Here's your Wednesday morning box score read. I read ‘em so you don't have to:
- Wisconsin 73, Duke 69: Kyle Singler was terrific: 28 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assts, 7-7 FT. Nolan Smith was not: 13 pts, 5-17 fg, 2-2 FT. Best player on the floor was Wisconsin PG Trevon Hughes, who had 26 pts (4-7 3fg), 2 assts. Jon Leuer 17 pts, Jason Bohannon 10 pts but 0-6 on 3fg. Best number in Wisconsin's box was total turnovers: 4. (That is not a typo.) Badgers also had 17 assists on 26 made field goals. Think this guy Bo Ryan can coach a little?
- Ohio State 77, Florida State 64: Buckeyes not much for depth; three starters played all 40 minutes. (Common theme in college hoops this year.) Evan Turner once again brilliant: 25 pts (10-17 fg), 13 rebs, 6 assists, 5 turnovers. Jon Diebler 6-12 3fg, 22 pts. William Buford still MIA: 5 pts, 1-12 fg. Buckeyes were out-rebounded by 7 and shot 15-26 FT (57.7%). For FSU, Solomon Alabi had 21 pts and 10 rebs, but Chris Singleton was horrible: 3-10 fg (0-3 3fg), 6 turnovers, 5 fouls in 25 minutes (though he did have 8 rebs). Seminoles' perimeter will be problem all season. They shot 2-16 3fg and committed 20 turnovers.
- Illinois 76, Clemson 74: Illini shot 51.9% fg but just 63.6% from the foul line. Mike Davis 22 pts, 9-11 fg, 9 rebs, 2 assts. Freshman guard Brandon Paul 20 pts (6-12 fg), 5 rebs, 3 assts, 3 steals. Demetri McCamey just 2 pts but had 7 assists, 3 turnovers. Illini got just six points off bench to Clemson's 22. Tigers done in by poor shooting in giving up 23-point lead: Point guard Demontez Stitt 15 pts, 4-11 fg. Trevor Booker 12 pts, 10 rebs. David Potter a non-factor: 8 pts, 2-8 fg. Clemson had just 11 total assists on 24 made fgs.
- Gonzaga 74, Washington State 69: Against a good team, Klay Thompson was mortal: 6-21 fg (0-4 3fg) for 15 pts. DeAngelo Casto had 10 rebs and 10 pts, and overall Wazzu shot 12-20 FT and had just 8 assists. For the Zags, Matt Bouldin went 7-12 on 3fg for 28 pts, freshman Elias Harris had 24 pts (8-11 fg, 8-9 FT) and 12 rebs. Good sign that Kelly Olynyk had 10 pts, 7 rebs in 22 minutes off the bench - he had been very quiet lately. Zags were efficient across the board: 48.0% fg, 43.8% 3fg, 21-29 FT.
- Georgia Tech 74, Siena 61: Breakout game for Jackets freshman guard Mfon Udofia: 26 pts, 5-8 3fg, 7 rebs, 3 assists. Other guards, not so much: D'Andre Bell and Iman Shumpert combined for 7 pts, 6 turnovers, 3-12 fg, 0-0 FT. Derrick Favors 16 pts, 8 rebs. Saints, who were playing without injured best player, Edwin Ubiles, shot 4-28 from three. That doesn't work on the road. Also lost battle of the boards 42-34. Clarence Jackson 19 pts on 6-24 shooting (3-14 3fg).
Here's your Wednesday morning box score roundup. I read 'em so you don't have to:
• North Carolina 89, Michigan State 82: Clang! Spartans shot 2-20 from 3fg, 34-79 overall (43.0%). That means they shot 32-59 (54.2%) from two-point range. Think they need to work on their shot selection? Kalin Lucas, Korie Lucious and Chris Allen were a combined 0-14 from 3fg. The frontcourt was solid: Raymar Morgan 18 pts, 6 rebs; Delvon Roe 8 pts, 10 rebs; Draymond Green 13 pts, 7 rebs, 2 assists. Heels shot 57.9% from the field and took only 10 three-point attemps (making 5). Ed Davis played best game of his career: 22 pts, 6 rebs, 2 assists. Larry Drew 18 pts, 6 assists, 3 turnovers. Marcus Ginyard 9 pts, 7 assists, 2 rebounds and two dozen great plays that didn't show up in the box score. In all, 10 different UNC players scored.
• Purdue 69, Wake Forest 58: Boilers were 1-15 from three, but they made up for it by getting 12 more shot attempts. Wake committed 25 turnovers and gave up 12 offensive rebounds. Robbie Hummel was 3-for-11 from the floor (0-6 from 3fg), but still had 11 rebounds. E'Twaun Moore 22 points; JaJuan Johnson 21 pts, 9 rebs. Wake PG Ishmael Smith had 6 turnovers to 3 assists to go along with 14 points. Freshman C.J. Harris had 14 points in 31 minutes off the bench. Tony Woods, one of my sophs to watch, was not worth watching: 0 points, 2 rebounds, 9 minutes.
• Maryland 80, Indiana 68: Greivis Vazquez shot 4-14 fg but did good job getting to the foul line, where he made 13-of-14 attempts. Terps got production all over the perimeter (Landon Milbourne 19 pts, Eric Hayes 14 pts), but still no points in the frontcourt: Jordan Williams 5 pts in 28 minutes, James Padgett 0 pts in 11 minutes. (Both are freshmen.) Indiana was a woeful 32.9% from the floor, 26.9% from three, 15-22 from the foul line. Freshman guard Maurice Creek needed 14 shots to score team-high 19 points.
• Florida 80, Florida A&M 59: For first time this season, freshman Kenny Boynton does not start. He had a miserable night: 0-7 fg, 0-5 3fg, 1 point -- though he did have 9 assists. (Billy Donovan said Boynton was fighting the flu.) Gators shot 51.7% fg and out-rebounded the Rattlers by 13.
• Cincinnati 94, Texas Southern 57: I love this stat line from Lance Stephenson: 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 points. Seven Bearcats scored in double figures, but Deonta Vaughn did not get the start for first time this season. Dion Dixon started in his place and had 13 pts and 3 assists. Vaughn had 12 pts, 4 assists in 22 minutes.
• Northwestern 65, N.C. State 53: Wolfpack had a horrendous shooting night: 11.1% (2-18) 3fg, 33.9% overall. Lone bright spot offensively was junior forward Tracy Smith: 23 pts, 9-18 fg, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks. NU led by junior guard Michael Thompson's 22 pts. He and John Shurna (11 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assts, 2 steals) played all 40 minutes. Wildcats only had 11 assists on 24 field goals (low for Princeton offense) but out-rebounded N.C. State by 7. We're not giving up on their NCAA tourney hopes yet!
• Kansas State, Fort Hays State 76: Jacob Pullen had 16 of his 20 points in the second half. Sophomore forward Jamar Samuels had 21 points in 32 minutes off the bench. Wally Judge only played 5 minutes. (Did he get hurt?) Wildcats fell behind by 10 points early in the first half, were out-rebounded by 4.
• Virginia Tech 70, Iowa 64: Hokies shot just 26.7% from 3fg, but only took 15 shots from behind the arc. They also committed just 5 turnovers and out-rebounded Hawkeyes by 7. Malcolm Delaney 18 pts (5-15 fg, 1-7 3fg), 5 assists. Terrell Bell 13 pts, 6 rebs. For Iowa, Anthony Tucker had 24 pts on 9-18 fg (6-14 3fg) but did not shoot a free throw. That's a major no-no. Sophomore PG Matt Gatens 6 pts, 7 assists, 6 rebs. Iowa had 19 assists on 22 made field goals -- impressive! -- but only shot 10 free throws.
If you think about it, it is one of the more remarkable streaks in sports. For the last 10 years, the Big Ten and the ACC have lined up their teams top to bottom and squared off in a made-for-ESPN extravaganza. And every year, for a full decade, the ACC has won more games. That led some of us sardonic press wags to suggest that the ACC should go looking for a stronger partner in this little series like, say, the Missouri Valley Conference.
Is this the year the Big Ten finally gets off the schneid? Penn State started things off Monday night with a 69-66 win over Virginia. That means the Big Ten is playing with a little house money heading into tonight’s games. As a primer for my loyal Hoop Thinkers, I have provided a game-by-game prediction for how this year’s challenge will turn out. As always, any similarities between these predictions and actual course of events is strictly coincidental:
Wake Forest at Purdue, tonight, 7 p.m.
The Boilermakers are still playing without their starting point guard, Lewis Jackson, but a healthy Robbie Hummel plus a still-improving JaJuan Johnson inside plus the homecourt advantage should add up to a convincing victory. Wake is coming off a loss at home to William & Mary. Purdue 73, Wake Forest 65
Big Ten 2, ACC 0
Michigan State at North Carolina, tonight, 9 p.m.
On a neutral court and a 10-game series, I would go with the Spartans. But since the game is in Chapel Hill, I’ll give the edge to the Tar Heels. Michigan State is much stronger on the perimeter, but the Spartans are a short team, and the one thing North Carolina has is lots of size inside. The big question will be whether the Tar Heels’ defense can hold down Michigan State’s impressive field goal shooting. North Carolina 80, Michigan State 76
Big Ten 2, ACC 1
Duke at Wisconsin, Weds., 9 p.m.
Since the game is in Madison, where the Badgers have been nearly impossible to beat under Bo Ryan, this is a tough game to pick. But I also think this is one of those instances where playing at home can be a disadvantage because the players can get overhyped. That’s what happened to Purdue last year when Duke came to West Lafayette. Moreover, this is an experienced, big Duke team that can handle both a hostile environment as well as Ryan’s grind-it-out style. Duke 74, Wisconsin 66
Big Ten 2, ACC 2
Boston College at Michigan, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
I didn’t quite buy into the preseason hype about Michigan, but I do expect the Wolverines to be in bounce-back mode after their losses to Marquette and Alabama. This team, like all teams coached by John Beilein, can be overly dependent on making three-pointers, but those are easier to come by at home. BC, which has lost to Saint Joseph’s and Northern Iowa, is still missing its best player, 6-5 junior guard Rakim Sanders, who is sidelined by an injured ankle. Michigan 70, Boston College 62
Big Ten 3, ACC 2
Florida State at Ohio State, Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.
The Seminoles looked impressive during their comeback win over Marquette, but that was on a neutral court against a team that is inferior to Ohio State. For all the attention being lavished on Evan Turner, the key to beating the Buckeyes is preventing Jon Diebler and William Buford from getting hot from outside. It’s easier to make shots in your own gym, and right now Florida State’s guards don’t look up to that task. Ohio State 76, Florida State 70
Big Ten 4, ACC 2
Illinois at Clemson, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
These are teams with similar makeups. They’re both strong up front (Trevor Booker vs. Mike Williams) but suspect in the backcourt. Illinois’s guards are more talented, but Clemson’s are more experienced. I still think Illinois is an NCAA tournament team despite its losses last week to Utah and Bradley, but it’s hard to for any team to win in Littlejohn Coliseum against the Tigers’s ferocious fullcourt press, much less one with mediocre guard play. Clemson 74, Illinois 64
Big Ten 4, ACC 3
Minnesota at Miami, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
This is the toughest of the bunch to pick, partly because I don’t think Miami’s BankUnited Center is much of a homecourt advantage. The Hurricanes are 7-0, but their only reasonably tough game was a 15-point win over a pretty good South Carolina team in Charleston. The Gophers, on the other hand, are coming off three tough games in Anaheim against Butler, Portland and Texas A&M, beating only Butler. Logic says to pick Minnesota, but I have a feeling that the quick turnaround and all that travel from one end of the country to the other will take its toll. Miami 70, Minnesota 68
Big Ten 4, ACC 4
Northwestern at N.C. State, tonight, 7 p.m.
It’s hard to assess the Wolfpack because they’ve gone 5-0 by playing a weak schedule. Seems like Sidney Lowe knows he has a bad team. Northwestern lost its best player, Kevin Coble, to a season-ending injury, but the Wildcats have still beaten Notre Dame and Iowa State and lost to Butler at home. Their unconventional Princeton offense will be too tough to defend, even in Raleigh. Northwestern 67, N.C. State 61
Big Ten 5, ACC 4
Maryland at Indiana, tonight, 7:30 p.m.
This is a case where the ACC really got lucky in the matchups. Maryland showed during losses to Cincinnati and Wisconsin that it is vulnerable, especially in the frontcourt. The Hoosiers, however, are still in rebuilding mode and have a long way to go, as evidenced by their losses to Boston University and George Mason. Maryland 76, Indiana 63
Big Ten 5, ACC 5
Virginia Tech at Iowa, tonight, 9:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech is still trying to get over the hump under Seth Greenberg, but at least they have a pair of experienced juniors, 6-7 forward Jeff Allen and 6-3 guard Malcolm Delaney, to lead the way. Iowa has been as bad as bad can be, losing to Texas-San Antonio, Duquesne and Wichita State. Virginia Tech 69, Iowa 61
ACC 6, Big Ten 5
Bottom line: The streak continues.
Here's your Tuesday morning box score roundup. I read 'em so you don't have to:
• Texas 85, Iowa 60: Longhorns shot 55.6 percent from the field but eight for 26 from three-point range. J'Covan Brown was 0-5 from behind the arc. Damion James and Dexter Pittman pulled down 12 and eight rebounds, respectively, to help UT win battle of the boards 39-26. Anthony Tucker and Cully Payne were a combined five for 25 from the field for Iowa, which fell to 1-3. Gonna be a looooong year in Iowa City.
• Purdue 73, Tennessee 72: Best player on the floor was UT's Wayne Chism (24 points, six rebounds, 7-7 from the foul line) but his missed three at the buzzer allowed Boilers to escape. Teams were combined seven for 27 from three-point range. For Purdue: Robbie Hummel 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, 1-6 3fg. E'Twaun Moore 22 pts, 8-16 fg, three assists. Freshman Kelsey Barlow had six rebounds, three points in 16 minutes off the bench. JaJuan Johnson fouled out in 18 minutes with 11 points and three rebounds.
Every Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning I will show you my AP ballot along with an assessment of how my rankings compared with the results of that week's poll. Here is the ballot I submitted early this morning. The actual rankings are in parentheses:
1. Kansas (1)
2. Michigan State (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Villanova (4)
5. Kentucky (5)
6. Duke (7)
7. Connecticut (13)
8. Tennessee (9)
9. Syracuse (10)
10. West Virginia (8)
11. Washington (14)
12. Purdue (6)
13. Butler (12)
14. North Carolina (11)
15. Ohio State (17)
16. Louisville (16)
17. Michigan (15)
18. Gonzaga (NR)
19. Maryland (21)
20. Ole Miss (NR)
21. Kansas State (NR)
22. Dayton (NR)
23. Georgia Tech (NR)
24. Memphis (NR)
25. Georgetown (18)