Michigan State Spartans 74, Butler Bulldogs 54
MaximumSam: Thad Matta couldn’t will his team to a victory, as MSU’s defense choked out Butler. Sparty looked good and was once again led by Tyson Walker, who dropped 21 points and had 4 assists. Izzo also started Carson Cooper at center instead of Mady Sissoko and appears to be all out of ****s for the center position.
BoilerUp89: Sparty shot 35% from three in this one and looked more like the team most of us expected them to be during the preseason. Cooper wasn’t any more of an offensive threat than Sissoko but he did at least get 11 rebounds.
Villanova Wildcats 57, Maryland Terrapins 40
MaximumSam: The Terps got hogtied and horsewhipped and left for dead. They were down 39-15 at halftime, and their total of 40 was their lowest in the shot clock era. This was a no good, very bad, awful performance, but Maryland had some of those last year, too. They get three buy games next to hopefully get their season back on track and keep the pitchforks at bay.
BoilerUp89: This way only a 17 point final margin because Villanova took their foot off the gas pedal the entire second half. Villanova led by as many as 32. The Wildcats made a layup with 13:18 left to go up 48-17. Despite not scoring a field goal for the next 10 minutes (there were a few free throws), Villanova still led by 26 with 3:18 to play. Maryland shot 24% from the field.
Illinois Fighting Illini 87, Valparaiso Beacons 64
BoilerUp89: If you just look at the final score, you probably think Illinois handled their business. You would be wrong. To be fair to the Illini, Coleman Hawkins missed this game as he’s dealing with what is believed to be a minor knee injury but they still trailed almost the entirety of the 1st half and didn’t take their final lead until over 5 minutes into the second. Credit to Isaiah Stafford who scored 30 for the Beacons.
Penn State Nittany Lions 74, Morehead State Eagles 51
BoilerUp89: Good thing Penn State got to the free throw line in this one. They converted 30 of 38 attempts from the charity stripe which made up for the fact that they got outrebounded again and shot just 29.7% on field goal attempts. Morehead State’s 29 turnovers didn’t hurt either. The Nittany Lions are one of just 5 Big Ten teams still undefeated and winning is better than losing, but it hasn’t been pretty.
Wisconsin Badgers 78, Robert Morris Colonials 68
BoilerUp89: Another B1G game, another low major opponent allowed to hang around deep into the game. The Colonials were tied with the Badgers at 50 before faltering down the stretch. Wisconsin shot a paltry 3 of 13 from three, but were able to force Robert Morris into 21 turnovers and get to the free throw line 40 times compared to RMU’s 9. Friendly confines indeed.
Long Beach State Beach 94, Michigan Wolverines 86
MaximumSam: Apparently Michigan basketball got some advice from their legal team.
BoilerUp89: Michigan decided not to play defense in this one. I didn’t watch this one live, but the number of clips I’ve seen of complete defensive breakdowns is disappointing. Beach guard Marcus Tsohonis scored 35 points to lead all scorers and the two Traores combined for 27 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 blocks (note that Aboubacar Traore and Lassina Traore for the beach are not actually related). Nhamhoua and McDaniel both scored over 20 for the Wolverines, but you can’t always outscore your opponents. Right Iowa basketball?
Iowa Hawkeyes 88, Arkansas State Red Wolves 74
BoilerUp89: Iowa used a 14-0 run spanning both sides of halftime to take control of this game. Ben Krikke led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 25 points on 10 of 14 shooting and finished 1 rebound shy of a double-double. Four other Hawkeyes were in double figures.
We also have a comparison point with Wisconsin to talk about now. The Badgers scored 105 against the Red Wolves and gave up 76. I don’t know what to make of that because I’m still stunned Wisconsin scored 100 points.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 67, South Carolina Upstate 53
MaximumSam: The Gophs had more than a few problems with, uh, Upstate: this game was tied early in the second half and the Gophs were up 5 with fewer than five minutes left. Bad three point shooting (5/23) didn’t help. Dawson Garcia did help, dropping 14 with 6 rebounds.
Northwestern Wildcats 72, Rhode Island 61
MaximumSam: The Cats led the whole way, and Brooks Barnhizer continues to be a big threat for them and dropped 18. The football team is going to a bowl game, and the basketball team is undefeated. Truly a glorious time to be a Northwesterner.
MaximumSam: Look at the Huskers, putting a whooping on other teams you have heard of. I wouldn’t get too excited - the Beavers were 3-0 but had overtime wins over Troy and Appy State. What am I saying? Nebraska looks good! Get excited Husker fans!
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 85, Howard 63
MaximumSam: Offensive explosion Rutger. Four guys went for double figures, and Derek Simpson went for 23. One more buy game for the Knights before early B1G season.
#4 UConn Huskies v. #44 Indiana Hoosiers (+12.5), 12 pm, ESPN
MaximumSam: Indiana has looked a bit uninspired in their three buy games so far. Now they get a big step up in competition against the defending champs in Madison Square Garden. UConn isn’t the same team as last year, as they lost bigtime contributors Adama Sonogo and Jordan Hawkins. They did bring in Old Friend and Rutgers chap Cam Spencer and return this year’s leading scorer, forward Alexa Karban. Kel’el Ware will go against a big body in 7’2’’ sophomore Donovan Clingan. UConn is undefeated at 3-0 but has played nobody. Torvik goes Huskies, 73-67.
#293 Western Michigan Broncos at #49 Ohio State Buckeyes (-21.5), 3 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Broncos gave Northwestern all they wanted the other night and killed them on the glass, so the Buckeyes had better be ready. B. Artis White and Jefferson De La Cruz Monegro lead Western Michigan, and I hope the announcers have the say their whole names when they get the ball. Torvik says Bucks, 82-62.
#285 Alcorn State Braves at #16 Michigan State Spartans (-23.5), 5 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: Alcorn State is 1-3 but has a win over Xavier. Well, the Xavier in Louisiana. Torvik says Sparty, 83-59.
#318 Southern Jaguars at #45 Illinois Fighting Illini (-24.5), 7 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Jags are also 1-3, but have a win over UNLV. The real UNLV, not like the University of Northern Louisiana Ventriloquists. Their leading scorer is guard Tai’Reon Joseph, who is getting 20 a game, but don’t count out point guard Tidjiane Dioumassi. I wonder if he goes by Tid, like an unAmerican version of Ted? Torvik goes Illini, 84-61.