Tej goes 13-1, with the sole loss coming thanks to that ol’ rascal Bo Ryan…and I’m plenty fine with that, because it gives the Big Ten some credibility it sorely needed after a rough start.
Michigan State – A tough, hard earned victory against a good Louisville team which presented some particular difficulties for MSU right now, short one of their biggest bodies in Gavin Schilling and on short rest and prep. As Izzo said in the post-game, it’s not a bad thing when you can learn some lessons and still win the game. Solidifes the case for where they’re ranked right now, for whatever that’s worth (not much).
Wisconsin – Wow, talk about a come from nowhere, unexpected victory. Not only did I think the Badgers would get beat, I thought they might get drilled by a Syracuse team which was playing well, was better rested, and was at home to boot. For Wiscy to pull that off..remarkable. Stats say they still didn’t shoot well but Syracuse was dreadful and the Badgers just slaughtered SU on the glass (51-26 overall and 16-6 on the offensive boards).Interesting note…according to the stats I just saw, starters accounted for all but 18 of the total minutes played by Wisconsin tonight, which went an extra 5 into OT. Bo’s never been a guy prone to playing a ton of people but that is ridiculously extreme.
Iowa – Held off a Florida State team which is young but has some real firepower, also winning in OT (Big Ten did very well in extra sessions in this event, as Wiscy and Northwestern also grabbed extra session victories). Could be an important win for them resume-wise but probably more importantly, it avoided a resume negative (losing at home).
Penn State – In a battle of undermanned, young teams, PSU won on the road behind 30 from Shep Garner, who is going to have to carry a lot of the load offensively for this team. They held Eli Carter to 7 points, so a nice job there, as he’s the one kid BC has who has enough game to score on anybody.
Illinois – They led for awhile but in the end, Notre Dame had a little bit too much and won in C/U by 5. The loss of Thorne inside is going to be really damaging IMO…they’ve just gotten Nunn and Tate back and their perimeter offense was starting to look at least decent, and then they lose the big man who was giving them their best interior play since Mike Davis was on campus. I think it’s going to be very tough for Groce to get much done this year in terms of wins.
IU – They shot 51/42% from the floor and lost by 20 at Cameron. Even when they were in the game in the first half, did anyone watching ever think they were going to actually win? Not me. The defensive problems are massive. They got outrebounded on the offensive boards by 10 and I don’t think Duke is all that great in that area of the game (not the way that people like MSU or Louisville or Kentucky are, certainly). IU will drill some teams that don’t have much firepower but man, they are going to give up a TON of points this year. So far, the problems from last year not only aren’t solved, they may have somehow gotten even worse.