College basketball’s regular season slowed down on Wednesday night after a large batch of games opened the 2018-19 season on Tuesday night. But there was still an important in-state rivalry game in Ohio while the only ranked team to play on Tuesday night struggled in a tight win.
1. Ohio State earned the early-season’s best true road win over Cincinnati
Renewing a dormant in-state rivalry that hadn’t been played in the regular season in nearly 100 years, Ohio State held off a late surge from Cincinnati to claim a 64-56 road win.
The Buckeyes were in control for most of the game as the team’s new-look lineup was led by a balanced effort. Cincinnati, on the other hand, struggled to figure things out on offense after a 30-win campaign last season.
I have much more on both of those matters as I went more in-depth on Ohio State’s solid road win here.
2. No. 20 TCU had some issues in a tight win over CSU Bakersfield
The only ranked team to play on Wednesday night was No. 20 TCU as the Horned Frogs had some issues in a close home win over CSU Bakersfield.
Down two starters (forward Kouat Noi and guard Jaylen Fisher), TCU found themselves trailing by seven points at the half before furiously rallying for a 66-61 victory. Four players finished in double-figures for the Horned Frogs, paced by Desmond Bane’s double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
TCU’s biggest issue in this one was perimeter shooting. Finishing only 3 of 16 from three-point territory, the Horned Frogs need to find more shooting consistency to avoid any more scares. Thankfully for TCU, they have all home games against low-to-mid major opponents until they hit the road to play at TCU on Dec. 5.
3. Arizona gets a blowout win in opener
It’s a new-look Arizona team this season following the departures of many key pieces from last season. But the young Wildcats made quick work of Houston Baptist in a 90-60 home win.
Looking like the highly-touted four-star prospect he was labeled out of high school, sophomore guard Brandon Randolph paced Arizona’s offense with 21 points as he was 6-for-10 from the field. Freshman guard Brandon Williams struggled with his shot, but still tallied 13 points, while transfer big man Chase Jeter ended up with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Arizona gets its first huge test of the season on Nov. 19 against Iowa State in the opening round of the Maui Invitational. While the Wildcats will have to improve their 22 percent three-point shooting (6-for-22) from Wednesday night, this is still a positive start for a team that is still coming together.