2013 closes up tomorrow, but not before a number of teams, including Ohio State, open up their Big Ten schedule. The next two months should provide for some great basketball in what many think is the best college basketball conference in the country.
Marquette (8-5): WIN v. Samford (71-48):
The game got off for a rough start for Marquette when second leading scorer Jamil Wilson left the game early in the first half after being fouled on a dunk attempt. The bench picked up the slack for the loss of Wilson though, with JaJuan Johnson coming off the bench to put up a game-high 14 points. Johnson wasn't the only Marquette player that came off the bench to find success, with the reserves totaling 50 points for the Golden Eagles. The good news for Marquette is that Wilson is day-to-day with a sprained left knee. The Golden Eagles will hope to have Wilson in the lineup when they open up Big East play on Tuesday night when they travel to play Creighton before hosting DePaul on Saturday afternoon.
Maryland (8-5): WIN v. Tulsa (85-74):
Maryland shook of a rough start to comeback and beat Tulsa in College Park on Sunday night. With just over 11 minutes gone Maryland was trailing 25-10, but they then went on a 18-4 run to close the gap on the Golden Hurricanes. Dez Wells paced Maryland with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Seth Allen made his season debut after missing the first 12 games due to a broken foot and was able to add 15 points off the bench to the Terrapins winning cause. Maryland taking over the game must have been too much for Tulsa head coach Danny Manning to handle, as he was ejected with 10:35 left in the game after receiving two technicals. The win by Maryland earned Mark Turgeon his 300th career coaching victory. Maryland will close out 2013 on Tuesday when they play North Carolina Central before they jump back into ACC play on Saturday when they play Georgia Tech.
Notre Dame (9-4): WIN v. Canisius (87-81 OT):
A rough week almost got rougher for Notre Dame when they were taken to overtime on Sunday afternoon at home against Canisius. Following blowing a late lead against the Buckeyes last week, leading scorer Jerian Grant was suspended on Sunday for an academic violation. Eric Atkins made the most of the void left by Grant, hitting a career-high six three-pointers on his way to a career-high 30 points in Sunday's victory. Had it not been for Atkins, the Fighting Irish would have fallen to the Golden Griffins and the 33 points that Billy Baron put on the board. Garrick Sherman added a double-double for Notre Dame, and was able to convert a three-point play late in overtime to seal the victory. Next the Fighting Irish will welcome Duke to the Joyce Center on Saturday afternoon.
Purdue (10-3): No games played last week:
After winning their last game on the road against West Virginia last Sunday, the Boilermakers didn't have any scheduled games last week. Purdue will return to the court on Tuesday afternoon when they open up Big Ten play by hosting Ohio State before they hit the road to close out the week on Sunday when they face Minnesota at Williams Arena.
Nebraska (8-4): LOSS at Cincinnati (74-59):
Nebraska traveled to Cincinnati for a Saturday afternoon game, and join the list of victims that weren't able to solve the smothering defense of the Bearcats. Nebraska shot only 35.7% from the field in the game in becoming the seventh opponent that Cincinnati has held under 60 points on the season. Terran Petteway led Nebraska with 22 points and Ray Gallegos matched his season-high with 18 points, but the Cornhuskers didn't get much else from the rest of the team. Shavon Shields really struggled in the game, only going 1-11 from the field. Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick didn't fare much better from the field, only shooting 2-13, but he did make 17 of the 18 foul shots he took to lead the Bearcats with 21 points. Nebraska now faces a brutal start to Big Ten play this week, opening up on the road against Iowa on Tuesday before traveling to Columbus on Saturday.
#5 Michigan State (11-1): WIN v. New Orleans (101-48):
Keith Appling bounced back from a 2-11 shooting performance against Texas last Saturday to tied a career-high 27 points, a season-high 8 assists, and 5 rebounds in the blowout win over New Orleans on Saturday. A 12-0 run by the Spartans early in the first half put them firmly in control on their way to a 44-27 halftime lead. The second half was more of the same for the Spartans, as they went on to win by 53 points. Gary Harris posted 19 points and 9 rebounds, Adreian Payne added 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Denzel Valentine was able to put up a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Not that they needed him in this one, but the Spartans were without Branden Dawson, who was held out of this contest to rest a shin bruise that he is dealing with. Michigan State should have Dawson back when they open Big Ten play at Penn State Tuesday, and then hit the road again to face Indiana on Saturday afternoon.
#22 Iowa (11-2): No games played last week:
With their non-conference schedule already wrapped up, Iowa didn't hit the hardwood last week. The Hawkeyes will look to stay inside the Top-25 when they host Nebraska on Tuesday night, before hitting the road to try and pull the upset over #4 Wisconsin in Madison on Sunday night.
Minnesota (11-2): WIN v. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (65-44):
Having only played in one other game in the previous 17 days it would have been a good bet for Minnesota to show some rust, but the Golden Gophers threw up a 18-2 run early in the first half and never looked back against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Andre Hollins paced Minnesota with 18 points, while his brother Austin Hollins added 13 points and 8 rebounds in the game. Minnesota could find themselves knocking on the door of the Top-25 soon should they keep winning, with their only losses coming at the hands of Syracuse and Arkansas during the Maui Invitational in November. Big Ten play opens up for the Golden Gophers with homes games against Michigan on Thursday night and Purdue on Sunday.
Illinois (11-2): WIN v. Illinois-Chicago (74-60):
The last time that Illinois played in-state foe Illinois-Chicago back in 2010 the Flames pulled out a 57-54 win, and it was looking like Illinois-Chicago might be heading towards pulling another upset when they went into the half up 44-34. Then Rayvonte Rice happened for Illinois. The Fighting Illini opened up the second half on a 8-0 run in the first 1:04 followed by Rice scoring seven points in 58 seconds to move Illinois from being down two points to up five points. Rice finished the game with 28 points, and has scored in double figures in all 13 games that Illinois has played this season. This game was played at the United Center in Chicago, which allowed Illinois to move their record to 35-12 there since 1994-95. Illinois will now return back to Champaign to close out 2013 on Tuesday against Indiana before they welcome Penn State on Saturday.
Penn State (9-4): No games played last week:
The last time that the Nittany Lions hit the floor was in the 92-82 win over Mount St. Mary's last Sunday afternoon. Penn State will now try and kick off their Big Ten schedule with a big win when they host MIchigan State on Tuesday afternoon before they have to hit the road and take on Illinois at Assembly Hall on Saturday afternoon.
#4 Wisconsin (13-0): WIN v. Prairie View A&M (80-43):
The Badgers had little trouble keeping their record unblemished on Saturday, rolling over Prairie View A&M 80-43 in Madison. The 13-0 start to the season for Wisconsin is the best in school history since the 1913-14 season when the Badgers started off 15-0. This was the first game since December 14th, but they showed little rust from the layoff. Sam Dekker posted the third double-double of his career, with 16 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday. There was little doubt in this contest from the start, with Wisconsin taking a 37-18 lead into halftime. Wisconsin will try and stay undefeated when they open up Big Ten play on Thursday on the road against Northwestern before welcoming Iowa into Madison on Sunday in what should be a good matchup between ranked teams.
Michigan (8-4): WIN v. Holy Cross (88-66):
Michigan was dealt a blow on Friday when it was announced that preseason All-American will be out indefinitely as he needs surgery on his lower back. Surgery has yet to be scheduled for McGary, so it is not quite known yet how long a timetable the Wolverines are looking at until his return, if he can come back this season. The Wolverines didn't have time to feel bad about the situation though, and they took some of their frustrations out on Holy Cross on Saturday. Glenn Robinson III tried to put up some of the scoring slack that McGary left, putting in a career-high 23 points. Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert each added 16 points to the Michigan attack. Michigan will start their Big Ten schedule on Thursday in Minnesota before returning back to Crisler Arena to host Northwestern on Sunday.
Northwestern (7-6): LOSS v. DePaul (57-56):
The Wildcats dropped a heartbreaker to Chicago foe DePaul on Friday night, being done in by Billy Garrett Jr's game-winner as time expired. Northwestern had just gone ahead 56-55 on Dave Sobolewski's three-pointer from the top of the key with 4.9 seconds left in the second half. That was the only shot that Sobolewski had hit from the floor during the game, going 1-8, but it looked like it was going to give Northwestern the victory before the DePaul game-winner. Tre Demps was the leading scorer for the Wildcats in the game with 23 points. The shooting in the game was ugly between the two teams, with neither team being able to eclipse 37% shooting, and going a combined 28-52 from the free throw stripe. The Wildcats will try to rebound when they welcome Wisconsin into Evanston on Thursday night and then hitting the road to square off with Michigan on Sunday.
Indiana (10-3): No games played last week:
Indiana had to be happy to have the week over Christmas off after winning their last non-conference game last Sunday against Kennesaw State in Bloomington. The start of the Big Ten schedule won't be easy for the Hoosiers when they head to Illinois on Tuesday afternoon before hosting Michigan State on Saturday afternoon.