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Top 25: A Tale of Two Years

By Zachery Bonzheim

2016 has been characterized as one of the most unique, out of the ordinary, and strange years in recent memory. There were changes in nearly every realm of life, even college basketball. This article looks to compare the current landscape of college basketball to this same time last year. All of the data in regards to this article is using the “2016-17 AP College Basketball Week 10 Poll”.

To begin, let’s examine the top teams in college basketball while hitting on where they were this time, last season.

  1. Baylor (15-0).

    To start week 10 the bears sat atop of the college basketball world, a much different story than last year. Baylor sat at #22 in the nation this time last year with a still impressive record of 12-3. What’s the difference? Perhaps the surge of junior, Johnathan Motley. Big man, Johnathan Motley and his 15.6 points per game, has improved in all aspects of his game. With rebounds going from 5.1 to 9.1, points increasing from 11.1 to 15.3, assists up from .9 to 2.1, and the lowing of personal fouls, Motley has made the jump to elite. The Bears look poised to continue their great form. Their impressive resume includes major wins against Michigan State, Oregon, Louisville, Xavier, Florida Gulf Coast, VCU, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State. They have the #2 RPI in country proving their dominance.

    (Ed. Note:  By now we know that Baylor just received a historic beatdown at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers and this is a short lived ranking)

  2. Kansas (14-1).

    The Jayhawks are off and soaring, something we are all accustomed to. Last year, Kansas sat the #1 in the nation with an identical record of 14-1. What’s different from this year to last year? To be fair, they are still elite, they are still playing for a national title, but the only difference may be that there were no major undefeated teams left this time last year. Had Baylor not escaped their scares with Louisville, Iowa State, or Oklahoma State, it is very believable and probable that Kansas would be the top-ranked team. Kansas has nothing to worry about. An opening loss to Indiana (103-99) is the only blemish on their resume. Major wins coming against Duke, UNLV, and Kansas State, Stanford, Nebraska, Georgia, and Oklahoma, along with an RPI of 4 proves their worthiness of the second spot in the AP Poll. The emergence of a senior point guard, Frank Mason III, and freshman Josh Jackson have played a large part in their continued success. Mason III is scoring a team high 20.4 points, while dishing over five assists and snagging 4.5 rebounds. The Mason-Jackson tandem is averaging 35.8 points per game once you add in Jackson’s impressive 15.4 points per game. Their offensive firepower has led them to be averaging 86.3 points per game as a team, slotting them at 14th in the nation. Don’t be surprised if Kansas keeps this up and ends up playing deep into March.

  1. Villanova (15-1).

    The Wildcats of Villanova have been busy. After capping off a championship season they jumped into a schedule that would test them. This time last year the Wildcats sat at 6th in the nation with a record of 14-2. They were .500 against ranked teams, losses to #7 Oklahoma and #8 Virginia and wins to #6 Xavier and #18 Butler. This year, they have improved their games against ranked opponents sitting at 4-2. A schedule with wins coming against #15 Purdue, #23 Notre Dame, #10 Creighton, #15 Xavier, along with big with against Western Michigan, Wake Forest, UCF, Temple, and Marquette have entered them in the serious consideration for the title. Their only loss this year was at Hinkle Fieldhouse to the current #12 Butler Bulldogs, one of the toughest venues in the nation. A trio of Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Jalen Brunson know what it takes to win it all and they are all in on this season. Be prepared to see them on national television more with big games against Marquette, Virginia, Georgetown twice, Providence, Butler, Xavier, and Creighton still left on the docket.

  2. UCLA (16-1)

    UCLA has been relying on a duo of super-freshman, Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf, and a duo of seniors, Bryce Alfred and Isaac Hamilton, to get the job done. This time last year the Bruins sat at a lackluster 11-6. They had impressive wins against #1 Kentucky, #20 Gonzaga, #7 Arizona, and an unranked UNLV team. With losses coming to Monmouth, Kansas, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Washington, and Washington State, it is not hard to understand why they were not ranked. What has been the difference? The definite answer has been their recruiting class. Although Alfred and Hamilton have been team leaders for years, Leaf and Ball and stepped up and brought their offense to life. The Bruins are scoring the ball at an extreme rate of 92.8 points per game (3rd in the nation). Not only are they scoring it, they are sharing the rock. The Bruins are averaging an NCAA-best 22.8 assists a game. The tandem of Leaf and Ball are averaging 32.1 points per game and 10.9 assists, that is over one-third of the team scoring and over a half of their assists. UCLA’s schedule has included wins over Nebraska, Texas A&M, at the time #1 Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio State, star-studded Cal, Stanford, and Oregon State. The only imperfection on UCLA’s record is a loss at Oregon on a buzzer beater from National Player of the Year candidate, Dillon Brooks. Don’t count the Bruins out of the championship game, it’s not to often the title is decided by a buzzer beater. Wait…

  3. Gonzaga (15-0). The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the only undefeated team in the AP Poll and the highest mid-major. We have all grown consistent to seeing them to in the top 25, and this time last year they were barely squeaking in at #25 and 13-3. What is the difference between an undefeated team and a team barely in the AP Top 25? The answer is closing out the games. Last season at this time, Gonzaga had suffered three losses to a total of 11 points. A one point loss to Texas A&M, a five-point loss to UCLA, and a five-point loss to Arizona is all the difference. Gonzaga did have good wins last year, #18 UCONN, Tennessee, Washington, and Washington State, but most of their remaining games were against low-level mid-majors just trying to enter the big dance. This year, Gonzaga has taken care of business. They have beaten a good San Diego State team, Florida, #21 Iowa State, #16 Arizona, Washington, and Tennessee. Gonzaga has not been doing this in down to wire games as last year but rather blowing teams out. With average points per game of 85.5 (16th in the nation) and allowing opponents to 65 points per game, the Bulldogs have been winning by an average of 20.5 points per game (3rd in the nation). This team, led by Nigel Williams-Goss, has remained to be the last unbeaten team in the country. With no ranked opponents until #21 Saint Mary’s on January, 14th, the Bulldogs will hold onto their streak a little longer.

Only one of the top five teams from last year’s top five; number one Kansas, number two Oklahoma, number three Maryland, number four Michigan State, and number five North Carolina, are in the top five right now. Furthermore, Kansas and North Carolina are the only teams from that bunch who are even ranked. With conference play underway, Michigan State (number one in the Big Ten at 12-6) and Maryland (number two in the Big Ten at 15-2), have made a much-needed turn midway through the season. Oklahoma has not been so fortunate going 6-9 and currently 0-4 in conference play, putting them in the last spot of the Big 12. These three teams all have some major commonalities, the loss of major players. Michigan State lost Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, Matt Costello, and Deyonta Davis; Oklahoma lost Buddy Hield, Ryan Spangler, and Isaiah Cousins; and Maryland lost Diamond Stone, Jake Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Robert Carter. These players were all NBA talent, some not being on current rosters, but these teams were loaded this time last year. Seeing the fate of Kansas, North Carolina, and two turned around clubs in Michigan State and Maryland, gives hope for the current top five in a year’s time. Yet, there always looms the impossible task of replacing a star-studded team in one offseason, just ask Oklahoma.

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Richmond Thwarts GW Comeback

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Richmond’s Khwan Fore Guards Jaren Sina

Richmond survived a huge comeback attempt from George Washington Sunday afternoon to hold onto a 77-70 win in DC. The Spiders got huge buckets from Khwan Fore and T.J. Cline late in the game to end a 24-9 Colonials run and secure Richmond’s third consecutive win to open up A-10 play.

Richmond didn’t make things easy for themselves down the stretch as they shot just 5-11 from the line, but made up for that with an impressive 8-15 from behind the arc. Cline led the way with four of those made triples as he finished with a team-high 19 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.

As a team, Richmond shot a season-best 62 percent from the floor and assisted on 22 of their 32 made field goals.

De’Monte Buckingham played a near-perfect game for the Spiders as he scored 16 points on 7-7 shooting. Fore finished with 15 points on 6-9 shooting, while providing the highlight of the game as he slammed home an acrobatic dunk in the first half off of a great feed from Cline.

George Washington’s comeback attempt was fueled by graduate senior Tyler Cavanaugh who scored a game-high 22 points and senior Yuta Watanabe’s 15. Watanabe scored 11 points in the second half but missed a couple of three balls in the game’s final minutes that would have helped close the gap as the Colonials were never able to get the deficit within one score.

Richmond’s 3-0 start in conference play is their best since the 1997-98 season when they were a member of the CAA. They host St. Bonaventure on Wednesday before traveling to St. Joe’s.

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Big East Looking Like A Bloodbath 

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In case you haven’t been paying attention, the “new” Big East is very good again this year.

Who knows how long we’ll keep having to refer to the league as new, but there are still many who refuse to take the league as seriously as warranted, based in part on how formidable and iconic the old Big East was.

But hey, living in the now, the Big East has been at worst a top three conference in college basketball this season. Not only does reigning National Champion Villanova dwell in the Big East, but the league currently has four teams in the top ten of the still all important R.P.I. and is the top rated R.P.I. conference as of today (despite the large number of R.P.I. naysayers, it remains the number one predictor of NCAA Tournament selection and seeding).

On the court, Villanova has picked up where they left off last season, thanks to the return of five key contributors from last season’s championship team, including three guards who made a living hitting big shots during their run. The biggest shot of all (and maybe of all-time), of course came from senior Kris Jenkins who remains one of the Wildcats’ unflappable leaders.

In a sport so dependent on solid guard play, it’s tough to imagine a team more equipped to make a run in the NCAA Tournament than Villanova, with their collection of guards who have been there and done that.

But wait, there’s much more.

Butler, who handed Villanova its first loss since March on Wednesday, is a deep, tough-minded team led by junior Kelan Martin, with non conference wins over Arizona, Cincinnati and Indiana.

Creighton is a legitimate threat to win the conference, with one of the best backcourts in the nation. They have a big win over Wisconsin on their resume along with solid victories over NC State and Nebraska.

Xavier was expected to be very good and they haven’t disappointed. Led by their own outstanding backcourt, the Musketeers have been a top 15 team all season with solid non conference wins over Clemson and Wake Forest.

After those four NCAA Tournament and likely high seed locks, the 10-team league has four other formidable squads that will be fighting for two realistic NCAA Tournament spots. Seton Hall, Providence, Georgetown and Marquette are all solid teams that have decent resumes to date, while also possessing room for improvement.

Even the very bottom of the Big East has shown improvement. Chris Mullin’s young St. John’s team suffered a couple of horrible losses to Delaware State and LIU Brooklyn, but the Red Storm have raised eyebrows recently, with a 33-point win at Syracuse and a win over Butler as an encore.

Even DePaul, who has had little to boast about, took Villanova down to the wire in a 3-point loss before the new year.

I say all of that to say this: the Big East is going to be a bloodbath this season. There are no easy games and no days off. This new Big East will be the same old Big East grind.

Nationally, this is one of the best leagues in the country. Expect 60% of the conference to be playing in the big dance come March and don’t be too surpback-to-back National Champion.

For more college basketball analysis follow Jamal Murphy on Twitter: @Blacketologist

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Is it Time to Take the Spartans Seriously?

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By Zachery Bonzheim

This year Michigan State basketball team is not like the ones of years past. At 11-5 the Spartans’ overall win percentage ranks among the worst in the Big Ten. Losing to a lowly Northeastern team at the prestigious Breslin Center and barely squeaking by a 1-7 Oral Roberts team showed their talent or lack thereof. It was easy to write the Spartans off with all of these facts but if one digs deeper they will see a brighter picture for the young Spartan team.

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Should Grayson Allen Have Returned Already?

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Duke guard Grayson Allen returned Wednesday night after an “indefinite suspension” of just one game. The junior was suspended after tripping Elon’s Steven Santa Ana just under two weeks ago.

The trip was Allen’s third incident of a similar manner and led to the tirade on the bench that drew even more negative attention to Coach K’s most experienced contributor. Every college basketball analyst on the planet immediately jumped at the chance to weigh in on the severity of his punishment, ranging from no suspension to a five or even ten game ban.

Originally after the game a heated Krzyzewksi said there was going to be no penalty issued to Allen, that he had spoken to him and that the matter was over. Allen had his tearful press conference at his locker and drew some sympathy and it seemed the matter was indeed over as Coach K said. That was why it came as such a shock a day later when it was announced Allen would be suspended “indefinitely.”

Krzyzewski stated, “As a program, we needed to take further steps regarding his actions that do not meet the standards of Duke Basketball. To that end, we have determined that Grayson will be suspended from competition for an indefinite amount of time.”

To make matters worse for Duke fans and to take some of the heat off of the suspension, it was announced that Krzyzewski would require a back surgery, scheduled to happen this Friday, that would cause him to miss four weeks. Just a quick reminder, all of that happened over the span of five days.

But back to Allen, who was officially suspended from the team on December 22, which seems like a long time ago, but in reality was just that one game, a loss to Virginia Tech.

The use of the word indefinitely was very sneaky from the Duke bench boss because as it turns out, Allen’s suspension was for an indefinite amount of time, by definition of the word. But how could someone who did not “meet the standards of Duke Basketball,” which correct me if I’m wrong gives off the implication of zero tolerance, be suspended for a single game?

Just two years ago Coach K dismissed Rasheed Sulaimon, a star guard on the team. After the dismissal, Duke released a statement saying, “Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program. It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”

Now I understand that the two circumstances were completely different, but when you throw around big words such as “Not meeting Duke standards,” how can one lead to dismissal and the other to just a one game suspension?

Forget whether you think suspending Allen at all was right or wrong. Why would Duke bring him back after just one game knowing that it would incite serious scrutiny against both Krzyzewski and the program?

Duke did lose that only Graysonless game to a very good Virginia Tech team by 14 points. But then they had Georgia Tech, who they beat by 50 Wednesday night, and Boston College on their schedule before playing anybody who would threaten them. They do travel to #12 Florida State and #9 Louisville next week in back-to-back games.

It would have probably been a pretty bad look for the Blue Devils to bring back Allen after the Boston College game and right before the huge matchup with Florida State, but not nearly as bad as after just one game.

Allen is definitely Duke’s leader and the heart and soul of the team so it makes sense that they’d want him on the floor during Coach K’s recovery period. But Duke is a talented enough team without him that could have easily survived a few more games.

And if they would have lost to Florida State and brought him back for the Louisville game, which would have meant a four game suspension, then so be it, since the team believed he deserved to be suspended anyway.

Duke should have announced the suspension as a “(fill in amount here)-game suspension” and avoided all of the controversy that they brought on themselves.

Instead, they are a team that is used to being the villain and it appears that for at least one more time in Coach K’s career, he didn’t mind embracing that role.

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Big Ten Power Rankings, Week 1 – Nebraska Surprises All

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What a topsy-turvy start to the Big Ten conference season we have had so far. Nebraska won at Indiana and then went into College Park and beat Maryland. Is Michigan State back from the dead? I have no idea what to think yet about this conference but here goes the first power rankings of the season.

14. Rutgers (0-2, 11-4) – The Scarlet Knights are still having a much better season than in years prior, they fought hard in their losses to Wisconsin and Penn State in the first week of conference play but couldn’t put a win on the board. To make matters worse, their best player Corey Sanders is banged up, although still playing.

13. Penn State (1-1, 9-6) – The Nittany Lions lost a home game to Northwestern by 10 and then struggled against Rutgers. Penn State has had a brutal schedule so far this season and they’ll have to take on Michigan and Michigan State this coming week. I still love watching the backcourt duo of Shep Garner and Payton Banks

12. Iowa (1-1, 9-6) – The Hawkeyes got a big win over Michigan to bounce back from the thumping put on them by Purdue. Peter Jok is carrying the team on his back night after night, but getting back freshman forward Tyler Cook should help take some of the pressure of him.

11. Michigan (0-1, 10-4) – The 3 point loss at Iowa to start conference play isn’t a great sign for Michigan. They don’t have a “bad” loss so far this season, but only have wins over Texas, SMU, and Marquette on their resume.

10. Ohio State (0-1, 10-4) – The Buckeyes are in the same boat as Michigan. They dropped their conference opener at Illinois by 5 points and they have a bad loss to Florida Atlantic, but nearly beat Virginia in Charlottesville and competed strongly against UCLA in Las Vegas. They are too experienced and talented to stay in the bottom of the conference. They host Purdue on Thursday night for a chance at a big win.

9. Illinois (1-1, 11-4) – The Malcolm Hill show got destroyed by Maryland but bounced back to beat Ohio State at home by 5 thanks to Hill’s 20 and a big game from sophomore Michael Finke. The Illini are only ahead of Ohio State because of that win and will need much more consistency from Tracy Abrams to take the load off Hill.

8. Northwestern (1-1, 12-3) – The Wildcats opened up conference play with a 10 point win over a much weaker Penn State but didn’t give Michigan State too much trouble in their second game. Northwestern is still in a good position to make the dance for the first time ever, but will need to win their 2 games against Minnesota and Nebraska this week to keep their confidence high.

7. Minnesota (1-1, 12-3) – The Gophers are another inconsistent team so far early in conference play. They lost a game to Michigan State at home that they had literally every chance to win and then go on the road and put up 91 points to beat Purdue. They have a very balanced offensive attack that is still mostly based around Nate Mason and have two tricky games against Northwestern and Ohio State coming up this week.

6. Maryland (1-1, 13-2) – Maryland suffered a huge setback with the Nebraska loss, in which they led by 12 with 4 minutes left and failed to score for the remainder of the game as they shot just 8-16 from the line. This takes away a lot of the confidence they gained with the 25 point win over Illinois in the game before. Melo Trimble and company still don’t have a signature win and will need to pick up the slack this week against Michigan in their first conference road game.

5. Michigan State (2-0, 10-5) – Michigan State struggled out of the gate losing to a bunch of good teams in Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor, and Duke but really hit their setback with a home loss to Northeastern. So of course they would start conference play by winning against Northwestern and Minnesota, two very solid teams in the middle of the pack without Miles Bridges. The scheduling committee was nice to Sparty as they have Rutgers and Penn State this week and should be 4-0 before they have any real competition again with a rematch next week with Minnesota already. They should get Bridges back this week to give them an extra boost.

4. Nebraska (2-0, 8-6) – What is going on in Lincoln? After beating Indiana in Bloomington, the Huskers win in College Park?? Although Nebraska has 6 losses, only one of them have come to a less than quality opponent in Gardner Webb. But Tim Miles clearly has his team playing confidently so far to start conference play. This is the most surprising team in the conference right now.

3. Indiana (0-1, 10-4) – Indiana, what is going on with you? You beat score 103 points to beat Kansas and dominate North Carolina but then lose to IPFW and Nebraska. This is such a talented team with many versatile players and as good of a starting 5 as anyone in the conference, but might be the most inconsistent team in the country. Their spot in the power rankings will flutter all year I am sure. They host Wisconsin tonight in the BIG’s best conference matchup so far.

2. Purdue (1-1, 12-3) – Another team that is hard to figure out so far. The Boilermakers recently beat Notre Dame and then crushed Iowa, but also lost at home to Minnesota, as they allowed 91 points when they typically allow less than 70 per game. But when you have Caleb Swanigan you can expect things to turn around for you and they have 2 possibly challenging games this week with Ohio State on the road and then hosting Wisconsin, in which they’ll need Swanigan to shine.

1. Wisconsin (1-0, 12-2) – The Badgers have lost to Creighton and North Carolina so you can’t fault them there. But their best wins are Marquette, Syracuse, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, so there isn’t anything too special there either. However, they have the opportunity to get two signature wins this week as they are on the road at Indiana tonight and Purdue on Sunday. Ethan Happ, Nigel Hayes, and Bronson Koening are all playing very good basketball and Wisconsin will probably remain the best team in the conference in my opinion for the majority of the season.

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Top 5 Moments of 2016

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As 2017 rolls in, lets look at the unforgettable moments of 2016. May the new year bring us half as good of moments as these.

Honorable Mention. Wednesday Night: The Dillon Brooks 3

5. UCLA vs. UNC – December 17: The Malik Monk Dagger!

4. Texas A&M vs. Northern Iowa – March 20: The 44 Second Collapse

3. Virginia at Duke – February 13: The No Call

2. Oklahoma at Kansas – January 4: The Triple OT Thriller

1. Nova vs UNC – April 4: The Shot

 

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Maryland Crushes Illinois in Conference Opener

Anthony Cowan drives around Tracy Abrams

Anthony Cowan drives around Tracy Abrams

It took no time at all for Maryland to assert their dominance Tuesday night in College Park as they ran out to a 17 point lead early in the first half on their way to an 84-59 win over Illinois.

As usual it was Melo Trimble who led the way for the Terps, scoring a team-high 20 points on 7-10 shooting. But he received a bevy of help along the way as junior guard Jaylen Brantley played possibly his best game of the season off the bench, scoring 13 points while making some highly-contested shots.

Freshmen Anthony Cowan and Justin Jackson both scored 12 points on a combined 10-20 shooting as Maryland shot 56 percent from the floor. Cowan also added a game-high six assists as Maryland had nearly double the assists of the Illini.

Illinois couldn’t get things going as they made just two of their first twelve shot attempts. Senior guard Tracy Abrams, who entered the game scoring 12 points per game and knocking down 60 percent of his shots from behind the arc, was held to just two points on 1-10 shooting and 0-6 from deep. His fellow senior Malcolm Hill was the only spark for the Illini as he scored a game-high 21 points. The rest of the Illini scored just 38 points on 30 percent shooting.

Maryland has won all three of its Big Ten conference openers and will host Nebraska on New Years Day. Illinois loses its conference opener for third consecutive season.

 

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Big Ten Season Opens Up Today

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As the new year approaches later this week, conference play in college basketball begins. Tonight opens up the first conference play in a major league with four games, all on ESPN2, in the Big Ten. A full Big Ten Preview will come later this week but here is a look at the four games today.

3pm, Northwestern at Penn State – Northwestern has only lost to Butler and Notre Dame and are looking for a win in their BIG opener for the third consecutive season as Penn State looks for their first win in their league opener since 2010. Should be a fun guard matchup to watch with Penn State’s Shep Garner and Payton Banks going against Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey. Prediction – Northwestern by double-digits in a high scoring game.

5pm, Illinois at Maryland – The best game of the opening night of Big Ten play brings a surging Illinois into College Park. The Fighting Illini have won six straight including wins over BYU, Missouri, NC State, and VCU. Malcolm Hill is a top five player in the conference and is going to be a tough matchup for Maryland. Melo Trimble is the key for the Terps as always and he has been on fire lately. But the Terps need someone else to step up and help out and that will probably be freshman Justin Jackson who is one of the more underrated players in the conference. Prediction – Maryland by 2 or 3.

7pm, Rutgers at #14 Wisconsin – The Badgers are nearly 20 point favorites in this rough opener for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are playing their best basketball in years but will need to dig very deep to win this one. But hey remember they did upset Wisconsin a few years ago in Piscataway when the Badgers were without an injured Frank Kaminsky. Prediction – Wisconsin by 25+.

9pm, Michigan State at Minnesota – Minnesota is quietly 12-1 with wins over Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and St. John’s. They are six point favorites tonight against Michigan State, who would have ever thought that in the beginning of the season. Sparty is this season’s biggest disappointment so far in all of college basketball, but Tom Izzo will turn it around of course and what better way to start than with a win in your conference opener. Prediction – Michigan State makes a statement and wins by double-digits.

 

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Strong Second Half Propels Maryland Past Charlotte

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After trailing most of the first half, Maryland used a 22-10 run in the middle of the second to dominate their way to an 88-72 win over Charlotte in Baltimore Tuesday night. As usual it was Melo Trimble who provided the spark for the Terps, scoring 21 points on 7-12 shooting and three made triples.

Maryland got a huge spark again from junior forward Michal Cekovsky who scored 10 points while grabbing six rebounds. He scored in a myriad of ways including skying over a foot above the rim to throw down a high alley-oop pass and this dandy of a bucket to end the first half:

Freshman guard Anthony Cowan was also dominant for Maryland in the second half, scoring 16 points mostly by getting to line to make 9-10 free throws. Fellow freshman Kevin Huerter also knocked down some big shots during Maryland’s 2nd half run, finishing with 10 points.

Charlotte got an outstanding game out of local Maryland native Jon Davis who scored a game-high 28 while only missing two shots.

The Terps improve to 12-1 with their only loss being at home to Pittsburgh by 14. Charlotte falls to 6-5 after losing their third straight game to a power conference opponent.