Tag Archives: Ohio State

Big Wins in Big Games

It’s been a crazy couple of days for college basketball. First, we’ll start with the biggest win of all: UNC defeating NC State 85-84 in overtime on Wednesday. I’m a big Carolina fan and I was nervous the entire game! The lead kept changing on every possession and it pretty much went down to this: whoever had the ball last will win the game. Well, UNC sophomore point guard Marcus Paige took the last shot of the game and ended up winning it for the Tar Heels. He finished that shootout of a game with 35 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. The way he’s been playing this year, it wouldn’t surprise me if he won ACC Player of the Year. The Tar Heels have now won 10 games in a row, all of those wins coming in the ACC. They beat NC State earlier in the year 84-70 and this win was show who the best Carolina team is this year. Now UNC will have to keep this streak alive when they travel to Virginia Tech this Saturday. Another team that won by the skin of their teeth was Michigan. They defeated Purdue in overtime as well, winning 77-76 last Wednesday. Glenn Robinson III had the game-winning basket and led his team with 17 points. The Wolverines have faded away from national championship contention talks, but they’re starting to pick things up again after that win against Michigan State on February 23rd.

Glen Robinson III has been averaging 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season. Credit: zimbio.com
Glen Robinson III has been averaging 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season.
Credit: zimbio.com

That same Wednesday night, Virginia improves to 15-1 in the ACC after a 65-40 win over Miami (Florida). They are quietly becoming a force to be reckoned with in this loaded conference. Their only loss came at Duke, but they have also beaten UNC and Pitt earlier this year. It’s hard to believe that they are 12th in the nation right now! Watch out for the Cavaliers when the ACC tournament comes around in March!

Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in the win against Miami. Credit: college-basketball.si.com
Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in the win against Miami.
Credit: college-basketball.si.com

Then Thursday night, we had a few upsets. Duquesne takes down Saint Louis 71-64, to give the Billikens their first conference loss of the season. What’s even more embarrassing is that Duquesne has a losing record: 12-15 overall and 4-10 in the Atlantic 10 conference. Saint Louis was ranked 10th in the nation, so we’ll see how far they drop next week. Also, Arkansas beat Kentucky again! The Razorbacks pull off their second-best win of the season, beating the Wildcats 71-67 in another overtime game. That win gives Arkansas a winning record in the SEC (8-7). Michael Qualls proves to be a nightmare for John Calipari. In the last game, he scored the game-winning put back dunk and in this game, he led this team with 14 points and 3 steals. Kentucky getting swept by Arkansas will definitely affect their rankings next week. Hopefully they can get back on track at South Carolina this Saturday.

The last game I want to mention is also an upset. Penn State, one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, took down Ohio State 65-63. All seven of Ohio State’s losses were against Big Ten opponents. This does not bode well for them in the upcoming conference tournament. What’s even worse is that Penn State beat Ohio State earlier this year, a 71-70 victory in overtime. If Ohio State wants to make it far in the national tournament, they’re going to have to worry about beating their own conference opponents first.

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Big Shake Up in the Big Ten

Who would have thought that at this point in the college basketball season that Michigan would be 7-0 in the conference and Iowa would be a top contender for the Big Ten? Not me! I thought that it would be a showdown between Michigan State and Ohio State for the number one spot. Not so fast! Michigan just defeated Michigan State to take the number one standing in the conference and after Iowa just took down Northwestern, they are looking to move up in the college basketball rankings (they’re already 10th in the nation)! The Hawkeyes are 5th in the nation in points per game (85.7) and 3rd in rebounds per game (43.9). Those are the kind of stats that win you national championships! Ohio State has taken a lot of pride in their defense of play. They were 15-0 until they lost four straight to Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. They got back on track last Thursday with a win over Illinois, but they’re going to have to fight hard the rest of the season if they want to get back on top. They have a big match-up with Wisconsin on February 1st, who also has had a disappointing stretch lately. They were undefeated as well until they lost three straight to Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. They’re recent win over Purdue helps boost their confidence, but they’re in the same position as Ohio State. The Big Ten is looking like the most competitive conference this year. The top six teams have a legitimate shot of winning the conference title this year and a spot at a number one or two seed in the national tournament. People are underestimating Minnesota’s team. They currently have a better conference record than Ohio State’s and have defeated top teams like the Buckeyes and Wisconsin. Beating good teams has its value when playing in the national tournament. Then there’s the Michigan Wolverines. They are coming fresh off a 80-75 win against their rivals Michigan State and now own the best conference record. This was the first game where a team scored 80 points against Tom Izzo’s squad this year. Michigan is horrible at rebounding, but they make up for it with their offense. They are 30th in the nation in assists per game with 15.6 and 20th in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 48.7 percent from the field. They have now won three straight games against top ten ranked teams. Nik Stauskas is definitely the MVP player of this team. The sophomore guard from Canada is averaging 18.5 points per game and shooting 44 percent from behind the 3-point line. Watch out for him and Glenn Robinson III to take over the Big Ten later on in the year. So if you’re looking for a college basketball game to watch in February, tune in to a Big Ten conference game. I guarantee you that it will either be an upset or a fun game to watch!