The Big Ten had three games on Monday, including marquee matchups for Michigan and Purdue as the league began the 2023 Gavitt Tipoff Games. All three games ended up in wins for the league.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers 83, Xavier Musketeers 71
The Boilers got their first test of the 2023-’24 season on Monday, as the program hosted Xavier as part of the Gavitt Games. Purdue was a heavy favorite before tip and largely lived up to that hype, pulling away before halftime and holding the lead throughout the second half. It wasn’t a blowout, but Purdue was always relatively comfortable.
The star of the show was Zach Edey, who finihed with 28 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. Braden Smith also had an encouraging night with 12 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Fans will hope that continues this season as the Boilermakers need the backcourt to take a few steps forward to overcome last year’s missteps.
Purdue improved to 3-0 with the win. The Boilermakers will now prepare for a long road trip out west to participate in the 2023 Maui Invitational. Purdue will open with Gonzaga on Monday evening before facing either Tennessee or Syracuse on Tuesday. Obviously, it figures to be a massive resume opportunity for the team. Score a few wins and Purdue could set itself up for a one seed in March.
-Michigan Wolverines 89, St. John’s Red Storm 73
The Wolverines had an encouraging first week of the season, but faced their first test on Monday night on the road against St. John’s. It was quite an environment as the program welcomed Rick Pitino as head coach. Unfortunately for fans of the Red Storm, the game wasn’t all that competitive, as Michigan pulled away in the second half en route to a 16-point win. Dug McDaniel led the way with 26 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
Michigan improved to 3-0 with the win and suddenly finds itself shooting up on the KenPom ratings. The Wolverines are now all the way up to 23rd nationally on KenPom and have a chance to move up further from there with some resume opportunities ahead. Michigan will return to action on Friday at home against Long Beach State.
-Nebraska Cornhuskers 64, Rider Broncs 50
The Huskers cruised in this one against an overmatched Rider squad. Rienk Mast led the way with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and two assists. Josiah Allick and CJ Wilcher also scored in double-digits. Nebraska’s defense was particularly impressive in the win, holding Rider to 0.77 points per possession.
Nebraska improved to 3-0 with the win. The Huskers will now prepare for Stony Brook at home on Wednesday. It figures to be the team’s last tune up game before facing more challenging competition over the weekend.