Twelve B1G teams played today, making it the most active day of the entire season for the conference. Only Minnesota (who played Friday) and Nebraska (who plays Creighton today) were not on the court. The marquee matchups for the B1G going into the day all involved Big East opponents, creating what could be considered a mini-preview for the Dave Gavitt Tipoff Games. This event, named for the first commissioner of the original Big East, was announced in May and will start in 2015. Eight teams from each league will play at on-campus sites with the conferences splitting home games in a format similar to the B1G/ACC Challenge. Unexpectedly however, those three games were all overshadowed by a shocker in Ann Arbor.
Game of the Day: #17 Michigan vs. NJIT
Before today, the New Jersey Institute of Technology's basketball was noteworthy for two reasons. They are nicknamed the Highlanders and they are the only independent Division I basketball program in the country. After today, they have a new claim to fame, a perfect all-time record against ranked teams. Michigan couldn't stop 5'11" Damon Lynn on the perimeter late in the game and his four threes in the second half helped propel his team to victory.
On a day where a lot of attention was focused on college football, NJIT's victory became the biggest story of the early part of the day and earned them comparisons to Appalachian State's football team and their famous upset of Michigan. It should be noted that Caris LeVert did absolutely everything he could to try and bring his team back, scoring 32 points, including 15 in the last 6:20, grabbing 6 rebounds and making 4 steals. This loss doesn't mean this Michigan team isn't a good team, but with minimal experience and not a lot of size inside the Wolverines will struggle to rebound at times and today they were tied in rebounds with the Highlanders. Perimeter defense was also lacking today from John Beilein's team, but the Highlanders shot extremely well today, even when the defense was good. Michigan will try to get back to winning against Eastern Michigan Tuesday before heading to Arizona to play a potential Final Four team in the Wildcats on Saturday.
Northwestern at #23 Butler
Northwestern committed 26 fouls, 14 more than the Bulldogs and lost 65-56 in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler shot 21 more free throws than the Wildcats and although they only hit 16-28, it was enough to seal the victory. Kellen Dunham led Butler with 19 points, hitting the team's only three and going 6-6 at the line. Alex Olah had a solid game with 11 points, but he and his team were unable to effectively defend the paint against a tough team. Northwestern gets Mississippi Valley State at home next Sunday, while Butler will see another B1G team later this year when they face IU in the Crossroads Classic on December 20th.
Rutgers at Seton Hall
The Pirates took home the Garden State Hardwood Classic trophy and more than their fair share of bragging rights after downing rival Rutgers 81-54. The Scarlet Knights were embarrassed by their rivals while only shooting 30% from the field. Myles Mack and Mike Williams both managed 15 points for Rutgers, but this game was all Seton Hall. The Pirates got 25 points in only 21 minutes from talented freshman Isaiah Whitehead. Rutgers returns home to play a solid New Hampshire team on Tuesday.
#2 Wisconsin at Marquette
After a tough loss at home to Duke, the Badgers went on the road and bounced back against in-state rival Marquette, taking a 48-39 victory. Both teams struggled from the floor and shot less than 33%. Frank Kaminsky achieved a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but Matt Carlino of the Golden Eagles led all scorers with 18, almost half of his team's points. Despite an ankle injury, Sam Dekker started and played 22 minutes. Wisconsin returns to Milwaukee again on Wednesday, this time to take on the UW-Milwaukee Panthers.
Purdue vs North Florida
Purdue outplayed the Ospreys for about 37 minutes of the game, but they left the door open and couldn't hit the big shots when it mattered most. North Florida ended the game on an 18-8 run while a young Boiler team looked completely lost. Big men Isaac Haas and A.J. Hammons combined for 30 and 13 rebounds, but weren't utilized nearly enough down the stretch. The Ospreys' Dallas Moore led his team with 24 points and went 5-8 from three. Purdue dominated on the boards 50-39 and were the better team in just about every stat except for shooting and especially from beyond the arc, where the Boilers went 4-19 compared to 10-22 for North Florida. Purdue gets Summit League favorite IPFW at home on Monday and Arkansas State on Wednesday.
Penn State at Marshall
The Nittany Lions went on the road to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd and held on to a win despite a late surge by the home team. D.J. Newbill, John Johnson and Brandon Taylor all scored 17 points for PSU, but it was Newbill's last two points from the line that sealed the victory with 5 seconds left. Penn State is now 8-1 with their only loss coming to Charlotte in double overtime. Dusquesne comes into the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday.
#21 Maryland vs Winthrop
At halftime, this was a 5-point game, but by the end it was a blowout. Winthrop fought hard, but Melo Trimble and the Terrapins were just too much, bouncing back and defending their home court after a loss to rival Virginia. Jake Layman led all scorers with 21 while Damonte Dodd added 10 rebounds and their team earned a 82-62 win at home. Maryland plays North Carolina Central on Wednesday.
Iowa vs UMBC
Baltimore County is called the Retrievers, so maybe they can recruit Air Bud to help them get a win. UMBC is winless on the season and the Iowa Hawkeyes made sure they stayed that way. Iowa forced 26 turnovers in a blowout 77-47 victory. Gabriel Olaseni and Peter Jok each scored 15 points off the bench, while Aaron White added 14 as a starter. Iowa next plays Alcorn State before facing rival Iowa State on Friday.
Indiana vs Savannah State
The Savannah State Tigers are not a good basketball team, they lost 87-26 to Louisville earlier this season and last night Indiana beat them almost as badly, 95-49. Four IU starters scored double figures, led by Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon with 18, and most of them were resting on the bench for the last ten minutes. The Hoosiers shot 10-21 from three and outrebounded the Tigers 42-24. Indiana next gets a chance at Louisville themselves in Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday.
#24 Illinois vs American
The Eagles shot 50%, but turned the ball over 19 times and didn't have a single offensive rebound. The Fighting Illini only managed a 70-55 victory, but on a day where many teams lost games that were supposed to be easy, they will take it. Malcom Hill led the Illini with 13 and Ravonte Rice chipped in 10, next up is Villanova in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic at MSG.
#19 Michigan State vs AR-Pine Bluff
Arkansas-Pine Bluff allowed the Michigan State Spartans to have five players in double figures and lost the rebounding battle 42-28, that is a good recipe for a blowout loss. Marcel Mosley of the Golden Lions actually had a pretty good game with 19 points, 5 steals and 4 assists, but Travis Trice and Matt Costello both had 15 points, Denzel Valentine had 8 assists and MSU rolled to an easy 85-52 victory. Michigan State now gets a whole week off before facing Oakland next Sunday.
#14 Ohio State vs Colgate
By 8 o'clock all Buckeye eyes were focused on Indianapolis, but at 4:30 some were watching Value City Arena. Marc Loving scored 17 and D'Angelo Russell had 19 as Ohio State thumped the Colgate Raiders by 20. Not to be outdone, the football Buckeyes throttled Wisconsin 59-0 in the B1G title game. OSU basketball will next play High Point on Wednesday, while their football counterparts will learn their fate at 12:30 today