Xavier 68, Western Michigan 65 — So, this was slightly unexpected. For much of the game, the Broncos were leading by a modest high-single-digit margin — at one time, 11 — but XU finally barreled through and took the late lead. Flenard Whitfield's desperation 3-point shot made contact with both backboard and rim, so it was a valiant gambit. Whitfield led his phalanx with 15 points. Xavier doesn't appear to have much of a bench. Only their starters scored on this night. Maybe they just have random chairs. Western Michigan's next game: Saturday, 11/20 vs. Loyola-Chicago
#2 Michigan State 96, Eastern Michigan 66 — You're outmatched. You're outnumbered. You're not No. 2 and they are. Whaddya do? Try 29 three-pointers. (Eleven of them went through! That's half their points!!) Brandon Bowdry had five such shots for a gaudy 32 points and 15 rebounds. Just a killer game out of him. You'll see more of that all year. Eastern Michigan's next game: Wednesday 11/17 vs. Madonna University (NAIA school)
Kent State 73, Iona 72 — A solid, strong way to start the Golden Flashes season, especially by beating a MAC impostor. The Gaels (of the phonetic-bandits, the MAAC) were 21-game winners last year, and they played KSU tough for this entire game. You can thank Justin Greene for sinking one singular free throw in a tie game with one second remaining. He finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks. Rodriquez Sherman also hit the 20-point mark, but also assisted five others. Slightly poetic that Greene sank one of two freebies to win the game. Each team made about 56% of their free throws. Kent State's next game: Today vs. Bryant
Miami 60, Towson 57 — You want to say it like "Toe-son," but that first syllable rhymes with "now." I wasn't involved in this discussion. But this was another close 'un, if you like that type of game. Allen Roberts was the token 20-point scorer for the RedHawks, and Julian Mavunga got his double-double with 14/11, as well as a team-high 5 assists. Miami's next game: Tuesday, 11/16 at Duke (TV: ESPNU)
Northwestern 97, Northern Illinois 78 — Well, NIU had a nice 13-5 lead at one point. Pity it didn't continue that way. And, yep, there's Xavier Silas and his 25 points (12-for-12 free throws) and tied the team high with six rebounds. The benchmark has been set. Northern Illinois's next game: Tuesday 11/16 at Bradley
Howard 54, Bowling Green 52 — A simul-struggle! Howard was a 7-25 team a year ago and still is a cellar-dwelling MEAC team. But they pulled out the victory on a night where nobody could shoot quite well. Although Scott Thomas finished with 20 points and 9 boards. Neither team ever led by more than seven points. Bowling Green's next game: Monday, 11/15 vs. Ohio Dominican (Division II school)
Akron 89, Millikin 41 — Not even fair, guys. The score was 48-9 at halftime. The poor Division III sacrificial lambs were a measly 4-for-14 from the free throw line. I don't even think it's fair to flaunt any of Akron's numbers. There's not even a valid SB Nation link to the game. Fini. Akron's next game: Tuesday, 11/16 at Dayton
Oh, and football! Remember football?
Ball State 20, Buffalo 3 — The Cardinals now have a "winning streak," which is a little surprising. Hey, four wins is more than we'd have given them at the start of the year. But they turned out to be actually a damn fine little running team. Even with MiQuale Lewis hurt in this game, Eric Williams had 109 yards on the ground. Buffalo's total offense? 144 yards and four turnovers, or 36 yards per giveaway. A.J. Principe's 49-yard three-pointer ... er, field goal gave them a brief, fleeting lead in the first quarter. Ball State's final game is against NIU, and don't you even start believing it's some kind of Huskie trap. Buffalo, meanwhile, limps to the finish with matchups against Eastern Michigan and Akron. They have to take one of those, right? ...right?
NOTE: We're going to play "daily newspaper" and just say that Central Michigan's 2:30 a.m. game against Cal State-Fullerton in Hawaii came in late. But through the wizardry of the Internet, you are not lost without their result, thanks to links. Just my priceless insights on the game.