Big East > Big 10
The Big East has taken the Big 10 by storm the last two nights in the Gavitt Tip Off Games. Marquette got the ball rolling by picking up a win over no. 10 Illinois, 67-66. Providence followed up Marquette’s performance with a victory of their own vs. Wisconsin on Monday night. As if that wasn’t enough embarrassment to the Big 10, the Big East continued to pull off upsets on Tuesday night. Creighton ran Nebraska out of their own gym, winning 77-69. And the final blow came late Tuesday night when Seton Hall came back late in the game to take down no. 5 Michigan.
In each of these four of these games, the Big East schools were underdogs and won the game outright. In other words, DO NOT bet against the Big East.
Marquette 67 vs. Illinois 66
Illinois shot a higher 3PT%, a higher FT%, out rebounded Marquette by TWENTY rebounds, yet they still managed to lose this game to a much less talented Marquette team. Marquette showed a ton of guts in this game and came up with huge plays down the stretch. Tyler Kolek came up with a steal and the finish of the other end to win the game (video below). Kolek played 37 minutes for the Golden Eagles and stuffed the stat-sheet with 12 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, and 2 STLs.
Darryl Morsell was also a major contributor Monday night. He scored 21 PTS (3/4 from 3PT) and pulled down 5 REB.
Providence 63 @ Wisconsin 58
I can sum this game up with two words. Nate Watson.
Nate Watson imposed his will on this game and inevitably won this game for Providence. The big man played 32 minutes and scored 24 PTS, while shooting 11/15 from the field. He was incredibly efficient both offensively and defensively, owning the paint on both ends.
As for Wisconsin, they struggled heavily to find the bottom of the net. They shot 32% from the field and 18% on 3PT attempts. Numbers like that aren’t going to win you many games. Wisconsin’s lack of depth was exposed and unless players step up soon, they are going to struggle a lot this season.
Creighton 77 @ Nebraska 69
Creighton got off to a hot start in this game and they never looked back. Ryan Nembhard led the way for the Bluejays tallying 22 PTS, shooting 4/5 from beyond the arc. Alex O’Connell, Ryan Kalkbrenner, Ryan Hawkins, and Trey Alexander crashed the boards hard, combing for 36 rebounds of the Bluejays 50 total rebounds.
Nebraska’s starters were unable to put together significant scoring production. Verge Jr. was the only starter to reach double figure scoring with 10 PTS. Nebraska was a victim of to slow of a start in this one, they dug themselves in to big of a hole to start the game and couldn’t get themselves back out in time.
Seton Hall 67 @ Michigan 65
I thought Seton Hall would be able to hang tough with Michigan, but man I did not think they would be able to win outright. After trailing by as much as nine points with just over eight minutes to go, the Pirates began to chip away. Tray Jackson got the ball rolling with this triple as they began to cut into the Michigan lead.
Tray Jackson and Bryce Aiken, who both came off the bench for Seton Hall, led the team in scoring with 13 a-piece. Taking down Michigan in Ann Arbor is no easy task. This is a HUGE statement win for Kevin Willard and co. as they look ahead to a rather rigorous out of conference schedule. If Bryce Aiken and Tray Jackson can provide consistent offense for the Pirates this season, they are going to be a team to look out for in the Big East.
Tomorrow night Butler hosts Michigan State and St. John’s travels to Indiana, as the Big East looks to go 6-0 against Big 10 opponents.
It was always the Big East.