Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 82, Penn State Nittany Lions 81 (OT)
MaximumSam: Man, heck of a game. The Nits looked dead in the second half, but got after it forced there way back in the game to force overtime. They had the game won, but unfortunately got Boned By The Refs, as Ace Baldwin got called for a foul on a desperation heave by Georgia Tech with seconds left. Ah well, life is pain.
BoilerUp89: The steal of the season goes to Penn State’s Ace Baldwin. He picked off Georgia Tech while down 1 and under 90 seconds to go leading to a Puff Johnson layup. Unfortunately for the Nits, they fell in overtime.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 83, Long Island 61
BoilerUp89: Omoruyi had a career high 25 points. Rutgers went 4 of 20 from behind the arc.
Michigan Wolverines 83, Eastern Michigan 66
BoilerUp89: Juwan Howard made his triumphant return as the head coach of Michigan basketball with a convincing win against the Emus.
BoilerUp89: Baylor had one of the best three point defenses in the country coming into today. Michigan State had one of the worst three point offenses in the country coming into today. Sparty shot 66% from three in this game. That’s not the entire story in this one though - the Spartans outrebounded the Bears by 9, Baylor had 21 turnovers, and Michigan State blitzed Baylor in the first half to take a commanding 45-15 lead. It never got within 20 points again.
With the victory, Michigan State salvages something from their non-conference schedule. They still have a game against a tough Indiana State squad that they could add another feather to their cap from.
Kansas Jayhawks 75, Indiana Hoosiers 71
MaximumSam: Disappointing loss for the Hoosiers, who played great and led for much of the game. Trey Galloway dropped 28, they looked just fine from range (6-16 from three) and Kel’el Ware had 15 rebounds. Unfortunately, he didn’t corral a rebound at the end of the game that would have given Indiana a chance, and instead knocked it, well, close to being out of bounds. We also got to see Hunter Dickinson try to run again, which is always good fun.
BoilerUp89: Indiana kept this one a lot closer than I thought they would and for large stretches of the second half it looked like they might even win it. The Hoosiers led by as many as 13 after halftime and Kansas didn’t take the lead until there was under 5 minutes remaining.
One thing I’ve been noticing that I’m going to try and share without being too critical of my rival school’s program. I really like Kel’el Ware and he’s been doing a lot of good things this season, but against high level opponents that can matchup against him he hasn’t been efficient on offense. He can’t be taking 12 field goal attempts if he’s only going to make three of them. Indiana has to find more offense from elsewhere when the opponent has a center that can defend Ware. Today, Galloway providing a big scoring punch, but that wasn’t quite enough. Perhaps when Xavier Johnson comes back the Hoosiers will have enough perimeter play to win some games when Ware can’t get a bunch of points.
BoilerUp89: Down goes #1! Arizona looked as good as advertised, but after trading punches in the first half Purdue built up a 15 point lead. Arizona came storming back to cut it to 4. The Wildcats run was aided by a zone that saw Purdue endure a six minute scoring drought. The Boilers found their footing on offense again down the stretch and were able to keep Arizona from pulling back within one possession.
Zach Edey was slowed down by Arizona’s defense. The Wildcats kept him pushed up the lane and he finished with just 22 points on 15 field goal attempts. Purdue’s starting guards were incredible. Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith combined for 53 points on 9 of 16 shooting from three (with the Wilson ball!) and only 5 turnovers between them. Purdue’s role players won’t show up a ton in the box score for this one, but they all executed their roles very well and did the little things today. Caleb Love led all scorers with 29 points. Per Purdue’s twitter, the win moves Matt Painter into a tie for 4th most wins as a Big Ten coach with Lou Henson at 423. I’ve seen Henson at 421 elsewhere and the discrepancy is that some sources count the two retroactive forfeits from the 1977 Gophers as wins for Henson.
Ohio State Buckeyes 67, UCLA Bruins 60
BoilerUp89: Nice bounce back win for Ohio State following the loss to Penn State. The Buckeyes have quietly put together a real nice tournament resume. I’ll let MaximumSam give the recap for this one though - much of the game overlapped Purdue’s and while I could have watched a bit during halftime of Purdue-Arizona, I used that time to teach my nephew that he still can’t beat me in 1 on 1 on the driveway. No comment on whether I needed oxygen afterwards.
MaximumSam: They won’t put this one in the Louvre. The Bucks got the full Mick Cronin experience and while they went 1/14 from three, that three was a big one down the stretch by Jamison Battle. Otherwise, Roddy Gayle kept them afloat early and finished with 19 to lead all scorers. Can’t wait for more of this next year. Really looking forward to it.
Iowa Hawkeyes 88, FAMU Rattlers 52
BoilerUp89: Iowa won. Fran did not get rattled and received zero technical fouls.
Northwestern Wildcats 56, Depaul Blue Demons 46
BoilerUp89: Well, Northwestern isn’t the worst team in the Chicago area. This game was not a shooting clinic. Both teams had some pretty ugly shooting numbers. DePaul was 28.9% from the field and Northwestern was 35.6%. The Wildcats put some distance between them and DePaul halfway through the second half and Martinelli led them with 16 points off the bench.
#116 Colgate Raiders (6-4) at #25 Illinois Fighting Illini (7-2) (-17.5), 12 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Colgate has been the Patriot League representative four NCAA tournaments in a row (they had lost to Boston in 2020 prior to the tournament being cancelled) and they seem destined to extend that to five straight this spring.
Colgate has an undersized sophomore point guard named Braeden Smith. Coming into this weekend (so not including the Purdue-Arizona game), Colgate’s Braeden Smith and Purdue’s Braden Smith were averaging 13.6 points on 10.9 field goal attempts in their last 8 games. Their stats were also nearly identical last season as freshman. They may be long lost twins.
#40 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-2) (+5.5) at #51 Kansas State Wildcats (8-2), 2 pm, ESPN+
BoilerUp89: This is one of either two or three quality games (depending on how you feel about Duquesne) that Nebraska had scheduled. Since they lost to Creighton, and the Duquesne win is fringe (and was at home), that means they need to have this one if they want to walk out of non-conference play with something to point to. Kansas State has had a turnover problem early this year and have issues shooting threes similar to Nebraska. They will however crash the offensive glass and have gotten plenty of second chance opportunities this season. When shots go up, Nebraska’s players need to ensure they find a body to box out.