ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF guard A.J. Davis dreamed about playing at Madison Square Garden.
Now, he can check it off his bucket list.
The Knights advanced to the National Invitation Tournament semi-finals, fighting off Illinois, 68-58. The Fighting Illini led for only one minute and 53 seconds during a game in which they shot an anemic 30.6 percent.
“Every game we are just trying to not give up threes and layups (and) make guys shoot tough twos,” UCF center Tacko Fall said. “We work on it every day.”
The Iowa Hawkeyes took down the Nebraska Huskers, notching their third conference win in a row, improving their overall record to 14-10 (6-5 Big Ten).
The Hawkeyes’ will have to learn how to play without Senior star Peter Jok next season and if the past games without him have been any sign, they will be in good hands. They had to play back to back games without him and went 2-0 in those games. But, it was nice to see him back on the court and the Hawkeyes kept their winning ways with Jok with them this time.
The first half was back and forth, and the Hawkeyes barely went in to halftime with a lead, 38-36. But, the second half would be a nine point advantage for the Hawkeyes’, propelling them to an 11 point win. The return of Peter Jok was huge for the Hawkeyes’, but Jordan Bohannon also had his own story. He set the record for most made three-pointers in a season by a Hawkeye Freshman with 54 and counting.
For Nebraska, they have fallen a long way from starting 3-0 in Big Ten play. With this loss, they fall to 10-13 overall (4-7 Big Ten). Tai Webster, their best player, had 14 points and 6 assists. For him, that is a very quite night and it shows with the tough loss for Nebraska.
C0-Stars of the game: Jordan Bohannon (15 points, 5 rebounds, 4-6 3pt) and Peter Jok (12 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds)
Up next for Nebraska is a huge game against the best team in the Big Ten Wisconsin. They will host the Badgers Thursday.
The Hawkeyes’ will travel to Minnesota to take on the Gophers on Wednesday, with the chance to get their fourth win in a row.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a tremendous start to their ACC campaign that included big wins against Syracuse, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Louisville.
However, the Irish have run into a little bit of a dry spell, losing their last three games to Virginia, Georgia Tech at the buzzer, and now the Duke Blue Devils.
Notre Dame has to suffered to 6-4 in conference play and have dropped to fifth place in the ACC standings after a long stint in first place. However, with the ACC as deep as it is, the Irish were bound to lose a few games.
In the last few seasons, the Fighting Irish have been victorious in their series with the Blue Devils, winning both games last season, and winning two out of the three games the season before that, including a huge win to advance to the ACC conference championships in which they went on to win for the first time in program history.
Duke currently sits at 6th in the ACC, losing to Virginia Tech, NC State, Louisville, Florida State and an early season two point loss to the Kansas Jaw Hawks. On the other hand, they have destroyed Georgia Tech, beaten a struggling Michigan State team as well as nationally ranked Florida.
One of the nations most scrutinized players, Grayson Allen has been notorious for his unsportsmanlike behaviour on his opponents. The Duke guard is constantly the centre of attention when it comes to college basketball as every game seems to have a new incident of him kicking or knocking down a player. The fans in South Bend experienced it first hand, and Mike Brey was not pleased.
Coming into Tuesday’s game against the Michigan Wolverines, the Wisconsin Badgers had not lost a game at home in over a year. But, the Wolverines gave it their best shot, but ended up coming up just short of an upset win.
The first half was a back and forth battle and the Badgers went into the halftime break only up by 5, 26-21.
The likes of the Indiana Hoosiers, Wisconsin Badgers, and Purdue Boilermakers look to be the conference’s best bets to have a Big Ten cut down the nets.
However, the National Championship is still over two months away, and the Big Ten conference is a mess. There’s no clear-cut favourite at this moment in the season, teams are losing games they should win, and vice versa. There are several ‘good’ teams in the conference, but no ‘great’ teams.
With their win over Virginia Tech and Florida State’s recent loss to North Carolina, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now officially first place in the ACC as they improved to 5-0 on the season after a five point win against the Hokies.
Virginia Tech was nationally ranked a few weeks ago after defeating #5 (at the time) Duke, but fell out of the AP Top 25 as a result of two straight losses to North Carolina State and Florida State.
The Hokies are now 13-4 on the season after today’s loss to the Fighting Irish, but have won against prominent basketball opponents in Michigan, Texas A & M, Duke and Syracuse.
Before today’s game, Notre Dame and the Hokies had played against each other seven times with the Irish now leading the series 7-1. The Irish won last years matchup between the Hokies, winning by only two points at home. Virginia Tech hasn’t won against the Irish since the 1973 NIT Championship game.