No. 1 vs. No. 2 doesn’t happen often. In fact, the last time the top two teams in the AP Poll met on the men’s hardwood, the year was 2008. But, for the first time since No. 2 Tennessee beat No. 1 Memphis on Feb. 24, 2008, we’ll have No. 1 vs. No. 2. It all happens Tuesday night, when No. 2 Michigan State plays No. 1 Kentucky at the United Center.
Most of the Big Ten cruised to easy wins over cupcakes—with one notable exception—but the Wisconsin Badgers faced a formidable challenge against St. John’s. The Red Storm was mediocre last year, but the team returned everyone, including a healthy dose of rising sophomores. The team is expected to be much-improved, much like Wisconsin’s offense.
The Big Ten office released its first Players of the Week for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season Monday. The honorees include a pair of first-time winners, including Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields, who put 28 points in an easy win over Florida Gulf Coast.
Sam Thompson is a highlight waiting to happen, and the exciting and athletic Ohio State junior wasted no time adding to his impressive individual reel in Saturday’s season opener. Thompson hammered home a pair of big-time alley-oops in the team’s 89-50 win over Morgan State. Watch both alley-oops in this post.
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Ohio State’s Shannon Scott entered his junior season with a grand total of 12 3-pointers. In Saturday’s season opener vs. Morgan State, Scott hit a trio of early treys in succession, the first coming at the 19:03 mark and the final at 17:55. That’s three 3s in 1:08 of game time. Not bad for a guy who’s known for his defense.
Nine Big Ten men’s basketball teams opened their 2013-14 seasons Friday night, including No. 2 Michigan State and No. 7 Michigan, and every team emerged victorious. Watch all of the top highlights and get scores, stats and recaps for all of the games in this post.
How close was Purdue to possibly dropping its season opener to Northern Kentucky on Friday? Answer: Really close. The Boilermakers denied Northern Kentucky on three potential game-winning buckets in the final seconds to hold on for the 77-76 win. Strong defense, indeed. But, make no mistake, it was closer than any Purdue fans had envisioned. Watch the wild finish in this post.