While most people were tuned into some great College Football action Saturday, there was one Big Ten team playing basketball today. No. 14 Minnesota was taking on No. 25 Alabama in the Barclays Center Classic in what was thought to be a game to watch because of some great players and two great teams, but it ended up being a game to watch for a very different reason.
Game of the Night
The only Big Ten team that played tonight was Minnesota and by the end of this game, there were only eight players left on the court. The fun part about this game was not only did Alabama play the final 11 minutes of the game with three players, but they mounted a comeback. Here is what happened:
With around 12 minutes left in the game, Nate Mason had a nice crossover that made Collin Sexton lose his footing and then gave him a taunting stare as he put up the shot. This caused Sexton to get up and show Mason his displeasure and both players received a technical foul, but nothing got out of hand...yet. Directly after this, Mason received his second technical of the game and was ejected. Then things really got going.
Shortly after Mason was ejected, tensions were still running high and Dupree McBrayer and Dazon Ingram got into a shoving match underneath the basket and they had to be pulled apart and separated and a scuffle ensued. During the scuffle, the entire Alabama bench left the sideline and per the NCAA rule book, they were all disqualified from the game. So Alabama only had the five guys they had left on the court for the remainder of the game. Unfortunately, it did not end there for the Crimson Tide.
After the ejections, Dazon Ingram was left with four fouls and with 11:31, he fouled out. With the entire bench being ejected, Avery Johnson had nobody left to sub in and was forced to play the game with only four players and down by double digits.
Then, with 10:41 left in the game and not even a minute after Alabama went to 4 on 5 basketball, promising freshman John Petty came down awkwardly on his ankle after a shot attempt and he had to be carried off the court and into the locker room. So for those of you keeping count at home, the Tide are down to three players for the last ten minutes of the game.
With 10:41 left and the Tide down to three players, all hope was lost for the Tide and Avery Johnson threw in the towel right? Not exactly. The tide finished the game on a 28-19 run and even cut the lead to three with the ball at one point. The Gophers would end up hitting some free throws down the stretch and winning the game, but still a valiant effort all around by Collin Sexton, Galin Smith and Riley Norris. Sexton finished with 38 points on 12-22 shooting and impressed Minnesota coach Rich Pitino immensely.
“Collin could be a single team just by himself” Pitino told ESPN. “He’s that good”.
Minnesota is back in action on Wednesday against No. 11 Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Alabama is back in action on Wednesday as well against Louisiana Tech and hopefully, with a 5 on 5 match up.