It would be nice if, during football season when we are concentrating on Oregon vs. Ohio State and another "controversial" call in the NFL, that everything in college basketball went according to plan. It is pretty exhausting to follow all the goings on while still spending time with your significant other on a Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, basketball didn't cooperate this weekend, but that's part of what makes basketball awesome.
Here are the big headlines, in case you missed some of the action.
Frank Kaminsky sat out and Rutgers beat Wisconsin
I probably should have clicked over to this one as soon as it became apparent that Peyton Manning and his wounded ducks weren't getting the job done against Indianapolis. With Kaminsky sitting out with concussion symptoms, Wisconsin still should have been able to handle Rutgers, but Myles Mack had other ideas. The senior guard caught fire in the second half to lead the Knights past a 12-point halftime deficit and into the lead with seven minutes to play.
Although Rutgers has been dreadful at shooting the ball this season, the team saw about two-thirds of its shots go in during the second half and blew past the Badgers for a 67-62 victory. Mack led everyone with 21 points on 5-for-6 three-point shooting, and Kadeem Jack scored 20 for the Knights.
Northwestern nearly pulled a bigger upset in East Lansing
Tre Demps was borderline heroic in this game, but he couldn't manage to hit a last-second jumper, and that was the last break Michigan State would need to pull away at home. The Spartans dominated most of the box score but it took everything they had to keep up with Northwestern's surprisingly hot three-point shooting. The Wildcats went 12-for-25 from beyond the arc and were led by 18 points from rookie point guard Bryant McIntosh.
The shots stopped falling in overtime, though, and Michigan State took control for an 84-77 sigh of relief. Travis Trice scored 18 points with 10 assists, while Branden Dawson had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans.
A poor D'Angelo Russell game doomed the Buckeyes in Bloomington
On one hand, it's pretty impressive that the Bucks can shoot 34 percent from the field on the road and still lose to a decent Indiana team 69-66. The Hoosiers have the firepower to rip through teams that struggle to shoot against them. On the other hand, Ohio State is now 2-2 in conference play and becoming a little too dependent on freshman shooting guard D'Angelo Russell.
We already know he's very talented, but we've already seen Russell sink his team with a poor shooting effort on multiple occasions. Against Louisville he went 6-for-20, in Chapel Hill he was 4-for-17, versus Iowa he was 4-for-16, and in this game just 3-for-15. Russell has to learn to defer when his shots aren't falling or we're going to continue to see the Buckeyes continue struggle when he plays poorly.
Maryland got back on track with a win over Purdue
After a surprise loss at Illinois during the week, Maryland did a nice job to bounce back with a 69-60 win over the dangerous Boilers on Saturday. Like Ohio State, the Terps failed to get much out of their freshman star. Melo Trimble was just 1-for-7 from the field, but Dez Wells (13 points) and Jake Layman (14 points) got enough done from the free throw line to get the win for Maryland.
It was a tough shooting day for both teams, as Kendall Stephens went 2-for-8 from beyond the arc while A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas combined for just 12 points. I believe Purdue has the pieces necessary to return to the NCAA Tournament this season, but it needs to get more out of its intriguing inside/outside combo against top competition.
Minnesota and Illinois continued to fall
You look at Minnesota's roster and figure that the team should be better than 0-4 in Big Ten play. The Gophers have two dangerous guards in Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu as well as a big man in Maurice Walker who can score and rebound down low. On Saturday, that talent appeared to be enough to defeat Michigan, but John Beilein used a 1-3-1 zone to stymie the Gophers late in the second half and lead his Wolverines to a come-from-behind 62-57 win.
Illinois was able to get a terrific game from Rayvonte Rice on a night when they scored just 43 points. Nebraska wasn't running on all cylinders either, but the Huskers stilll managed to come away with a 53-43 win.when it upset Maryland on Wednesday, but Sunday in Lincoln was a different story. Hill went 4-for-15 from the field and the Illini found themselves missing