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Super Bowl Snacks: No. 10 Michigan, No. 18 Pittsburgh fall on Super Sunday

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GAME OF THE DAY: Virginia 48, No. 18 Pittsburgh 45

It wasn’t pretty, and the game lacked the offensive fireworks seen last night at the Carrier Dome, but the Cavaliers and Panthers staged a tough battle in Pittsburgh. The difference was a Malcolm Brogdon three-pointer with less than a second remaining, moving Virginia to 8-1 in ACC play. Brogdon’s been a key figure for Virginia during conference play, as he’s reached double figures in all nine games after going scoreless in that blowout loss at Tennessee. As for Pitt, they need to get Lamar Patterson back on track. In losses to Duke and Virginia this week he shot a combined 7-for-28 from the field, a far cry from the 50% clip he’s been shooting on the season.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Indiana 63, No. 10 Michigan 52

Yogi Ferrell scored 27 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the field, to lead the way offensively for the Hoosiers. However the story for Indiana was their defending of Nik Stauskas, limiting him to six shot attempts (one make) and six points in the loss. Michigan, which is now tied for first in the Big Ten with Michigan State, will be fine. But for Indiana, this was a result they really needed after losing at Nebraska a couple days ago.

2) Oregon State 71, UCLA 67

UCLA entered this game with an opportunity to grab sole possession of second place in the Pac-12, and with Arizona’s Brandon Ashley injuring his foot who knows what could have been possible. But Jordan Adams missed all nine of his shot attempts and Oregon State’s Hallice Cooke led five Beavers in double figures with 20 points, resulting in defeat for the visiting Bruins. Now UCLA’s tied for second with Cal, with five teams (including Oregon State) a game behind in fourth.

3) No. 13 Cincinnati 50, USF 45 

The Bearcats struggled offensively against the Bulls, shooting just 33.3% from the field and 4-for-17 from beyond the arc. But that didn’t matter as Mick Cronin’s team once again made the plays they needed to make in crunch time, moving to 10-0 in American play (21-2 overall) as a result. Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points and Justin Jackson added 15, six rebounds and three blocks to lead the way for the Bearcats.

STARRED

1) Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) 

Ferrell scored 27 points, hitting seven of his eight shots from beyond the arc, to lead the Hoosiers to a 63-52 win over Michigan. He was also the primary defender assigned the task of slowing down Nik Stauskas.

2) Jordan Aaron (Milwaukee)

Aaron scored 23 points to lead five Panthers, who beat Oakland 86-64, in double figures. Teammate Matt Tiby scored ten points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

3) Hallice Cooke (Oregon State) 

Cooke scored 14 of his career-high 20 points in the second half of Oregon State’s 71-67 win over UCLA.

STRUGGLED

1) Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh)

Patterson scored ten points but he did so on 3-for-14 shooting in the Panthers’ 48-45 loss to Virginia. Over his last two games Patterson’s shot 7-for-28 from the field.

2) Nik Stauskas (Michigan) 

Michigan’s leading scorer attempted just six shots on Sunday, making one and scoring six points in a 63-52 loss at Indiana.

3) Langston Hall (Mercer) 

Hall shot 1-for-7 from the field, accounting for four points in the Bears’ 80-61 loss at USC Upstate.

NOTABLES

  • Oakland’s Travis Bader hit six three-pointers, passing J.J. Redick on the NCAA list for made three-pointers in a career. Unfortunately for the Golden Grizzlies, they lost 86-64 at Milwaukee.
  • Torrey Craig scored 25 points and grabbed five rebounds in USC Upstate’s 80-61 win over Mercer. The result means that Mercer and FGCU are tied in the loss column for first place in the Atlantic Sun.
  • D.J. Newbill scored 19 points and Tim Frazier 18 to lead Penn State to a 79-68 win over Purdue, their third consecutive Big Ten win.
  • Marcus Thornton scored 26 points to lead the way for William & Mary, which survived a wild final sequence to win 81-79 at James Madison.
  • Dyami Starks (22 points) Alex Francis and Corey Maynard (20 apiece) scored 62 of Bryant’s 76 points in the Bulldogs’ 76-67 win at Sacred Heart.
  • Spencer Parker and Richaun Holmes combined for 39 points and 17 rebounds to lead Bowling Green to a 74-68 win over Buffalo.

Wisconsin ends No. 2 Maryland’s 27-game home win streak

Wisconsin forward Vitto Brown (30) shoots during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
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Just over a month ago Wisconsin lost at Northwestern, dropping to 9-9 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten and had the look of a team that would have to fight simply to get into the NIT. Since then, Greg Gard’s Badgers have won seven straight games with the most recent triumph being a 70-57 victory at No. 2 Maryland. Not only did Wisconsin become the first Big Ten team to beat the Terrapins at the Xfinity Center since Maryland joined the Big Ten, but they also ended Maryland’s 27-game home win streak.

And it was Wisconsin’s offensive balance that stood out, as four starters scored in double figures led by forward Vitto Brown.

Brown, who accounted for 18 points and five rebounds in Wisconsin’s win over Nebraska Wednesday night, was even better against Maryland as he scored a career-high 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. While Bronson Koenig (16 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Nigel Hayes (14 and six rebounds) are the ones expected to shoulder much of the load, players such as Brown, Ethan Happ and Zak Showalter (11 points) will also be key as Wisconsin makes its push for an NCAA tournament bid.

In Wisconsin’s first five conference games Brown averaged 4.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest. Since then he’s averaging 11.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, scoring in double figures in each of Wisconsin’s last three games.

Overall Wisconsin’s looked far more fluid offensively during this win streak, and over the last three games the Badgers have shot very well from the perimeter as they made nearly 51 percent of their attempts (12-for-26 against Maryland). Add in Wisconsin’s ability to take advantage of Maryland’s defensive rebounding issues, converting 13 offensive boards into 20 second-chance points, and it was easy to see why Wisconsin was able to grab control of the game in the first half during a 20-0 run that gave them the separation they needed.

Maryland’s issues throughout conference play remain the same, as they struggled to end defensive possessions while also turning the ball over far too often (seven times) during the aforementioned Wisconsin run. With Melo Trimble not playing at the level he’s capable of reaching (he may not be completely healthy), Maryland has some things to address during this stretch run.

But more than anything, Saturday was the product of a Wisconsin team that’s starting to click at the right time. And as crazy as it may seem, given how Wisconsin began Big Ten play, the Badgers only two games out of first place.

No. 5 Xavier finds shooting touch in 74-57 blowout at Butler

Xavier head coach Chris Mack talks with James Farr (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Indianapolis. Xavier won 74-57. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) No. 5 Xavier learned its lesson.

To keep winning, it must continue do the dirty work.

Four days after stumbling at Creighton, the Musketeers got back to basics and used a balanced offense and a smothering defense to run away from Butler 74-57 on Saturday.

“We played much better today and after about the first four or five minutes, we defended,” coach Chris Mack said. “Our shots were, in my opinion, really good ones because we got in the lane, we made the extra pass and I thought that was the difference.”

Whatever the explanation, the Musketeers (22-3, 10-3 Big East) certainly looked worthy of the highest ranking in school history.

After making a season-low 30 percent from the field and just 1 of 21 3-point attempts in Tuesday’s loss, Xavier rebounded by shooting 56.9 percent and going 9 of 18 beyond the arc. J.P. Macura led the way with 13 points while Edmond Sumner and Remy Abell each had 12.

But the biggest improvements showed up in other areas – defense, rebounding and effort. They allowed 36 points over the final 31 1/2 minutes.

“Everybody was boxing out and rebounding, and on the offensive end we have so much talent we could get whatever we wanted,” said Abell, who started his college career playing for the Indiana Hoosiers.

The difference was obvious.

Butler (17-8, 6-7) was held almost 25 points below its season average.

Kelan Martin, with 15 points, and Andrew Chrabascz, with 12, were the only players to score more than 10. And the top three scorers – Martin, Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones – were a combined 11 of 39 from the field as the Bulldogs’ three-game winning streak came to an end.

Xavier crushed the Bulldogs so thoroughly that chants of “Let’s Go X” resounded throughout sold out Hinkle Fieldhouse over the final minutes.

“We didn’t have near the effort, the juice, the purpose defensively and we didn’t move the ball offensively and that was actually the case from the opening minute,” Butler coach Chris Holtmann said. “We mentioned that in the four-minute media and said that had to improve and when it doesn’t these things happen.”

Butler used a 9-0 first-half run to take a 21-13 lead midway through the first half.

Xavier answered with a 27-6 run that included four 3s and a three-point play in a 27-6 run to make it 40-27. The Bulldogs got as close as 47-39 early in the second half, which later became a seven-point deficit after a replay review gave Dunham a 3.

But the Bulldogs couldn’t get closer.

“You can go 1 for 21 one game, and then the next game it’s – I’m sure it was better,” Macura said. “That’s basketball.”

POINTERS

Xavier’s dominance showed up in two key stats on the box score. The Musketeers outscored Butler 36-14 in points off the bench and 36-18 in the paint despite having only two offensive rebounds. Xavier has won six of its last seven.

ON THE ROAD

Even the road has been kind to the Musketeers this season. They have won seven times in true road games, their highest season total since 2010-11. They have also won five Big East games on the road – more than they won in either of their first two seasons in the league and they have won 10 of the last 13 at Hinkle.

MOVING UP

Dunham continues his ascent on the Bulldogs’ career scoring list. After moving from 14th to sixth on the list in the first 23 games this season, Dunham moved passed Lynn Mitchem (1,798) for fifth and within one point of A.J. Graves (1,807) for fourth. Matt Howard is third (1,939) and the only 2,000-point scorers in school history are Chad Tucker (2,321) and Darrin Fitzgerald (2,019).

TIP-INS

Xavier: Former Indiana prep star Trevon Bluiett had 11 points and four rebounds and James Farr had 12 rebounds. … Each of Xavier’s 22 wins has come by at least seven points. … The Musketeers were the highest-ranked team to play at Hinkle Fieldhouse since No. 3 DePaul visited Feb. 23, 1981.

Butler: Shot 33.3 percent overall and was 8 of 22 on 3s. …. The Bulldogs only have three wins at home against Top 10 teams – No. 8 Gonzaga in January 2013, No. 3 Michigan in 1965-66 and No. 5 Tennessee in 1958-59. … Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence attended the game.

UP NEXT

Xavier hosts No. 20 Providence on Wednesday.

Butler hosts Creighton on Tuesday.