The Big Ten opened its season on Monday, but four teams began their seasons on Tuesday night with a variety of home matchups. All four teams ended up winning, though it was easier for some than others.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Indiana Hoosiers 69, Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 63
After losing so much this offseason, nobody was quite sure about what to expect from the Hoosiers this season. The roster looked talented, but most the lineup was unproven. Monday would be an early look at the team’s hopes, as Florida Gulf Coast entered with a decent profile for a mid-major opponent.
The game would prove to be highly competitive. In fact, it was probably too close for Hoosier fans. The team battled throughout and it was even a one possession game in the closing minutes. Fortunately for Indiana, the team was able to close it out thanks to some quality defense and the play of sophomore Kel’el Ware, who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Indiana improved to 1-0 with the win, though the team actually dropped two spots on KenPom after the game. The Hoosiers are now ranked 52nd nationally. Fans will hope the team can improve that mark in the coming weeks. Indiana will return to action at home on Sunday against Army.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 110, North Dakota Fighting Hawks 68
The Hawkeyes got off to a great start with a blowout victory over North Dakota. The game was never all that competitive, as Iowa’s offense scorched the Hawks en route to 1.36 points per possession. Payton Sandfort finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. Ben Krikke also had 18 points. Iowa will now prepare for Alabama State at home on Friday. Expect another lopsided game.
-Maryland Terrapins 68, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers 53
The Terps also scored a nice win on opening night, thanks to 12 points from DeShawn Harris-Smith and 18 points from Julian Reese. This game was less competitive than the final score, as Maryland unloaded its bench and Mount St. Mary’s closed things up down the stretch against the backups. The Terps will now prepare for an intriguing matchup against Davidson in Asheville on Friday night.
-Michigan Wolverines 99, UNC Asheville Bulldogs 74
After a rough 2022-’23 season, Michigan returned to action on Tuesday night hoping to put last season’s missteps in the rear-view mirror. And if Monday night’s performance is any indication, things should be significantly better this time around. Michigan faced a decent mid-major in UNC Asheville and ran the Bulldogs off the floor. Olivier Nkamhoua led the way with 25 points and seven rebounds. Dug McDaniel also had 22 points. Michigan will now prepare for Youngstown State at home on Friday night.