Jan 27, 2013, 8:14 PM EST
With 40 minutes standing between themselves and a possible top spot in the national polls, No. 2 Michigan played like a team that couldn’t care less what their ranking is.
Point guard Trey Burke led four Wolverines in double figures with 19 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and three steals, and as a team the Wolverines shot 52.5% from the field in beating Illinois 74-60 in Champaign.
With the win Michigan moves to 19-1 overall and 6-1 in the Big Ten, and they remain tied for first with No. 7 Indiana. Besides the offensive execution Michigan’s win was also impressive due to the fact that starting center Jordan Morgan was lost two minutes into the game due to a sprained right ankle.
With Morgan out of the lineup the Wolverines didn’t skip a beat, with freshmen Jon Horford, Mitch McGary and Max Bielfeldt giving them solid minutes inside. That trio combined to tally 17 points and 15 rebounds, a welcome bonus with the other four starters all reaching double figures.
Illinois once again struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 6-of-22 from deep and that has become a theme for the Fighting Illini in conference play. John Groce’s team has shot better than better than 30% from three in just two Big Ten games, and given their lack of a post scorer Illinois needs to get going from deep before it becomes too late.
Brandon Paul led Illinois with 15 points and D.J. Richardson added 12, and things won’t get easier as their next four games are at No. 13 Michigan State, Wisconsin and No. 7 Indiana at home and at No. 17 Minnesota.
But back to the Wolverines, who on Monday could return to the top spot in the polls for the first time since the 1992-93 season, when the “Fab Five” were all the rage in Ann Arbor and throughout college basketball.
Who should the pollsters pick: Michigan or Kansas, who entered this week ranked second in the Coaches Poll? According to warrennolan.com the Jayhawks have more RPI Top 50 wins (seven to Michigan’s four) and both teams can claim ten wins against RPI Top 100 teams if you prefer to use resumes as the basis for selection.
But the only thing that’s certain in this debate is that both would place far greater value on being atop the polls on April 9. That’s the day after the national championship game.
Dec 18, 2013, 2:09 AM EST
Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson just delivered the press conference of the year. This is tremendous. If my word alone isn’t enough to convince you to listen, just fast forward to the 3:00 mark. It kicks off with this: “I’ve been telling my wife this for years: size doesn’t matter.” A little more than…
Dec 18, 2013, 12:53 AM EST
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Florida 77, No. 15 Memphis 75 The Gators looked like they would cruise in the final minutes of second half, but the Tigers charged back. Joe Jackson had a chance to tie, but could not convert Florida, finally healthy and still getting players back, are showing how impressive it…
Dec 18, 2013, 12:20 AM EST
New Mexico State held a 13-point halftime lead and nearly gave it away in the waning moments of the game, but Daniel Mullings block on Cullen Neal kept New Mexico from tying the game at 61 with 30 seconds to play. K.C. Ross-Miller would go to the line three times in the final seconds and…
Dec 17, 2013, 11:58 PM EST
No. 11 Wichita State went on the road in Tuscaloosa to take on a quality Alabama program, led by senior point guard Travis Releford. In the first half Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early and Fred VanVleet all sat for much of the first half with foul trouble. In the second half, Alabama took the lead on…
Dec 17, 2013, 11:57 PM EST
NEW YORK — Billy Donovan said that this season, for his Gators, has been exhausting. Between the injuries and the suspensions and the academic issues, the status of Florida’s roster has been a bigger story to date than their performance against teams like Wisconsin or UConn or Kansas. “I almost keep looking around to see…
South Florida holds on as Florida Gulf Coast’s buzzer-beater in double overtime doesn’t count (VIDEO)
Dec 17, 2013, 10:35 PM EST
With 0.3 seconds remaining in double overtime, Jamail Jones threw a beautiful full-court pass — which he put by the 7-foot-3 Jordan Omogbehin — ending up in the hands of Chase Fieler, who put up a shot that bounced off the rim and in. The Eagles thought the bucket tied the score at 68-68, but instead…
Dec 17, 2013, 9:59 PM EST
NEW YORK — Dear Pitt: This is why you put together a real non-conference schedule. This is why you make sure that, more than a month and 11 games into the season, the best team on your schedule is someone better than Cincinnati. Don’t get me wrong, the Bearcats aren’t a bad basketball team. They’re…
Dec 17, 2013, 8:06 PM EST
Florida Gulf Coast guard Jamail Jones’ shot was off the mark, but he ran down his miss near the baseline. He beat a pair of South Florida defenders before throwing down on another one. That ended the half as Bulls led 23-21. It’s an absolutely vicious slam, unfortunately South Florida guard Martino Brock is blocking…
Dec 17, 2013, 6:35 PM EST
You’ve probably already heard the name Jahlil Okafor. The 6-foot-10 Whitney Young Magnet High (Ill.) center is the nation’s consensus top player, and is Duke bound, staying true to his word that he would attend the same college as Apple Valley High (Minn.) point guard Tyus Jones. Okafor will only continue to grab national attention…
Dec 17, 2013, 5:40 PM EST
Injuries have piled up for Seton Hall in recent weeks, as the roster got even thinner once Tom Maayan had to return to Israel to fulfill his military commitment for the Israeli Defense Forces. However, Kevin Willard got some good news on Monday night, learning that Sterling Gibbs knee injury will only sideline him for 1-2…
Dec 17, 2013, 4:25 PM EST
On Tuesday, NCAA.com released a video listing the five loudest, most intimidating college basketball arenas to play in. Coming in at the top spot was Allen Fieldhouse on the University of Kansas campus. The reasoning behind it: “It’s twice the size as Cameron [Indoor Stadium] with three times the students sitting courtside. There’s a reason…
Dec 17, 2013, 3:21 PM EST
It’s the end of the first semester and No. 14 North Carolina is still waiting for a decision from the NCAA on the eligibility status of guards P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald. The Tar Heels have been without the duo for the first nine games of the season, and they will both likely be in street…
Dec 17, 2013, 1:27 PM EST
Someone managed to get a “Free PJ” sign into Cameron Indoor Stadium last night, and it appears as if a Duke fan was none-too-pleased about it. They were Carolina fans, and my guess is that they were the people responsible for the “Free PJ” being yelled at Quinn Cook while he shot free…
Dec 17, 2013, 1:01 PM EST
I wrote two columns off of Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina, so I don’t think there is really anything else for me to say on the subject. Others had plenty to say, however, and one of the most common responses I got from the good folks of twitter on the subject had to do with…
Dec 17, 2013, 11:59 AM EST
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Florida vs. No. 15 Memphis, 9:30 p.m. The nightcap of the Jimmy V Classic is one of the more intriguing games left before we get into league play. Both Florida and Memphis has enough talent on their roster to be considered a top ten team and a challenger to…
Dec 17, 2013, 9:49 AM EST
The big news of the weekend for hoops fans in Gainesville was that Florida native and McDonalds All-American Chris Walker was accepted into school. Yay! But it may be a while before Walker actually sees the court. First things first: he needs to make his was through the NCAA’s Eligibility Center, which is what every…
Dec 17, 2013, 9:28 AM EST
The 2013-2014 season is sure to be a thrilling Player of the Year race, so to keep track of it, we will be posting weekly Player of the Year Power Rankings for your reading goodness. Who’d we miss? Who’s ranked too high? We love to overlook your team’s best player and overrate your rival’s superstar.…
Dec 17, 2013, 12:41 AM EST
GAME OF THE DAY: Grambling 83, Central Baptist 75 Grambling finally captured their first win of the season (1-4) as they knocked off NAIA Central Baptist. But, a win is a win for Grambling. The Tigers had lost their last 32 games coming into Monday night, a streak that included the entire 2012-2013 season in…
Dec 16, 2013, 9:45 PM EST
Duke had a 12-day lay-off since their last game, but they played well immediately in its 85-66 non-conference win over Gardner-Webb. Point guard Quinn Cook had 11 points and nine assists to lead a 53-39 Duke halftime lead on his way to 16 points and nine assists while Jabari Parker finished with 21 points and…
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