College Basketball is finally back. The regular season tipped off on Friday and the Big Ten was a solid 11-1 on the day (The Archie Miller era at Indiana did not start off on the greatest note). Most teams won by double digits easily, but one game was surprisingly close as No. 19 Northwestern only beat Loyola (MD) 79-75 at home. A total of 12 Big Ten teams played on opening day, which left two to open up their seasons on Saturday.
Let’s take a look at at how these two teams fared.
Game of the Night:
Michigan started off their season on a strong note, defeating North Florida by 20 at home. Leading the way for the Wolverines was Duncan Robinson with 21 points, and Charles Matthews and Moe Wagner added 20 and 18 respectively.
For North Florida, Garrett Sams had 17 points and Ivan Gandia-Rosa added 12. It was a close game at the half, with Michigan leading 32-30, but they came out hot in the second half and outscored the Ospreys 54-36. It has been a long weekend for North Florida, losing to Michigan State 98-66 and then losing to Michigan 86-66 in back to back games to open their season.
Michigan will be back into action on Monday against Central Michigan, while it does not get any easier for North Florida as they take on VCU Monday and Florida on Thursday. Michigan is 1-0 on the year and North Florida falls to 0-2.
Nebraska survived a huge scare at home against Eastern Illinois to open their season and got the victory in a close game. Glynn Watson Jr had 21 points for the Cornhuskers and scored two huge baskets in the last two minutes to propel Nebraska to victory.
For the Panthers, Terrell Lewis had 13 points and JaQuan Starks added 12. Eastern Illinois falls to 0-1 on the season and Nebraska moves to 1-0.
There were some offseason question marks about Nebraska and how they would mesh together this year and after this close call, the question marks have gotten a little more noteworthy. They only shot 38 percent from the field, 31 percent from three and 59 percent from the line. They take on North Texas on Monday so we will see then how much they have improved on these statistics. Eastern Illinois takes on Western Illinois next on Wednesday.