College Basketball Weekend Update: Big Ten Pulls Off Big Upsets

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College Basketball Weekend Update: Big Ten Pulls Off Big Upsets

Headliners

 

Michigan 81, No. 4 Duke 73

 

Following a Nolan Smith three-pointer, speedy Manny Harris slashed to the basket and threw down a two-handed dunk to push Michigan’s lead to seven over Duke. Less than two minutes later, the Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season to a team they beat by 15 points only 16 days ago.

 

A 32-30 halftime lead gave the Wolverines the confidence to win, and the upset came to fruition as students stormed the floor at the final buzzer. The home court advantage along with a “we want it more” mentality propelled Michigan to the victory in a game they controlled most of the way.

 

Michigan has been a giant killer so far in a young season, becoming the first team to beat two top-five teams after knocking off UCLA in November.

 

Kudos goes to the Wolverines for having the guts to rock all highlighter-colored uniforms.

 

 

 

Ohio State 67, No. 7 Notre Dame 62

 

In the second football school-upends-basketball powerhouse game of the weekend, Ohio State surprised Notre Dame and the rest of the country on Saturday when they upset the Irish.

 

Pneumonia or not, Luke Harangody scored 25 and pulled down 16 boards, but it was guard play that was lacking for Notre Dame.

 

Kyle McAlarney played all 40 minutes, putting only six points on the board while allowing Ohio State’s Evan Turner to score 28 and record 10 rebounds.

 

After trading jabs for the entire first half, Ohio State extended its lead to 10 points. Eventually, the Irish closed in and cut it to two with 2:55 left. Harangody, 12 pounds lighter than before his illness, repeatedly missed shots over the final three minutes to seal it for the Buckeyes.

 

 

 

‘Dogs on Top

 

After knocking off Indiana 70-54, the Zags moved to 6-0 and maintained their position as the highest ranked non-BCS team. 2009 might be the year for Mark Few’s team to break through and visit the Final Four. Sporting a top five ranking in December is a good start.

 

 

 

Knights in the Cellar

 

Rutgers will go down to the wire with South Florida and DePaul for the worst team in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights took their third horrendous loss this season on Saturday, losing to Binghamton 66-56. The first two? St. Bonaventure and Lehigh.

 

 

 

Wildcats Still Down

 

It’s a different day and age when Kentucky losing to Miami is not considered an upset, but that was the case when the No. 21 Hurricanes knocked off the Wildcats 73-67. A second half run brought the 21-point Wildcat deficit to only four, but Miami’s sharpshooting guards Jack McClinton and James Dews were too accurate and too athletic to be beaten in Rupp Arena.

 

 

 

Hilltoppers on a Roll

 

A 1-2 start seemed to be an impending sign of a poor season for Western Kentucky. But after knocking off Southern Illinois, Louisville, Georgia, and now Tulane, the Hilltoppers have been thrown to the top of the Sun Belt East Division.

 

 

 

Gators Thank God for Football

 

It wasn’t pretty, but somehow Florida State upset Florida 57-55. If anything, this Gator loss shows that Florida isn’t where it used to be, and their top 25 ranking wasn’t justified. Chalk down 2008-2009 as a rebuilding year.

 

 

 

Player of the Weekend

 

The Stephen Curry buzz has peaked. With LeBron James on hand to watch the Davidson Junior, Curry matched his career high of 44 points in a 72-67 win over North Carolina State.

 

Curry leads the nation in scoring with 29.2 points per game, putting up over 50 percent of Davidson’s points for the third time this season—the first two against Oklahoma and Florida Atlantic. Curry’s 44-point performance comes on the heels of the double team debacle—a scoreless game against Loyola Maryland that ended in an easy win for Davidson.

 

An honorable mention goes to Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody: 25 points, 16 rebounds.

 

 

 

Bottom Line

 

If you thought the Big East was going to run away with “Conference of the Year,” take a look at what’s happening in the Midwest. With this weekend’s results of the Ohio State-Notre Dame and Michigan-Duke upsets, the Big Ten has taken on a look of exciting chaos.

 

Maryland owns the state of Michigan, already defeating the Wolverines and Spartans, while Minnesota (8-0) and Ohio State (5-0) remain untouched so far. A potential-filled Purdue team lurks near the bottom of the Big Ten, and Wisconsin and Illinois have both shown prospective talent enough to make the tournament.

 

The Big Ten has a potential seven teams that can win the conference title, and looking down the line, only a rebuilding Indiana has more than two losses. Look for the Big Ten to get at least five in the tournament and as many as seven.

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