of Fran C.J. Frederick, who is finally back on the court and sniping threes.
The question is whether uber-Big Man Oscar Tshiebwe will play, as he has missed their first two games with injury. Kentucky ranks 7th on Torvik, which sees this as a 73-70 UK victory.
BoilerUp89: I thought Michigan State’s showing against Gonzaga was encouraging - particularly their post play. Oscar Tshiebwe is another level above that of Gonzaga (and pretty much any center in college basketball) so if he plays Sparty will have to up their post game even more to be competitive. If he doesn’t play, I think MSU could snag the upset as Kentucky’s freshman and transfers are still getting used to each other.
Binghamton Bearcats at Maryland Terrapins, 6 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: Maryland sneaks in a buy game against Binghamton, who are a veteran bunch who just eked out a win over Marist. Torvik says Maryland wins 82-62.
BoilerUp89: Binghamton’s head coach intrigues me as one to watch. In his first year at Binghamton, the Bearcats improved to 8-10 in America East play (something his predecessor didn’t achieve once in nine years. I don’t expect Binghamton to be competing with the likes of Vermont and UMBC this year, but they are probably better than the uninspiring Binghamton squads of the 2010s. Maryland should still overwhelm them in this one, but watch out for Miles Gibson (15 pts/game) and Jacob Falko (13.5 pts/game). If Binghamton is going to pull off the upset, at least one of these guys is going to have a career night.
Marquette Golden Eagles at Purdue Boilermakers, 7:30 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: Shaka Smart heads to Purdue with a decentish squad that lacks seniors but does have threats. Name Champion Olivier-Maxence Prosper is a solid two way wing who wants to attack the basket and get to the line. Guards Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones are both capable shooters from deep. Marquette lacks size and has just one guy (a freshman) over 6’9’’, so throw the ball to Zach Edey will be Plans A,B, and C for Purdue. Whether they can shoot from outside is another question. Torvik put Marquette at 67th in the land and predicts a 76-68 Boilermaker victory.
BoilerUp89: A young, inexperienced Purdue backcourt takes on a Shaka Smart defense. What could go wrong? This is a typical Shaka team - Marquette’s offensive possessions are the quickest in the country and their defense isn’t trying to slow down the game either. Instead turnovers are their goal. When Marquette does bother to run their half court offense they’ve shot a lot of threes and leaned on 6’9” Oso Ighodaro for points inside.
It’s a big jump up in competition level for Purdue and while their defense has been much improved in the past two games, I don’t think they can gut out another win with a 2/19 three point shooting night. Turnovers and shooting are the key for the Boilermakers in this one.
Green Bay Phoenix at Wisconsin Badgers, 8 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: State bragging rights on the line in Wisconsin. Brett Favre will be in attendance, stealing blankets from homeless people outside at halftime. Torvik says Wisconsin 79-54.
BoilerUp89: Green Bay is among the worst teams in the country so far this season. They have 27 point and 34 point losses to Indiana State and Georgetown already. Their coach is Will Ryan (Bo’s son), so it should be no surprise that Green Bay is one of the slower teams in the country. This game gets a solid Don’t Watch This rating.
Michigan Wolverines v. Pitt Panthers, 5 pm, ESPNU
MaximumSam: Michigan heads to the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, New York to take on Pitt, a program that hasn’t had a winning record in six years. Jeff Capel and crew are fresh off a 25 point beating from West Virginia. It’s also unclear if big man John Hugley will play, as hurt his knee in the preseason and has yet to see the court. Still, Pitt does have Name of the Day Federiko Federiko at center. Hunter Dickinson has no chance, at least in the name department. Torvik, which doesn’t take cool names into account, says this is a Michigan victory by the score of 72-65.
BoilerUp89: I’m surprised Michigan is only favored by 7 on Torvik. Michigan hasn’t looked very good, but Pitt has been a bad basketball program under Jeff Capel. Over half of Pitt’s field goal attempts are three pointers. That’s a bad decision since they are only 25% from three point range on the season. Michigan should be able to bounce back from a rough game against Eastern Michigan.
Eastern Illinois Panthers at Ohio State Buckeyes, 6 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Buckeyes were not invited to the Gavitt games, and couldn’t schedule a decent team, so here they are against 349th ranked Eastern Illinois. The Panthers have already lost to Actual Illinois by 30, let’s see if the Buckeyes can beat that.
BoilerUp89: This is where I state how much I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Buckeyes Gavitt games appearance. That was a very fun game to attend. As for this game, Eastern Illinois can’t shoot well. As long as Ohio State isn’t throwing the ball away or falling asleep on defense this should be a comfortable win.
Iowa Hawkeyes at Seton Hall Pirates, 6:30 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: Finally, a Gavitt game. Long time Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard was poached by Maryland (why isn’t Maryland playing in this game?). The Pirates hired Shaheen Holloway after his St. Peter’s team beat Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen last year (hey, Purdue would be great here, too). In any event, Seton Hall blew out their first two opponents and played ten guys heavy minutes, so what they are is a pretty open question. Torvik ranks them 37th and predicts a 73-71 Pirate win.
BoilerUp89: A coach who has never reached the Sweet 16 plays a coach that has made the Elite 8. /cries, tears ACL. Iowa’s offense has looked really good - against some awful teams. Seton Hall also hasn’t played anybody yet. Seton Hall has been defensive minded and avoiding shooting too many three pointers. They will probe Iowa’s defense and not settle for threes. I think Iowa is the better team, but the game is at Seton Hall so I’d consider this a toss-up. It should be a good test for both squads.
Thursday, November 17:
Furman Paladins vs Penn State Nittany Lions, 10:30 am, Charleston Classic ESPNU
MaximumSam: You might think this is an easy buy game for the Lions, but Furman is a veteran outfit that clocks in at 74th on Torvik, compared to 61st for Penn State. This game is no joke, and Furman has a couple super seniors leading the way in guard Mike Bothwell and forward Jalen Slawson. They are also size-challenged and have no one over 6’9’’, so it could be a fun game. Torvik predicts Penn State to win, 70-69.
BoilerUp89: Penn State tips off the Charleston Classic tournament (a week early - Feast Week is next week) against the Paladins of Furman. It’s a nice little tournament for non-P6 teams: Colorado State, Charleston, and Davidson (all good teams that could win a game in the NCAA tournament if they make it) are also in bracket along with Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and Old Dominion. The 2nd round takes place Friday before the tournament wraps up on Sunday.
Furman is a solid team that is probably the favorite for the Southern Conference title this season. Head coach Bob Richey is in his 6th season and his offenses have been good while the defenses have been the downfall. They are coming off a comfortable win over Belmont in which 5th year senior Mike Bothwell scored 25 points. As MaximumSam mentioned, they aren’t a tall team so they aren’t going to overwhelm Penn State.
How is Penn State going to do in the Charleston Classic?
This poll is closed
Winning it all
Nebraska Cornhuskers at St. John’s Red Storm, 5:30 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: Nebraska is looking to go 3-0 and bring home another victory in the Gavitt Games, but it will be an uphill battle. They will see old friend Andre Curbelo, formerly of Illinois, and he’s back to his old ways of making plays for both teams. St. John’s will run out two point guards, as Curbelo teams with Posh Alexander in the backcourt. Torvik puts St. John’s at 55th and predicts they will win 84-76.
BoilerUp89: Nebraska has the opportunity to win the Gavitt Games for the B1G. The Red Storm play fast on offense and force you to earn your points against them. A couple of former B1G players in Andre Curbelo and Montez Mathis (Rutgers) make up 40% of the starting lineup. Joel Soriano returns for the Red Storm and continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the paint.
Will Nebraska clinch the Gavitt Games for the B1G?
This poll is closed
Nebrasketball? You serious, BoilerUp89?
Central Michigan Chippewas at Minnesota Golden Gophers, 8 pm, FS1
MaximumSam: CMU is not good, and rated 316th on Torvik. 77-65, Minny.
BoilerUp89: The Western Michigan - Central Michigan football game looked like fun. Central Michigan is coached by Tony Barbee - former UTEP and Auburn head coach. His first season at Central Michigan was rough (just 7-23). Turnovers have been the biggest problem for the Chippewas this season - the Gophers should be able to take advantage.
Michigan Wolverines v. Arizona State Sun Devils, 8:30 pm, ESPN2
MaximumSam: With Michigan’s win in the Legends Classic they get Arizona State for the crown of Brooklyn. This team features all sorts of old friends, Luther Muhammad and Alonzo Gaffney are former Buckeyes, while Frankie Collins was just playing for Michigan last year! The Devils were a complete mess last season, and honestly they don’t look much improved as they’ve already lost to Texas Southern and have a three point win over Tarleton State. But they did beat VCU last night and rank 60th on Torvik, which says Michigan wins 71-68.