The Big Ten was supposed to have a quiet night on Friday. Despite four games taking place, all four were home exhibitions that should were supposed to be uncompetitive. The anticipation was that the benches would get used quite a bit, the stars would shine, and fans would hit the exits early.
Then, that happened.
Let's take a look at all the action.
Game of the Night: Augustana University 76, Iowa Hawkeyes 74
Yes, the Hawkeyes lost the team's exhibition on Friday night. It was a shocker for most of the country and is a game that is going to get plenty of discussion over the coming days. This wasn't just a fluke loss either. Augustana was in firm control for most of the second half. The team did hit a buzzer beater to end thegame, but acting like Augustana backed into this win just isn't accurate.
Wow! Augustana stuns Iowa in an exhibition hoops game on a buzzer-beater! https://t.co/E29MCBmfAA— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 7, 2015
So, Iowa lost? What does it mean? What should fans take going forward?
The first thing that has to be remembered from this loss is that it was an exhibition game. Maybe that doesn't help the spirits of Hawkeye fans, but it matters. This game does not impact RPI and does not impact Iowa's chances for the NCAA Tournament, at least on its face. Maybe this is a sign of things to come or maybe not, but this loss literally cannot derail the season. That's why it's an exhibition game.
Another key thing that many don't realize about Augustana is that it's actually one of the best teams in Division II basketball. Again, maybe not something that's going to get Hawkeye fans excited, but something that has to be noted here. Although there is no great measure for how Augustana would hold up in Division I basketball, good teams have lost to Division II powerhouses before and ended up doing well.
Some of the players that did play well were Mike Gesell and Peter Jok. Both were consistent scorers and Jok nearly sent the game to overtime before Augustana was able to hit the buzzer beater. Adam Woodbury also finished with 14 rebounds on the night in his 32 minutes of action.
- Southern New Hampshire University 54, Maryland Terrapins 91
The Big Ten's preseason favorite got into action on Friday night and came out with a solid performance. There were moments when the Terps let SNHU stick around, but overall, it was about what one could expect. Robert Carter ended up leading the way with 12 points and 10 rebounds and newcomer Diamond Stone had 16 points. If the Terps keep getting frontcourt production like this, it could be a great season for Maryland.
- Le Moyne College 54, Michigan Wolverines 74
The Wolverines had a mixed night overall. Things started out sloppy on offense and good on defense, then flipped and ended sloppy on defense, but good on offense. Michigan trotted out numerous different lineups and played plenty of its deep bench options, but was able to keep ahead of the Dolphins. The player who really stood out was Caris LeVert, who finished with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists on the night. Newcomer Duncan Robinson also had a good game, finishing with 15 points on just 10 attempts.
Of course, the real stars came in the halftime show:
DOGS AT CRISLER. pic.twitter.com/zo2luc6Cs9— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) November 7, 2015
- Southwest Minnesota State 64, Minnesota Golden Gophers 81
The Gophers had their second exhibition this week on Friday, taking on Southwest Minnesota State. Kevin Dorsey and Bakary Konate were both out due to a suspension and injury respectively. The star of the night was Joey King, who ended up 17 points, including 5-7 from three point range. Carlos Morris also had a big performance with 23 points. Another player who continues to contribute is Jordan Murphy, who had eight points and four rebounds.