Category Archives: Big Ten

Notre Dame Basketball: Previewing the Indiana Hoosiers

Rex Pflueger and the Fighting Irish will look to move to 4-3 all-time at the Crossroads Classic with a win over Indiana. (Source: Matt Cashore – USA Today Sports) (Header: Sports Illustrated)

INDIANAPOLIS, In. — Another year is in full swing, and another edition of the Crossroads Classic is upon us.

For the last six seasons, the Butler Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Indiana Hoosiers have all ascended on BankersLife Fieldhouse for a two-game showcase. With two teams from the Big Ten, the Hoosiers and Boilermakers alternate opponents each season. The 2017 edition marks the seventh edition of the event, and it shouldn’t disappoint.

Notre Dame and Indiana enter Saturday’s showdown with identical 3-3 records in the event. The Hoosiers hold a 2-1 edge over the Fighting Irish in their head-to-head match-ups. They last met in 2015, with the Hoosiers scoring an 80-73 win over Notre Dame.

On Saturday, both teams will be looking for a big win that could get them back on the right track after some shaky moments early in the 2017-18 season.

Here’s what you need to know in advance of their showdown as part of the 2017 Crossroads Classic.
Continue reading Notre Dame Basketball: Previewing the Indiana Hoosiers

Michigan State Basketball: Previewing the Hitachi College Basketball Showcase

District Detroit will host four of the top teams in the state of Michigan inside Little Caesars Arena for the Hitachi College Basketball Showcase. (Header: Lansing State Journal)

DETROIT, Mich. — Fans have been waiting patiently since April for December 16th to roll around, and the wait is finally over.

The Hitachi College Basketball Showcase will be the first-ever college basketball event to be played inside the newly-constructed Little Caesars Arena in District Detroit. Four of the top teams from the state of Michigan will put their talents on display in front of a sold out crowd in the Motor City.

Saturday’s festivities kick off with a match-up that features the Detroit Mercy Titans and the Michigan Wolverines at 12:00pm EST, followed by the Oakland Golden Grizzlies taking on the second-ranked Michigan State Spartans at approximately 2:30pm EST.

All four teams in the event have the opportunity to add a quality non-conference win to their resume, and you can bet that the fans will be treated to high-quality basketball across both games.

Here’s what you need to know in advance of the event.
Continue reading Michigan State Basketball: Previewing the Hitachi College Basketball Showcase

Michigan State Pulls Away From Southern Utah, 88-63; Number One Ranking Next?

Nick Ward was one of three Spartans to score 17 points, and Michigan State extended their winning streak to eight games with an 88-63 win over Southern Utah. (Source: Mike Carter – USA Today Sports) (Header: USA Today Sports)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ever since their loss at the 2017 Champions Classic to the Duke Blue Devils, the Michigan State Spartans have been on some kind of roll.

Since their loss back on November 14th, the Spartans entered Saturday riding a seven game winning streak. All of their wins have come by double digits, with their closest game coming on December 5th against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Michigan State beat the Scarlet Knights by 10.

Inside the Breslin Center on Saturday, the Spartans welcomed the Southern Utah Thunderbirds to town, and both teams were looking to continue their winning streaks. Southern Utah came into the day riding a three-game winning streak of their own, and while they were taking on the third-ranked team in the country, they left it all on the court and made things interesting in the second half.

After the Spartans took a 12-point lead at the break, the Thunderbirds managed to get within five points on a pair of occasions before the midway point of the second half. However, the Spartans were too much to handle, and the home side pulled away down the stretch for the 88-63 win over Southern Utah. Continue reading Michigan State Pulls Away From Southern Utah, 88-63; Number One Ranking Next?

Michigan State Slips Past Rutgers, 62-52

Against Rutgers on Tuesday night, freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. racked up 11 points and eight blocks, helping lead the Spartans to the 62-52 win. (Source: Rey Del Rio – Getty Images)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The 2017-18 season introduced a new conference play format for the Big Ten Conference.

Teams now play a pair of conference games in the month of December, as the conference tournament was moved up a week. Instead of finishing on the afternoon of Selection Sunday, as it has done in the past, the Big Ten Tournament will now finish a week prior to the field being announced for the NCAA Tournament.

With the changes, teams from the Big Ten played their first two conference games from Saturday through to Tuesday night. It gave fans some insight into how their teams stack up against conference foes, serving as a good measuring stick moving forwards.

On Sunday, the Michigan State Spartans opened up Big Ten play with a big home win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 86-57. The Spartans’ opponent on Tuesday, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, weren’t as successful in their Big Ten opener.

Rutgers fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the road, 89-67, extending their losing streak to two games in the process.

Tuesday night saw two teams going in different directions match up with one another. The Spartans had won six straight games after a loss in the Champions Classic, while Rutgers had lost two straight after a 6-0 start.

It was an even first half, as the teams were tied at 26-all at the break. In the second frame, Michigan State pulled away down the stretch, extending their winning streak to seven with a 62-52 win over the host Scarlet Knights. Continue reading Michigan State Slips Past Rutgers, 62-52

No. 3 Michigan State Cruises to 81-63 Win Over No. 5 Notre Dame

Cassius Winston recorded 17 points and seven assists to guide Michigan State past Notre Dame on Thursday night, 81-63. (Source: Kirthmon F. Dozier – Detroit Free Press) (Header: Lansing State Journal)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — On Thursday night inside the Breslin Center, the third-ranked Michigan State Spartans led wire-to-wire against the fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, picking up a big 81-63 win to close out the 2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

It marks the second win for Michigan State over a top ten team in a five-day span, as they knocked off the then ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday to win the Victory Bracket of the PK80 Invitational, 63-45.

Michigan State got contributions from all 11 players who checked into the game, nine of which recorded at least two points in the win. Sophomore guard Cassius Winston led the way with another all-round performance, recording 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.

Fellow guard Joshua Langford tied Winston for the team-high in scoring with 17 points of his own, while Miles Bridges chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds.

Senior forward Bonzie Colson led the way for the Fighting Irish, who had four players score in double-figures in the loss. Colson finished with 17 points, six rebounds, five steals and four blocks. Continue reading No. 3 Michigan State Cruises to 81-63 Win Over No. 5 Notre Dame

No. 3 Michigan State Hosts No. 5 Notre Dame in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge

The last time that Michigan State and Notre Dame squared off was December 3rd, 2014. The Fighting Irish picked up the 79-78 win, in overtime, behind 27 points from Jerian Grant. (Source: Detroit Free Press) (Header: Notre Dame Insider)

EAST LANSING, Mi. — For the third time this season, the Michigan State Spartans will take on a top-10 team when they host the fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday night inside the Breslin Center.

When the 2017-18 schedules were announced, Thursday’s match-up between the Spartans and Fighting Irish was one that most had circled on their calendars. Both teams were expected to be ranked comfortably in the top 25, but little did we know that this would turn into a top-five game when it tips off.

Michigan State and Notre Dame will be meeting for the 97th time, but Thursday marks just their second meeting since 1979 campaign. The last time the two teams met was back in 2014, with the Fighting Irish picking up a 79-78 win in overtime over the 14th-ranked Spartans in South Bend as a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Fighting Irish hold a 60-36 edge all-time against the Spartans, and are 25-22 in East Lansing. Thursday will be the first time that Notre Dame has played inside the Breslin Center, as the last time they were in East Lansing (1979), the Spartans played out of the Jenison Fieldhouse. Continue reading No. 3 Michigan State Hosts No. 5 Notre Dame in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge