Ben Woloszyn-US PRESSWIRE
Brandon Paul scored 26 points and Illinois used a hot first half to ride to an easy 94-64 win over USC Monday night at the Maui Invitational.
Early season tournaments tantalize with their meaningful matchups (played in front of a lot of empty seats), and they offer a glimpse into what we should expect over the year. A thirty-point beatdown over Texas Pan Am doesn’t tell you as much about a team as a loss to Villanova. But still, we should take these with a grain of salt. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, some teams that really struggle with challenging early season games end up making lots of deep runs in March.
Some high drama on Saturday, headed by Ohio State’s 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin. But no upsets. What’s it all mean? My weekly power rankings didn’t change much as we head toward the last week of the regular-season. But there’s still time for some chaos next Saturday!
Before we turn our attention to Week 13, it’s time to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 12 predictions. It was a perfect showing for BTN.com fans, which means they jump Dienhart and move into sole possession of first place.
Akeem Hunt turned a short pass into a 63-yard touchdown, and Purdue took another step toward a second consecutive bowl berth with a 20-17 victory at Illinois on Saturday. Hunt’s big play gave the Boilermakers (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) a 13-3 lead in the third quarter.
The offense led Purdue to 14 third-quarter points, and the Boilermakers now lead 20-10. Purdue threw for 75 yards and ran for 97 yards in the quarter. The Boilermakers expanded their lead to 13-3 thanks to a one-play, 63-yard drive that ended when Robert Marve tossed a 63-yard touchdown to Akeem Hunt.
Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase led the offense in the second quarter. He threw for 18 yards and ran for 33 yards, but the Fighting Illini now trail 6-3. Purdue’s Sam McCartney booted two field goals in the quarter.