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B1G-ly Basketball Week 2 in Review: Gavitt Games Champs!

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The Big Ten won the Gavitt Tip-off Games 5-3, to move to 2-0-3 in the series.

NCAA Basketball: Conference USA Tournament-Marshall vs Southern Mississippi Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Your week 2 of Big Ten action saw the Big Ten win this years Gavitt Games Tip-Off Challenge, going 5-3 overall against the Big East. This increases the winning record for the conference to 2-0-3 in the series.

My goal is to make this as regular as possible this season, but this is a lot of ground to cover for one person, so expect gaps here and there along with occasionally brief coverage consisting of just scores if I’m too time crunched.
(All AP rankings listed based on previous week, and RPI based on the date it was looked up over the course of the previous week and likely outdated by exact time of actual make-up.)

#3 Michigan State Spartans 2-1

Game 1

The Spartans traveled to #12 Seton Hall and squeaked out a big win, 76-73, despite foul trouble benching Cassius Winston for long stretches of the game. However, this was a great match-up (if you don’t mind rough early season ref misques on both sides) of two of the marquee players in college basketball this season between Winston for MSU and Myles Powell for Seton Hall. Powell almost single-handedly put the Seton Hall Pirates on his back, scoring 37 points. However, college basketball rarely ever makes a lot of sense, and that showed itself that a freshman, who hadn’t scored a point yet, was the hero of the game with 17 points and key shots in the final moments to get the Spartans the lead.
MSU jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, but Seton Hall battled back and kept it close the rest of the first half. Spartans were up 30-27 at the half despite Winston riding the bench a good chunk of the first half with 2 fouls. The back and forth continued in the second half, until Seton Hall jumped out to a 5 point lead with 2:43 left on back-to-back three pointers by Myles Powell. All looked lost for the Spartans, but they dug in and Rocket Watts and Winston both drained threes to take a one point lead with 1:07 to go. However, after the Winston three, Gabe Brown fouled Powell and sent him to the line and Seton Hall was back in the lead by 1 with :44 seconds to go. Not so fast, freshman Malik Hall hits a layup, Seton Hall tried to respon, gets their shot blocked, and Wiston goes to the line with and misses the front end of a 1&1. 14 seconds left, Myles Powell has the ball but MSU gets the stop on the defensive end and causes a turnover. Winston goes back to the line after being fouled with 4 seconds left, drains both for a 76-73 lead and Powell misses a last second heave from near half-court to ice the road win for MSU.
Tillman led MSU in rebounds with 11, and in steals with 3. Winston led in points, 21, and assists, 4. However, freshman Malik Hall was the hero of the game, going 7-7 from field goal range and 3-3 from three point land. A perfect night shooting for the freshman?! Nope, he went 0-2 on free throws. His five rebounds and a steal round out the stat sheet big time for the freshman who stepped up big after Aaron Henry went down in the first half with what looked like a tough ankle injury. The Spartans will need him back quickly to have a chance when Duke comes to town in a few weeks.

Week Ahead

Maui! Sort of anyways. The Spartans play host to Charleston Southern (201st RPI) tonight at 6:30 pm ET on BTN for the on-campus first game of the Jim Maui Invitation before flying out to the Hawaiian Islands later this week to get acclimated for the tournament.

#7 Maryland Terrapins 3-0

Game 1

Maryland downed the Oakland Grizzlies Saturday afternoon, 80-50. The Terps only went 8-26 from three, but won the rebounding battle 40-30, had 19 assists, 10 steals, and 6 blocks. Darryl Morsell paced the Terps with 14 points.

Week Ahead

Maryland hosts Fairfield (215th RPI) Tuesday at 8:30 pm ET on BTN. They then play host to George Mason (21st RPI) at 7 pm on BTN Friday night.

#16 Ohio State Buckeyes 3-0

Game 1

You’ll be forgiven if you watched this game and were initially skeptical it wasn’t the Buckeyes football team on the grid-iron continuing their death march across scorched earth. This game started out with a 9-0 run by the Buckeyes before the #10 Villanova Wildcats hit a three pointer to make it 9-3. This is the closest they got score-wise again for the rest of the game, losing 76-51. Ohio State led by 18 at the half, and at one point had a 30 point lead in the game. They were absolutely explosive in shooting, going 60% from field goal range and a stunning 56.3% from three, going 9-16 from deep. The Buckeyes tied in the rebounding margin, but this is probably due more to not missing many shots rather than anything Villanova did. Overall, boards were 35-35, but the Buckeyes won on the defensive end 22-33 (also probably in part because of hot shooting), and on the offensive end the Wildcats won the battle 13-2. Villanova, despite being a #10 ranked team, got taken out to the woodshed as they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in Value City Arena, going 10-30 on three point shots, and 19-62 from field goal range, good for a pathetic 30.6%.

If you weren’t aware that the Buckeyes shared the ball readily to the tune of 18 assists, you would probably be otherwise surprised only five players got into double-digits, none managing more than 14. Duane Washington, Jr. paced the Buckeyes with 14 points, while Kaleb Wesson’s team high 11 rebounds gave him a double-double to go with his 10 points. CJ Walker added 10 points, while Luther Muhammad and DJ Carton each scored 11.

Week Ahead

The Buckeyes host Indiana-Purdue Fort-Wayne (297th RPI) on Friday night at 7 pm on BTN+.

Purdue Boilermakers 2-2

(21 AP votes)

Game 1

Purdue hit the road for Milwaukee, but returned from their game at Marquette (67 AP votes) with another loss. Despite a 13 point lead at half-time, the Marquette Golden Eagles rallied in the second half to win 65-55. Purdue jumped out to a 9 point lead, but saw Marquette rally to bring it back with-in 1 with 13:18 left in the first half. Purdue rallied, but Marquette kept it close, climbing back with-in 2 twice, before Purdue made a big run to close out the half up 38-25. The second half was a total script flip as Marquette tied it up at 49 with 6:26 left in the game, tied it again at 52 with 5:21 left, then took the lead and never gave it up for the remainder of the game.

The Boilermakers and Golden Eagles both committed 10 turnovers. Purdue had a lot of foul trouble, as Aaron Wheeler fouled out; while Nojel Eastern, Jahaad Proctor, and Sasha Stefanovic all had 4 fouls. Matt Haarms led Purdue with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Given the bad team shooting on both sides, this was a rebound heavy game with Purdue winning the boards battle 41-40, and the offensive end 16-10. Purdue had a 180 from their last game, shooting only 25% from three compared to 50% last game, and only 33.9% from field goal range compared to 41% against Texas.

Game 2

Purdue blew the doors off the Chicago State Cougars 93-49. The Boilermakers dominated the glass, pulling in 48 boards. They also chalked up 24 assists. Isiah Thompson led Purdue with 17 points.

Week Ahead

The Boilermakers host Jacksonville State (337th RPI) Saturday for their campus game in the Emerald Coast Classic at 8 pm on BTN+.

Wisconsin Badgers 2-1

Game 1

Wisconsin handled the McNeese Cowboys Wednesday night in the Kohl Center, winning 83-63. While it was back and forth throughout the first half with Wisconsin up 3 at the half, the Badgers rallied and put the Cowboys away in the second half. Grayson Allen... er, I mean Brad Davison led Flopsconsin with 24 points, and three other Badgers scored in double-digits.

Game 2

The Badgers took down the Marquette Golden Eagles (67 AP votes) 77-61. Marquette kept it within striking distance in the first half, but Wisconsin pulled away in the second. While the Badgers only shot 43% from field goal range, they were hot from deep going for 48%. Brevin Pritzl notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Brad Davison also scored 15 points.

Week Ahead

The Badgers host intra-state UW-Green Bay (302nd RPI) in the Legends Classic regional game on Thursday at 9 pm on BTN.

Michigan Wolverines 3-0

Game 1

Michigan overcame (1 AP vote) Creighton’s first half lead to get the Big Ten’s first win in the series this year, 79-69. The bird free Crysler [sic] Center’s 90% filled capacity watched the Wolverines in a close first-half battle back and forth with the Bluejays heading into the locker room with a three point lead. However, Creighton could never mount a larger lead than that 3 points throughout the game, and faded down the stetch. It was a free-flowing first half though, with each team only having three fouls each.

Creighton dominated Michigan on the boards in this one, out-rebounding the rodents 38-27, including a whopping 18-4 margin on the offensive glass. Shooting proved the difference, as the Bluejays were only 42.5% from field goal range and the Wolverines were 56.6% as a team. Isiah Livers led Michigan with 22 points, while Teske and Simpson each added 17.

Game 2

Friday night saw a rodent win over the Elon Phoenix, 70-50. Jon Teske led Michigan with 16 points. This would have been a bigger blowout if it weren’t for the yellow scUM only shooting 30% from three, going 7-23.

Week Ahead

The Wolverines host Houston Baptist (312th RPI) Friday night at 7 pm ET on BTN+.

Illinois Fighting Illini 2-1

Fighting Illini were off this week

Week Ahead

Illinois hosts Hawaii (100th RPI) tonight at 8 pm ET on ESPNU. Their quick turnaround sees The Citadel (352nd RPI) visit on Wednesday night at 9 pm ET on BTN. And then yet again a quick turnaround for a home game against Hampton (342nd RPI) Saturday night at 8 pm ET on BTN+.

Indiana Hoosiers 3-0

Game 1

No surprises here that the Hoosiers wanted more North Alabama on the schedule and won in blow-out fashion, 91-65. Indiana had five players score double-digits, and shot 50% from field-goal range and 38.1% from three as a team. They only won the rebound battle by one, 28-27, and that margin came on the offensive end 7-6. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Rob Phinisee came off the bench for 13 points and led the team with 6 assists (the team had 12 total including his). Indiana did have 13 turnovers to 6 steals and 9 blocks, so they’ll want to work on taking care of the ball more when they aren’t scheduling the easy teams out there.

Game 2

Indiana had a blow-out win over Troy on Saturday, 100-62. The Hoosiers shot 39% from three, had 21 assists, and won the battle of the boards 51-38. Justin Smith led the team with 22 points, while Tryce Jackson-Davis managed a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Week Ahead

Indiana hosts Princeton (227th RPI) on Wednesday night at 7 pm ET on BTN.

Iowa Hawkeyes 2-1

Game 1

The Hawkeyes dropped their game to DePaul to open the Gavitt Tip-Off games with a loss for the B1G who moves to 0-1 to start the series. Iowa lost 93-78, and the score didn’t feel quite that close at the end in all honesty. This is likely an ugly loss that won’t age well for the Hawkeyes. The Blue Demons were 86th in RPI and 68th in KenPom when they traveled to Iowa City, but they’re widely expected to be near the bottom of the Big East this season and are currently on probation for recruiting violations. The fact it was a win over Iowa aside as a bonus, I was happy to see the Blue Demons get the W as I had mentioned in the B1G previews my great uncle played for them back in the days of George Mikan and so I generally root for them.
DePaul was buoyed by lighting hot shooting from deep, scoring on 55% of their three-point attempts going 11 of 20. The Blue Demons also hit 61.4% from field goal range as the rims in Iowa City seemed to love them or something. Iowa had a slim margin of victory on the offensive glass 8-5, but lost the overall boards battle 28-34. The Hawkeyes saw four players hit double-digits in scoring, led by CJ Fredrick’s 16 points and Luka Garza’s 14. If you wanted pretty ball, this game’s turnover margin would make you blush as the Blue Demons edged the Hawkeyes in the fight to give it to the other team more, turning it over 21 times to Iowa’s 19. Toussaint drew a technical foul after throwing the ball at DePaul’s Devin Gage as he laid on the ground post bumping into Toussaint while dribbling. I didn’t see the play and can’t find any video, but throwing the ball at your opponent while he’s laying on the ground is going to draw the “T” every time there folks. Play smarter, even when you’re getting blown out gentleman.

Game 2

The Hawkeyes got the win over Oral Roberts Friday night, 87-74. Iowa didn’t manage a ton of defense, letting the Golden Eagles stay within striking distance pretty much all game long, but kept them from getting any closer. The Hawkeyes kept fairly good care of the ball, turning it over only 8 times. They also did a great job sharing it with 21 assists. Luka Garza had a monster night, getting a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Jack Nunge also managed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Week Ahead

Iowa hosts North Florida (274th RPI) Thursday at 7 pm ET on BTN in their on-campus game for the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Tournament. Then the Hawkeyes host Cal Poly (304th RPI) on Sunday at 5 pm ET also on BTN for their second on-campus game of the tournament.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 1-3

Game 1

Minnesota dropped their game at Butler to move the B1G to 1-2 in the Gavitt Games, also Minnesota’s record after losing two in a row. Cold shooting from both teams made this rather painful to watch. Minnesota shot an awful 26.1% from three, going 6-23 from deep. Not to be out-done, Butler was a god-awful 21.4% from deep, going 3-14. However, field-goal range made the difference as Butler was 21-55 (33.3%) to Minnesota’s 17-51 (38.2%). Oh, and the Gophers had 100% more turnovers than Butler, 18-9.

Minnesota was hampered by foul trouble, with McDermott, Mze, and Golden all playing with four fouls. Kamar Bladwin carried the load in scoring with 27 points. A road loss at Hinkle Field House to a decent Butler team is nothing to be ashamed of, but Minnesota needs to get it together after their two straight losses.

Game 2

Minnesota traveled west Friday night and dropped a road game at Utah (14 AP votes), 73-69. Minnesota battled back from being down as much as 16, but couldn’t overcome the deficit in the end, particularly when they only shot 35% from field goal range. Daniel Oturu put the Gophers on his back with a huge double-double of 21 points and 18 boards.

Week Ahead

Goldie hosts the Central Michigan Chippewas (Fire Up Chips! and improve that 218th RPI ranking please) on Thursday at 8 pm on BTN+. Then Sunday the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (329th RPI) visit Minneapolis for an 8 pm ET tip on BTN+.

Penn State Nittany Lions 2-0

Game 1

The Nittany Lions traveled down to the nation’s capital and put a serious beat-down on the Georgetown Hoyas (4 AP votes), 81-66. While the Hoyas aren’t exactly a powerhouse right now, they are 67th in KenPom and represent a quality road win for the Nittany Lions. While PSU didn’t quite light it up from field goal range, shooting 44.4%, they were hot from deep, going 13-29 for 44.8% shooting.
The Nittany Lions were ready and willing to share the ball with each other, totaling 19 assists. However, yikes, they better be careful with those 20 turnovers as it’s not all that common to give such a beat down to a respectable team while being so careless with the ball. Helped that Penn St. got 15 steals, though. Myreon Jones led the Nittany Lions with 21 points.

Week Ahead

The Nittany Lions host Bucknell (108th RPI) at 6:30 pm ET on BTN for their NIT Season Tip-Off tournament on-campus game. They then host Yale (94th RPI) for another campus game of the tournament at 12 pm ET on Saturday on BTN+.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 3-1

Game 1

The Drexel Dragons led Rutgers 31-30 at half, but the Scarlet Knights managed to rally and get the W 62-57 at the final buzzer sounded. Rutgers shot a measly 23.5% from three and 37.3% from field goal range while coughing the ball up 13 times on turnovers. They did win the rebounding battle 42-36 and had 8 blocks. Ron Harper and Geo Baker led the team with 13 points each.

Game 2

The Scarlet Knights dropped a home game to the Saint Bonaventure Bonnies, 80-74. Cold shooting for Rutgers did them in, going only 28% from deep and 43% from field goal range. Caleb McConnell paced the team with 13 points.

Week Ahead

Rutgers hosts the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (24th RPI) Wednesday night at 7 pm ET on BTN+ in a Garden State Showcase game.

NU 1-1

Game 1

The Northwestern Wildcats got their first win, and a quality one at that, at the expense of the Providence Friars (23 AP votes), 72-63. This was despite the 20-10 turnover margin Providence had over Northwestern. The Wildcats managed to catch fire from deep, going 7-16 (43.8%) on the night, and shot 48.9% from field goal range as well. NU also shared the ball readily, chalking up 17 assists on the night. Ryan Young led the team with 16 points.

Week Ahead

The Northwestern Wildcats host Radford (143rd RPI) Tuesday at 8 pm ET on BTN+. They then play host Friday night to Norfolk State (83rd RPI) at 8 pm ET on BTN+.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 1-2

Game 1

Huskers got their first win!!!

Week Ahead

Southern University (348th RPI) visits Lincoln Friday night at 8 pm ET, and the game will be on BTN+.