Big Ten

Big Ten hoops roundup: Cold shooting sinks Badgers, Michigan in Maui, South Carolina


Big Ten hoops roundup: Cold shooting sinks Badgers, Michigan in Maui, South Carolina

A roundup of Big Ten basketball games played on Wednesday, Nov. 23:

North Carolina 71, Wisconsin 56

It was a rough night offensively for the Badgers, who fell for the second time this season against a ranked opponent. This loss in the Maui Invitational title game saw Wisconsin score just 20 points in the first half and spend a good chunk of the second half — specifically a six-and-a-half-minute stretch — without a made basket. North Carolina had a big rebounding advantage and outscored Wisconsin in second-chance points, 10-1, and in points in the paint, 36-16. It was an atrocious night for Badger stars Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, who combined for just 10 points on 4-for-24 shooting. Vitto Brown hit four 3s and finished with 15 points to lead the team, while Ethan Happ added 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.

South Carolina 61, Michigan 46

How ice cold can you get? Just ask the Wolverines, who were almost unbelievably off shooting the ball in this one, going 10-for-52 from the field (19.2 percent) and 2-for-26 from 3-point range (7.7 percent). This ugly-as-could-be-imagined offensive performance would normally result in a much bigger loss than only 15 points, but Michigan remained in relative striking distance thanks to going 24-for-32 from the free-throw line. But the horrendous shooting performance led to the first loss of the season for the newly ranked Wolverines. Just two Michigan players scored in double figures. Derrick Walton Jr. had 15 points, though he was 3-for-14 from the field and 2-for-9 from 3. Mark Donnal had 10 points off the bench. Zak Irvin only scored five points, going an ugly 2-for-13 from the field, and turned the ball over eight times.

Purdue 96, Auburn 71

The Boilermakers can sure pour in the points. Purdue splashed home a whopping 17 3-pointers to throttle Auburn by 25 and win the Cancun Challenge. The Boilers shot 64.3 percent from the field and 65.4 percent from 3-point range. Carsen Edwards had a huge 21-point performance off the bench, going 7-for-11 from the field and 4-for-5 from downtown, also coming away with three steals. Both Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas had double-doubles, with Swanigan scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and Haas scoring 10 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Vincent Edwards and P.J. Thompson each had three 3s and 15 points, while Dakota Mathias scored 12 points on four made 3s.

Michigan State 73, St. John’s 62

Sparty kicked off its trip to the Battle 4 Atlantis with a double-digit win over the Johnnies. Michigan State held St. John’s to just 30.8-percent shooting and dominated the rebounding battle, 53-33. Miles Bridges had a monster game with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Eron Harris had 14 points and Tum Tum Nairn had 13 points. That trio of scorers combined to hit eight 3-pointers. Nick Ward chipped in a near double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Rutgers 66, North Texas 53

The Scarlet Knights are still undefeated and 5-0 for the first time in 16 years. Rutgers didn’t shoot well in this one but fared slightly better than North Texas, which made only a third of its shots. The Knights did much of their damage from the free-throw line, 17-for-22 from the stripe compared to just 6-for-6 by the Mean Green. Deshawn Freeman had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Nigel Johnson and Mike Williams each scored 10 points off the bench.

Ohio State 78, Jackson State 47

A 31-point victory pushed the Buckeyes to 5-0 on the season. Ohio State was hot from the field, shooting 55.3 percent including 13 makes from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the defense held the visitors to 29.5-percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers. Marc Loving had a team-high 19 points, with Kam Williams adding 15 and JaQuan Lyle adding 10.

Penn State 72, Colgate 59

The Nittany Lions shot just 33.8 percent from the field but won big in the rebounding (43-31) and turnover (17-9) battles en route to this win. Payton Banks had 20 points with four makes from 3-point range, with Terrence Samuel, Tony Carr and Shep Garner scoring 16, 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings


See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 12 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (10-1)

Still the team with the best resume in the country, no one can compete with OU’s wins over TCU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, the latter two coming away from Norman. Baker Mayfield might not be a choir boy, but he’s the best player in the nation.

2. Miami (10-0)

You might think that being down 28-14 to Virginia in the second half was cringe-worthy, but the Canes made up for things by storming back with 30 unanswered points. Now they finally have to go away from South Florida for the first time since almost losing to North Carolina last month.

3. Alabama (11-0)

Tide gonna roll. But this Cupcake Weekend in the SEC has got to stop. While teams in other conferences are slugging it out against rivals, Bama gets to take a day off against Mercer? It’s just not fair. Also, Bama’s schedule is so soft, there’s no way it deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country.

4. Georgia (10-1)

The Dawgs should wrap an 11-1 regular season this weekend against Georgia Tech. But the SEC title game presents a kind of no-win scenario: undefeated Alabama or Auburn, who throttled Georgia earlier this month.

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

You didn’t need Wisconsin to do what it did to Iowa and Michigan to prove it had one of the best defenses in the country — but that sure didn’t help. Stockpiling national love with those two wins, a win in the Big Ten title game figures to make the Badgers a Playoff lock.

6. Clemson (10-1)

Why’d Kelly Bryant have to go and get hurt for that Syracuse game? The Tigers would be No. 1 and the undisputed best team in the country. Still, though, a win over Miami in the ACC title game ought to get the champs back into the Playoff.

7. Auburn (9-2)

Great job pounding Louisiana-Monroe, Tigers. You shall not escape the wrath over Cupcake Weekend in the SEC. That dumb game aside, Auburn and Alabama will meet in a titanic Iron Bowl this weekend with a trip to the SEC title game on the line — and perhaps a Playoff spot, as well.

8. Ohio State (9-2)

Not that pummeling Illinois is any big deal, but the Buckeyes are still alive in this thing and look like a team capable of making some Playoff noise. First, Ohio State has to win The Game and then the Big Ten title game to knock out undefeated Wisconsin.

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

Out of the Playoff chase thanks to that loss at Miami, Notre Dame squeaked by Navy this past weekend. Hope a New Year’s Six bowl game is enough for the Irish. We know it’s not enough for those ND fans. So maybe join a conference? Just saying.

10. TCU (9-2)

The Frogs can still make their mark on the Playoff race, even if they can’t get in themselves. The Big 12 title game will almost surely be TCU’s attempt at revenge on Oklahoma. Unfortunately, if revenge does come, it will probably cannibalize the conference’s Playoff hopes, too.

11. Penn State (9-2)

Why Penn State gave up 44 points to Nebraska, I do not know. What I do know is that probably no one cared because Penn State is going to go down as the most inconsequential 10-2 team of all-time. Such a bummer considering the preseason expectations for both the team and Saquon Barkley.

12. USC (10-2)

Yeah, I guess there’s still a way for USC to make the Playoff, but it’s hard to imagine that madness unfolding, even in the oft-mad college football. The Trojans get the winner of the Apple Cup in the Pac-12 title game.

13. UCF (10-0)

Finally we get our much-anticipated UCF-USF showdown this weekend. Make it count, Knights. This is probably gonna be Scott Frost’s last regular-season game in Orlando.

14. Washington (9-2)

It’s hard to say who has the edge in the Apple Cup, but certainly the stakes are high, with the winner going off to play USC in the Pac-12 title game. Can either team make the Playoff? Well, probably not, no.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Is this it for Mike Leach on The Palouse? He could be a hot candidate this offseason and leave for perceived greener pastures. Winning the Apple Cup would go a long way toward making that happen.

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

A win in the Egg Bowl means a 9-3 regular season for the Bulldogs with their three losses coming against three top-10 teams.

17. Oklahoma State (8-3)

Poor Okie State has been so good all year and had two losses to the two best teams in its conference, and then it went and lost to K-State for some ridiculous reason. The Mullet deserved better in 2017.

18. Northwestern (8-3)

The Cats are the fourth-best team in the Big Ten, simple as that, with wins over Michigan State and Iowa and conference losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. As commendable an effort as you’ll find in a highly competitive league. Plus, Fitz’s team is on a six-game win streak that could end up extending to eight.

19. Stanford (8-3)

Already with a win over Washington, Stanford could close the regular season with two wins over top-10 teams in its final three games. Also Bryce Love is back in the groove after back-to-back 100-yard games.

20. Memphis (9-1)

The Tigers have lost just one game all season, to the best Group of Five team out there. Heck of a season by Memphis.

21. Michigan State (8-3)

A 17-7 win over Maryland couldn't have been the most exciting way for anyone to spend their weekend. Sparty's had a mighty fine season, though, considering how badly things went in 2016.

22. LSU (8-3)

The SEC has seemingly gotten increasingly better as the year has progressed, with LSU and Mississippi State making for a solid-enough middle tier. But remember when LSU lost to Troy? That wasn’t good.

23. South Florida (9-1)

If not for that loss to Houston, USF’s showdown with UCF this weekend would be for Group of Five supremacy. Even without that, though, this should be a highly entertaining affair.

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

The Hokies have a chance to salvage their tumble at the close of the season with a win at Virginia. But given how well the Cavs played at Miami this past weekend, a VT win is no sure thing.

25. Iowa State (7-4)

I understand the math and all, but can't the Big 12 just suspend its rules and send Iowa State to the title game? We all want to see the OU-ISU rematch. Why are you preventing us from being happy, Big 12?