Game of the Day: No. 3 Michigan 76, No. 10 Ohio State 74 (OT)
It was billed as “Trey Burke vs. Aaron Craft Pt. II” and it didn’t disappoint. We saw a battle of two of the nation’s best point guards, but the most important player for Michigan in its overtime win was junior Tim Hardaway, Jr. He hit three-pointers on three straight possessions in the middle of the second half that kept the game close when the Wolverines could not get a stop defensively. He finished with 23 points.
Deshaun Thomas finally got help on the offensive end, this coming from LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith, Jr., but when Ohio State needed him the most, overtime, he was not given a chance to score. Instead, Aaron Craft controlled the ball for the majority of the extra period. He was 1-of-4 from the field and had a turnover in the final five minutes.
Florida had been steamrolling through the SEC, but the Gators got a taste of their own medicine against an Arkansas team that has played distinctly different at home than it has on the road. Florida shot just 41 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 16 times, while the Razorbacks shot close to 50 percent and turned it over just eight times.
Florida is still the class of the SEC, but they now fall to within one game of Kentucky in the race for the top of the conference.
After reaching as high as 15th in the nation, the Shockers have lost three games in a row and are slipping further back into a crowded Missouri Valley race. Malcolm Armstead, Cleanthony Early, and Carl Hall all did not have the games that the Shockers needed on the road, and a last-second shot from Jalen Pendleton was enough to sink WSU against a Southern Illinois team that came into the game 1-10 in conference play.
Miami continues to roll and remain undefeated in the ACC. The Hurricanes shot 11-of-22 from three-point range and 47 percent overall. Kenny Kadji is continuing to prove his value as a power forward who can stretch the floor, while Rion Brown had one of his biggest games of the year with 22 points.
1. Tim Hardaway, Jr., Michigan (23 points, 6-of-9 3pt FG)
Without Hardaway, Jr., this game would have gone much differently for the Wolverines. In the middle of the second half when Michigan was having trouble getting a stop defensively, the junior hit big shots to keep Michigan in the game. He has greatly expanded his game this season, but that three-point shot is still his bread and butter.
2. Reggie Bullock, North Carolina (23 points, 7-of-10 FG, 4-of-5 3pt FG)
Now having returned from a concussion earlier in the year, Bullock helped to pace a strong offensive attack Tuesday for the Tar Heels in their dominating win over Wake Forest.
3. Javonte Green, Radford (23 points, 13 rebounds)
A lineup of players who starred would not be complete without some love for a mid-major double-double. Though it came in a loss, Javonte Green’s 23 points and 13 rebounds made for one of the more impressive individual performances of the night.
1. D.J. Byrd, Purdue (2 points, 0-of-6 FG, 0-of-6 3pt FG)
Purdue shot 40 percent from the field in its win over Penn State, but moving forward, the Boilermakers will need more output from Byrd against teams that aren’t 0-10 in league play.
2. Jermaine Marshall, Penn State (7 points, 2-of-14 FG, 0-of-5 3pt FG)
Penn State as a team shot just 31 percent from the floor, and Marshall was among those who struggled. He was far from his average of 15 points per game and the Nittany Lions fell to Purdue.
3. Carl Hall, Cleanthony Early, Wichita State (15 points combined)
This Wichita State duo averages over 27 points per game between them, but was unable to generate much Tuesday in a loss to Northern Iowa. The Shockers have now lost three in a row and Hall and Early will be key to getting back on track in the Missouri Valley Conference.