The Michigan Wolverines are staking their claim as the best the Big 10 has to offer. On Thursday, they took another step toward the conference title, but they have a long way to go. At this rate, Michigan is one of the front runners for consecutive final four appearances.
Florida and Cincinnati have also dominated their respective leagues this season. The Gators got another SEC win to create more separation from conference members. The Bearcats may have already locked up the AAC title with their road victory against Louisville.
The Michigan Wolverines early struggles are completely in the past after Thursday night’s victory over Purdue. Nik Stauskas led four double figure scorers with 16 points in the nine point victory. Teammate Caris LeVert produced a double-double for the Wolverines who have yet to lose a game in conference.
During the first 10 games of the season, Michigan struggled out the gate with a (6-4) record. Since the last second loss to Arizona, Michigan hasn’t been touched by any opponents. They currently lead the Big 10 with an (8-0) record and, have no thoughts of slowing down now.
The Gators received a bit of good new prior to Thursday’s game against Mississippi State. Freshman Chris Walker was cleared by the NCAA to play for the Gators. He is set to make his debut on Tuesday against the Missouri Tigers.
After a sluggish first half, the Gators outscored the Bulldogs by 10 points to earn a 11 point victory. Casey Prather led Florida with 16 points and seven rebounds. Patric Young was the only other Florida player in double figures. He finished the game with 12 points.
With the win, Florida (7-0) has a two game lead in the SEC standings. Kentucky and Ole Miss are tied with a (5-2) record.
The Cincinnati Bearcats stymied the Louisville offense for much of the first half. Then Louisville made a run to get within striking distance by the break. Down 28-20 at the half, Louisville had to feel good about only being down eight.
In the second half, it was the offenses that took off for both teams. Sean Kilpatrick finished with 28 points and the Bearcats withstood a power Louisville run to come away with the road victory. Kilpatrick hit all 11 of his foul shots including clutch makes in the final minute.
Cincinnati (20-2) has a (9-0) record in the AAC and their sizable lead over the rest of the conference. Barring a collapse, this Cincinnati team is ready to become a major player on the national level.
Louisville’s loss has the Cardinals in a fight for second place. They fell to (17-4) on the season.
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