The Big Ten and college basketball in general had a crazy and entertaining day yesterday with upsets and fun match-ups everywhere. Today isn't nearly as jam-packed as yesterday, but the conference does have two games worth watching.
Game of The Day:
This might be the only time this season that Rutgers gets to be the "Game of The Day" in the Big Ten. Unfortunately for RU fans, the reason this game is so good is their opponent. Monmouth may be the most entertaining mid-major in the country right now. As I write this, the announcers in a game between Texas and Stanford are talking about the Hawks. Between upsets of UCLA, Notre Dame, and Georgetown and their wild bench celebrations, the college basketball world can't stop talking about them.
Monmouth brings their talents on and off the court to The RAC to face a struggling Rutgers group. The good news is the Knights are 4-2 at home, the bad news they are coming off a 34-point loss at George Washington last Saturday. Rutgers will again be without leading scorer DeShawn Freeman, and will have to rely on freshman Corey Sanders having a good game on both sides of the ball. He will be matched up with Monmouth's diminutive star Justin Robinson, who is averaging 20.4 points a game. The Hawks also have their own breakout freshman, sort of. Micah Seaborn is averaging 14.5 ppg for Monmouth in his second year on campus, but after being ruled ineligible for all of last season he is technically a freshman. Expect Rutgers to compete early, but Monmouth is the better team and the Hawks should take this one.
Nebrasketball is one of the most intriguing Big Ten teams out there. They've played a tough non-conference schedule, yet their best win so far was last Sunday's home win over Rhode Island. They also have three "quality losses" to Villanova, Miami, and Cincinnati. With only Samford and Praire View A&M left, the Huskers will need to hold serve til conference play and then earn some good victories in Big Ten play. Otherwise, an NCAA Tournament bid is out of the question.
Samford is a decent team, they currently have a 7-4 record, but none of their wins have been over high-major competition. The Bulldogs are led by senior guard Darius Jones-Gibson and his sophomore backcourt mate Christen Cunningham . Together they account for 30.1 points per game. Nebraska should get good games from wings Andrew White III and Shavon Shields in a game where they pull away late.