Iowa edges Illinois in barnburner: College hoops on FOX

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It’s a full day of men’s college basketball on FOX — and we’ve got you covered with all the action from start to finish!

Kicking things off, Rutgers downed Michigan State in a riveting Big Ten showdown at Madison Square Garden.

Next, Illinois (16-6) faces Iowa (14-8). That will be followed by No. 16 Xavier (18-5) playing host to St. John’s (14-9) in Cincinnati. Rounding out FOX’s Saturday action is Villanova (10-12) battling Creighton (14-8).

Here are the top plays!

FINAL: Iowa 81, Illinois 79

Transition offense 

There are shooters all around for both squads, and they can make you pay at any time for lax coverage. Payton Sandfort collected a deposit midway through the first half to give Iowa a 23-18 advantage.


What did we tell you? Shooters all around! And they can get it done in the pressure-packed moments as well. Just ask Kris Murray.

Statue of liberty!

Iowa’s not a one-dimensional team. The Hawkeyes flashed their shooting ability in the first half, and Filip Rebraca got things started in the second with a hammering finish at the rim.

Bright lights, bigger shots

Enter Sandfort once again. The 6’7 sharpshooter knocked in a crucial catch-and-shoot 3 with 1:30 to play, earning Iowa a 79-76 edge.

FINAL: Rutgers 61, Michigan State 55

Tough to gain momentum in the Big Ten

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was asked to assess his team before the game, calling it “confusing” and explaining that it has been tough for the Spartans to gain a foothold because the Big Ten “is so amazing.”

“It gets so confusing because you don’t realize how good all the teams are,” he said, “… but also nobody’s maybe elite except for Purdue. And they are elite.”

A story of tragedy narrowly averted

In the lead-up to Michigan State-Rutgers, we tell the touching story of former Spartans assistant Mike Garland, who narrowly avoided tragedy thanks to the help of two complete strangers.

Said Izzo: “My friend is living because of these two guys.”

A battle on the court

Mowat Mag gave the Scarlet Knights and early lead with a corner 3.


AJ Hoggard flew in to deny Rutgers what looked like would be an easy basket.

From DEEP!

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, and Tyson Walker put the Spartans up with an NBA-range 3-pointer. Michigan State held a 25-19 lead at the half behind Walker’s seven points. The Spartans held Rutgers to just 7-for-29 shooting (24.1%) from the field.

Up high, down hard! 

Rutgers’ Cliff Omoruyi led the NCAA in dunks last season, and he showed why early in the second half with this booming jam off a nice alley-oop setup from Paul Mulcahy.

We’ll take that!

The game was of tale of two halves for the Scarlet Knights, and Rutgers propelled ahead on the scoreboard courtesy of this pretty 3 from Caleb McConnell.


St. John’s at Xavier (5 p.m. ET)

St. John’s Red Storm






Xavier Musketeers





Villanova at Creighton (7:30 p.m. ET)

Villanova Wildcats





Creighton Bluejays





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