Wednesday’s college basketball slate was mostly dominated by the ongoing ACC/Big Ten Challenge as road wins turned out to be a big theme of the night. While No. 7 Michigan and No. 15 Florida State made major statements, it was road teams who made the most of the annual non-conference showcase.
1. No. 15 Florida State comes back to beat No. 19 Purdue
The most compelling finish to any game on Wednesday night was Florida State’s back-and-forth win over Purdue in a fun nightcap. The Seminoles had the game-winning bucket from guard Trent Forrest with 5.6 seconds left as they went from up 12 at halftime to being down by two possessions for much of the second half.
This is the kind of comeback win that should give the Seminoles a lot of confidence. On a somewhat weird night where they squandered a lead, Florida State was still able to forge a comeback against a top-25 team playing arguably its best stretch of ball during the season.
The Seminoles had eight different players score at least seven points in this one as they remain one of the most deep and athletic teams in the country. Even if someone doesn’t go bananas for Florida State, they have enough in the rotation to wear you down over the course of 40 minutes.
2. No. 7 Michigan makes a big statement in win over No. 11 North Carolina
Another major statement from Michigan as the Wolverines knocked off another potential Final Four team by double-digits. Even after going down early, the Wolverines quickly rallied to fly by the Tar Heels behind 24 points from freshman Iggy Brazdeikis and 21 points from junior guard Charles Matthews.
We know that Michigan’s defense is going to be nearly elite on most nights. But if Michigan is shooting 11-for-22 from behind the three-point line, they’re going to be nearly impossible to beat this season.
3. Syracuse, Virginia, Rutgers earn important road wins
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge had a lot of road teams picking up wins on Wednesday night. The biggest one of note is Syracuse taking down No. 16 Ohio State to earn an important victory. The Orange dominated most of the second half of this one as I have more takeaways on this game here.
Elsewhere, No. 4 Virginia held off No. 24 Maryland to earn another solid win. Although the Terps put up a valiant effort with a good offensive effort, the Cavaliers earned the win thanks to solid nights from Kyle Guy (18 points) and Ty Jerome (17 points).
And Rutgers quietly picked up one of its biggest wins in years by knocking off Miami for a road win. The Scarlet Knights defense held the Hurricanes to 34 percent shooting as Geo Baker led the way with 16 points. This win is important for Rutgers as they have back-to-back games against ranked Big Ten teams within the next week.
The only home team to win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge besides Michigan on Wednesday was Northwestern. The Wildcats put together a 67-61 win over Georgia Tech.