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B1G-ly Basketball Week 4 in Review: Turkey Was Consumed, Onto The ACC/B1G Challenge and B1G Play!

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How did the Big Ten fare in their various holiday tournaments? Did they get a final sunburn to last them through the long winter ahead?

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Your week 4 of Big Ten action saw the Big Ten playing around the hemisphere in their various holiday tournaments. Some of the games were truly top notch match-ups and offered a great look at what the conference’s teams can offer this season for viewing pleasure.

As a reminder, all AP rankings listed are based on previous week, and RPI based on the date it was looked up over the course of the previous week and will likely be slightly outdated by time of actual make-up in the coming week ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed the order hasn’t changed on teams since I started this. They reflect my season predictions for how teams would finish, with 0-2 Nebraska sitting in the basement based on results. After this week with the ACC/B1G Challenge completed and conference play starting, teams will start to shift based on their results and standings in the conference from now on.

#3 Michigan State Spartans 5-2

Game 1

The Spartans had flashbacks of facing MTSU in the first round of the 2016 tournament as Virginia Tech’s hot three-point shooting and foul trouble by key players led to an upset loss at the hands of the Hokies, 71-66. Tech shot 48% from three and MSU committed 16 turnovers. Aaron Henry led the team with 18 points, while nobody else broke double digits. Xavier TIllman led with 14 rebounds.

Game 2

The Spartans got a bounce-back win over a KenPom 67th ranked Georgia Bulldogs squad coached by former Izzo assistant and more recently former conference foe Indiana HC Tom Crean. Sparty jumped out to a huge 52-31 lead at halftime. However, the Bulldogs surged big time in the second-half, outscoring MSU 54-41. This surge was led in large part by Anthony Edwards 37 points, 33 of which came in the second-half. Cassius Winston led the team in scoring with 28 points and 8 assists. Tillman notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Game 3

Overcoming a slow start that saw the UCLA Bruins (113th KenPom) have a few brief leads in the first half, MSU powered through for a 75-62 win. Winston led the team in points with 20, Jack Hoiberg came in with less than a minute left, promptly drew a foul, and went 1-2 at the charity stripe.

Week Ahead

The premier game of the B1G/ACC Challenge will be tomorrow night when the (soon after this posts not be ranked at) #1 Duke Blue Devils visit the Breslin Center for the first time since 2003. Game tips at 9:30 pm ET on ESPN. Then Sunday the Spartans head to Rutgers (192nd in RPI) to kick off their first Big Ten game of the season at 7 pm ET on BTN. The Spartans are the last men standing to avoid a conference game loss so far to Rutgers in Men’s Basketball or Football since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten. Will this be the game that finally happens?! (Unlikely, but that’s why we play the games!)

#5 Maryland Terrapins 7-0

Game 1

Maryland struggled against the Temple Owls in their opening game of the Orlando Invitational, trailing 34-29 at half-time. However, they finally managed to pull away on a three-pointer by Anthony Cowan Jr. to break a 62-62 tie late in the second-half. Cowan led the Terps with 30 points. This was an ugly win, though, as Temple managed to hang around for far too long while only shooting 34% from the field, and winning the boards battle 39-32.

Game 2

The Terps struggled against the Harvard Crimson in their second game, but eventually took the lead for good and won 80-73. Both Darryl Morsell and Jalen Smith got double-doubles in the game. Morsell had 13 points and 12 rebounds while Smith had 15 points and ten rebounds. Anthony Cowan Jr. led the team with 20 points.

Game 3

The Terps went on to win the Orlando Invitational in a true blowout win over a quality opponent in the Marquette Golden Eagles, 84-63. Maryland had a commanding 42-21 lead at halftime, and won the turnover battle 40-30 while keeping turnovers to just 10. While they’ve struggled in the first half against opponents, that wasn’t a program in this game finally despite only shooting 48% from the field. Anthony Cowan Jr. led the team in points with 22, while Darryl Morsell got a double-bouble with 17 points and 10 boards.

Week Ahead

Maryland hosts the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (140th in RPI) for their B1G/ACC Challenge opponent on Wednesday night in College Park at 7:15 pm ET on ESPN3. Then Saturday at 5 pm ET on ESPN2, Illinois (47th in RPI) comes to town to kick-off Big Ten play.

#10 Ohio State Buckeyes 7-0

Game 1

The Buckeyes struggled with the Kent State Golden Flashes Monday night. They managed to pull away around the 7 minute mark of the first-half to go into the locker room with a 12 point lead. However, Kent St. came rallying out of the locker room to tie it with 10:29 to go. The Buckeyes immediately responded and finished on a 24-3 run. Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with 17 points.

Game 2

The Buckeyes had no trouble dispatching Morgan State Friday. The score was 45-18 at half-time, and 90-57 at the final buzzer. A lot of bench minutes in this game, and Andrew Wesson led the Buckeyes with 19 points.

Week Ahead

The Buckeyes head to Chapel Hill to take on the (soon to not be ranked this high) #5 North Carolina Tar Heels for their B1G/ACC match-up Wednesday night at 9:30 pm ET on ESPN. Then Saturday they host the Penn State Nittany Lions (43rd in RPI) at 12 pm ET on BTN (terrible scheduling for this game, especially given it will likely be a good game to gauge Penn State who almost upset the Buckeyes last season).

Purdue Boilermakers 4-3

(10 AP votes)

Game 1

Purdue beat the Virginia Commonwealth Rams 59-56 to open play in the Emerald Coast Classic this week. The win definitely came in spite of the fact they only managed 25% shooting from three-point range. Eric Hunter Jr. and Jahaad Proctor led in scoring with 12 apiece.

Game 2

Purdue went on to play the Florida State Seminoles for the championship game of the tournament Saturday, and lost a close one in overtime 63-60. While the Boilermakers dominated the boards 48-33, they committed 24 turnovers. Matt Haarms led the team with 16 points.

Week Ahead

The Boilermakers play host to the #7 Virginia Cavaliers in their B1G/ACC Challenge game Wednesday night at 7:15 pm ET on ESPN2. Nothwestern heads to West Lafayette Sunday at 5 pm ET for their first conference game of the season on BTN.

Wisconsin Badgers 4-3

(4 AP votes)

Game 1

Karma can be a real whiplash sometimes. Case in point: Wisconsin-Richmond.

15 turnovers, 26% shooting from three, and 34% from the field will not spell a recipe for a win in most games. That held true in this one as the Badgers fell to the Richmond Spiders 62-52. Nate Reuvers led Wisconsin with 17 points.

Game 2

Wisconsin made it two losses in a row as they fell to the New Mexico Lobos 59-50. Wisconsin shot 7.7% from three-point land. Getting only 2 of 26 attempts! Then once again the Badgers only shot 34% from the field. Nate Reuvers led the team with 16 points.

Week Ahead

The Badgers head to Raleigh to take on the NC State Wolfpack (188th in RPI) in their B1G/ACC Challenge game Wednesday at 9:15 pm ET on ESPN2. Then on Saturday the Indiana Hoosiers (217th in RPI) come to town for a 4:30 pm ET match-up on BTN to start Big Ten play.

Michigan Wolverines 7-0

(12 AP votes)

Game 1

Michigan outlasted the Iowa State Cyclones 83-76 in their opening game of the Battle for Atlantis. The Wolverines won the boards 39-28, and shot a smoking hot 48% from three. Isiah Livers led the team with 17 points.

Game 2

Michigan didn’t want Bama after all (despite the fact advanced stats would suggest exactly that). The Wolverines got the North Carolina Tar Heels in game two of the Battle for Atlantis, and pulled off the upset of the #6 team 73-64. They committed 16 turnovers and lost the rebound battle, but when you’re shooting 42% from three and 50% from the field, who the hell cares? Eli Brooks led the team with 24 points.

Game 3

That yellow team went on to win the Battle For Atlantis tournament with yet another top ten upset of the #8 Gonzaga Bulldogs, 82-64. In yet another example of when you’re hot at shooting, the rest of it doesn’t really matter, Michigan went 52% from three and 54% from the field in this one. Isiah Livers led the team with 21 points.

Week Ahead

Michigan heads to Louisville for a battle of the [vacated’s] against the #2 (soon to be #1) Louisville Cardinals for their B1G/ACC game Tuesday night at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN. Then Friday Iowa (177th in RPI) comes to town to start Big Ten play at 6:30 pm ET on FS1.

Illinois Fighting Illini 6-1

Game 1

Illinois downed the Lindenwood Lions 117-65 Tuesday night. This was a DII school, so not much to say overall on this one. Illinois shot 62% from the field and 44% from three. Kofi Cockburn did not get a double-double in this one, and was even 5th in scoring on the team. Ayo Dosunmu led the Illini with 24 points.

Week Ahead

Tonight the Illini kick-off the B1G-ACC Challenge hosting Miami (85th in RPI) at 7 pm ET on ESPN2. Then on Saturday they travel to College Park to take on the #5 Maryland Terrapins in their first Big Ten game of the season at 5 pm ET on ESPN2.

Indiana Hoosiers 7-0

Game 1

Indiana welcomed the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to town Monday night and pulled off the win 88-75. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the team with a double-double, grabbing 11 boards and scoring 21.

Game 2

Indiana downed the South Dakota State Jackrabbits Saturday night 64-50. The Hoosiers shot 35% from three, but only 41% from the field. While they won the rebound battle 45-29, they committed 19 turnovers on the game. Trayce Jackson-Davis got a double-double while leading the team in scoring with 19 and rebounds with 14.

Week Ahead

Indiana will get a visit from the Florida State Seminoles (12th in RPI) Tuesday night for their B1G/ACC Challenge at 9 pm ET on ESPN2. The Hoosiers then travel to Madison to start their conference play against the Wisconsin Badgers (120th in RPI) at 4:30 pm ET on BTN.

Iowa Hawkeyes 5-2

Game 1

The Hawkeyes pulled off a HUGE upset of the #12 Texas Tech Red Raiders, 72-61. This was a fantastic game in the second-half to watch and I hope you tuned in. At one point both Jordan Bohannon and Luke Garza had to leave the game for extended periods, Garza for a bloodied face after taking an elbow to his lip. Bohannon led the Hawkeyes with 20 points, Garza got the double-double with 17 points and 12 boards. Jordan Wieskamp also chimed in with 16 points.

Game 2

The Hawkeyes dropped their second game in the Vegas tournament 83-73 to the San Diego State Aztecs. Bohannon only scored 3 in this one while playing 23 minutes. CJ Frederick led the team with 16 points.

Week Ahead

The Hawkeyes head to Syracuse (133rd in RPI) for their B1G/ACC Challenge against the Orange Tuesday night at 7 pm ET on ESPN2. Iowa travels to Michigan (19th in RPI) for a game against the Wolverines Friday night at 6:30 pm ET on FS1.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 3-4

Game 1

Minnesota fell to the DePaul Blue Demons 73-68. Daniel Oturu led the Gophers with 19 points and 18 rebounds.

Week Ahead

Goldie gets the second game of the B1G-ACC Challenge Monday night when Clemson (249th in RPI) comes to the Barn at 9 pm ET on ESPN2.

Penn State Nittany Lions 6-1

(10 AP votes)

Game 1

The Nittany Lions opened their play this week in NYC for the NIT Tip-Off with a close loss to the Ole Miss Rebels, 74-72. Despite having a 43-27 lead at half-time, and at one point in the second-half a 21 point lead, the Nittany Lions went on to squander it with less than a minute left in the game. 8 turnovers in each half, and cold shooting late in the game certainly helped in squandering it. Lamar Stevens led the team with 22 points.

Game 2

The Nittany Lions recovered in their second game of the tournament with an 85-64 romp of the Syracuse Orange. Mike Watkins and Jamari Wheeler both notched double-doubles in this one. Watkins scored 15 and grabbed 16 rebounds, while Wheeler scored 16 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Lamar Stevens led in scoring with 20 points.

Week Ahead

The Nittany Lions will host the Wake Forest Demon Decons (66th in RPI) Wednesday night in their B1G/ACC Challenge game at 9:15 pm ET on ESPNU. Then on Saturday you won’t want to miss Penn State’s trip to #10 Ohio State at 12 pm ET on BTN.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 6-1

Game 1

Rutgers blew out the NJIT Highlanders 85-58 Tuesday night. I’m sure the Scarlet Knights hope they can replicate the 53% shooting from the field and 36% shooting from three more moving forward from this one. Ron Harper Jr. led the team with 25 points, while Myles Johnson got the double-double with 17 points and 11 boards.

Game 2

Rutgers beat the Umass Minutemen Friday afternoon 82-57. Rutgers only shot 23% from three in this one, and was led by Geo Baker’s 17 points.

Week Ahead

Rutgers travels to steel city Tuesday to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers (89th in RPI) for their challenge match-up at 9 pm ET on ESPNU. Then they head to East Lansing to take on the #3 Spartans in their conference opener Sunday at 7 pm ET on BTN.

That Other NU 3-3

Game 1

The Northwestern Wildcats easily beat the Bradley Braves in their opener of the Fort Myers Tip-off Monday night. Led by 50% shooting from three-point rang and 53% from the field, they blew out Bradley 78-51. Pat Spencer led the team with 23 points.

Game 2

Northwestern flipped the script from Monday night in a loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers in game two Wednesday night, 72-59. The Wildcats only shot 37% from the field, and lost the rebound battle 44-30. Pat Spencer again led the team in scoring with 18 points.

Week Ahead

The Northwestern Wildcats head to the Boston College Eagles (99th in RPI) Tuesday night for a 7 pm ET challenge game on ESPNU. Then they head to Purdue (157th in RPI) Sunday for a 5 pm ET conference tip on BTN.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 4-3

Game 1

Huskers downed the Washington State Cougars in game one of the Cayman Islands Classic. Be sure to read the full review here.

Game 2

Nebraska dropped game two to the George Mason Patriots. Read the full game recap here.

Game 3

UNL pulled out a 3rd place finish in the tournament with a win over the South Florida Bulls. Check out the game recap here.

Week Ahead

Nebraska travels to the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (87th in RPI) Wednesday night for the B1G/ACC Challenge at 7:15 pm ET on ESPNU. Then on Saturday it’s a trip up I-80 to Omaha to take on the Creighton Bluejays (130th in RPI) at 2:30 pm ET on FS1.