Johnson pushes Big Ten to 3X3U championship

Robert Johnson made it rain in San Antonio.

The former Indiana guard hit the game-winning shot to push the Big Ten to a championship victory at the inaugural 3X3U National Championship at this weekend’s Final Four.

The Big Ten team, which featured Johnson, Purdue’s Vincent Edwards, Ohio State’s Jae’Sean Tate and Minnesota’s Nate Mason, went 6-0 in the 3-on-3 tournament, which ran Friday through Sunday.

“It feels good, thank God,” Johnson said on ESPN2 after the championship game. “Basketball in March, no matter where you play, it’s going to be tough. So it didn’t matter what conference we were playing, we took it serious. Every game, we tried to regroup and see what we could do better. I love these guys, that was big.”

Johnson helped the Big Ten knock off the Big West, 21-13, in the title game after the league beat the Southwestern Athletic Conference in the semifinals and topped the Southeastern Conference in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

The Big Ten also won each of its three games in pool play, defeating representatives from Conference USA, the Southland Conference and the Southern Conference. Johnson, Edwards, Tate and Mason split a prize pool of $55,000, which amounts to $13,750 per player.

The players are able to earn money through the game because their NCAA eligibility has been exhausted.


    1. Congratulations Robert! After 4 very solid years at IU your professional career is off to a great start. You have all of the talent that you need to have a successful NBA career! You have always been a great teammate! Go for it!

  1. The players are able to earn money through the game because their NCAA eligibility has been exhausted.

    I’m exhausted about caring. You’re doing this BS while the Loyola Ramblers were battling their butts off in the Final Four? You should feel silly to have Hoosier near your name.

  2. Great news. NCAA has developed another stream of Revenue. They can expand this contest a little more each year and pretty soon develop a league for “not ready for NBA” but still make some pocket change.

  3. Well, Michigan got to experience a real team tonight. Their cakewalk draws to the Finals caught up with them.

    Wagner is an absolute punk. He got worked tonight. He bounded around and was throwing cheap shots away from the ball. Whining like Coach Cal after hacking another guy who blew past him. He was humiliated on many plays tonight.

    He probably has bowling shoes.

    1. Sure… but everyone who played Nova looked like that… They are clearly the best team in college basketball right now.

      1. …And Michigan looked like the 5th best team in the B1G tonight.

        Does anyone know if any team has had an easier run at the finals than Michigan did this year? They had to slice through the swiss cheese of 14, 6, 7, 9 & 11 before getting to #1 Vanillanova.

        On a side note, this small school of just under 11k in the Philly burbs is dropping $60 million in renovations for their hoops home (I graduated high school on that court). They don’t even have a D-1 Football team. In comparison, Indiana dropped $45 mil on KJSDFJKFott Assembly Hall. I believe Cook Hall was like $15 mil? So that puts them roughly even, not factoring in the time value of money. Previous to this year, The Pavillion held 6,500 people.

        NCAA Champs 2 out of the last 3 years. Almost all east coast kids. Only Spellman was from Ohio and Brunson from Illinois. I was told that east coast kids are inferior in basketball. Hmmm.

        1. And Kansas looked like the 6th best team in the B1G on Saturday…

          I am happy that Archie is coaching this team and have some hope that he can build a similar program to Wright’s. I do fear a little bit that UL got such a good coach and recruiter of native-Hoosier talent in Mack.

          1. Geoff is two for two…
            Double Down is bricking all of his comments….Only Brunson and Spellman from the Midwest. Only Brunson…lol. Let’s try this…

            Brunson [onl;y] holds the IHSA playoff single-game and the IHSAt Class 4A championship game scoring records and set the USA Basketball single-game assist record for the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championships. He [only] earned the MVP of the 2015 FIBA Under-19 World Championship for the gold medal winning Team USA. He is the son of nine-year National Basketball Association (NBA) veteran Rick Brunson.

            He began his college career as [only] the 2015–16 Big East Conference Preseason Freshman of the Year and was a Big East All-Freshman Team selection following the season. As a starter, he [only] helped the 2015–16 Wildcats win the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. As a sophomore, he was [only] a unanimous 2016–17 All-Big East first team selection for the 2016–17 Wildcats. As a junior, he was [only] the National Player of the Year and a Consensus first-team 2018 All-Americans and he [only] helped the 2017–18 Wildcats win the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament to give Villanova their second National Championship in three years(courtesy: Wikipedia).

            Only Brunson….from the suburbs of Chicago. Only Isiah Thomas on the ’81 Hoosiers also from Chicago. lol. A recruiting area only Crean would ignore(along with the entire state of Indiana) while searching for his soft players from the Jersey shores.

            The only punk was Jay Wright…leaving Brunson(the entire reason that team is glue) out of the second half until it was mop-up time at the end….all because the Nova “Italian Stallion” went unconscious in his big moment on championship night. He can’t shoot a free throw and he was 1 for 6 from deep a couple games earlier.

            A lot of teams had cupcake paths through the brackets this year….with the major upsets early. UK was avoiding all the big boys…They simply dropped the ball in getting to the Final Four. And that’s exactly what makes the NCAA tournament so much fun. Sometimes those “cupcakes” are built with less talent..but a ton of grit and personality. Take them lightly and they will bite you.

            But hat’s off to Donte and his inferno night…..It was his to hold in memory forever.

      2. Yeah, there isn’t much dispute about who the best team was this year. It’s interesting about east coast basketball. Considering the population density, large eastern cities should have a preponderance of great teams.

        They don’t.

        NYC is a wasteland for college basketball. Same with Boston. Philly has Villanova and a bunch of schools that were good in the 1950s. It’s been a long time since any DC area schools were any good.

        With so many millions upon millions of people there sure isn’t much in the way of quality college basketball programs in eastern cities other than Nova.

  4. Like IU has on several occasions Villanova really hit their stride during the Big Dance.

  5. Geoff, I would not trade places with UL Basketball right now or in the foreseeable future, regardless of Mack being hired as their coach. Archie and Mack are both excellent and accomplished coaches with proven track records. Both lead their teams to the round of 8 in recent NCAA tournaments. I believe that both men will be successful, but Mack inherited what could be a far worse mess than IU was in when Iu hired Crean. Aside from the potential severe NCAA sanctions applied to UL, now that UL has finally fired the scumbag, the issue that will affect recruiting is Louisville’s lower academic standards and expectations regarding academic performance. It will be interesting to see if UL changes its expectations for academic performance or if the rather loose standards that have been in affect at UL for many years remains unchanged.

    Mack is recruiting Romeo, but that’s no surprise. And did anyone read the March 28th article written by Mark Story in the Lexington Herald Leader titled, “Chris Mack’s task: Don’t let Louisville become the next Indiana”? Here’s a line from that article: “When Chris Mack’s tenure as Louisville head coach ends, we will know he has succeeded if no one is then making comparisons of the Cardinals program to what has gone on the past 24 years at Indiana.” The article points out that IU has had double digit-losing seasons in 19 0f the last 24 years.

  6. And what has Purdue done over the last 24 years?
    I just feel so sorry for Purdue…..Almost as terrible of luck as losing Scott May on the eve of the ’75 tournament. Where did May break his wrist?
    If only Purdue had Haas…. They would have rolled over Texas Tech and Villanova. They had far better guards than Michigan. Would have been an interesting match-up. So, so sorry for the Boilers. Heartbreak Hotel.

  7. LOL – Haas would’ve beaten Villanova? Sounds like somebody is crabby about Wagner getting his ankles broken last night.

    1. I don’t know DD,

      Giving H4H the benefit of the doubt on most of the PU stuff being sarcasm. That being said, I think he might be saying between the lines on the May-Haas similarities something along the lines of Karma. Certainly wasn’t lost on me when Haas had the injury.

      1. Glad someone is paying attention….It was mostly sarcasm. But there is also the reality. Purdue had two 7-footer’s….and a very strong backcourt. They were #2 in the country in 3-pt. shooting. But when you take Haas out of the mix, the inside-outside challenges to defend them are greatly diminished. Did they have the talent to stay with Nova…had they met with a healthy Haas? Probably not…But maybe Nova’s “Italian Stallion” doesn’t go unconscious and Purdue’s guards can’t miss…?
        We’ll never know. Fact remains …Purdue had a much better backcourt than Michigan…and that backcourt had much more free rein when Haas was on the floor. And, yes, maybe some karma too.

        1. So, what you’re saying in your hypothetical “boils” down to: if Nova misses and Purdue makes baskets, Purdue would win the game.

          Got it. Any other hard hitting hypothetical analysis? I’m gripped.

          1. It’s not a hypothetical that Haas was not there to provide an inside-outside game for Purdue in the regional….in the same manner the Michigan backcourt was a no-show and inferior to that of Purdue’s backcourt.

            I know this is difficult for you…..No team proved to have the firepower to stay with Villanova. But Nova gets Texas Tech because Texas Tech faced a Purdue team that was as cupcake(without Haas) as any you claimed Michigan went through.
            And Michigan beat a Florida St. team that took down Gonzaga. Many of the pundits I heard over the last weeks believed Gonzaga had a championship caliber team…So your whole cupcake theory blows up in your face….If anything, Villanova got the easier break to a Final Four by facing Texas Tech instead of a 100% Purdue team.
            But it all serves your East Coast slant and your Establishment narrative of a “down” Big 10 season.

          2. Double Down- My apologies for getting too stirred up. Your assessments of things are usually very accurate and very fair. Sorry again for throwing more snide than warranted. Harv.

      1. Because the loss had nothing to do with Michgan’s atrocious guard play…and Nova’s “Italian Stallion” having a game he’ll most like never have again in his lifetime?
        You boys are priceless.
        Michigan got to a national championship game…They won the Big Ten tournament…Won fourteen straight leading up to Monday night.
        Such a failure of a season for a team that was projected to finish 6th in the conference.
        Two Final Fours and three Elite Eight’s in the last five years. But who wants that sort of success when you can chant Oladipo….and bow out of a few Sweet 16’s for 10 years?
        Mo may be looking for his jockstrap…Not sure if IU even requires one. The biggest news in 10 years is the ladies winning an NIT tournament.

        But as I said.. Hat’s off to the Loyola Ramblers. Yet another Midwestern team that has gone deeper than Crean and the Hoosiers in the last decade. But let’s beat up on Mo Wagner some more…because his team couldn’t close the deal. LOL.

  8. Read the post, genius. And you should really study the game a bit more.
    Purdue had much better guard play than Michigan. Better backcourt defenders on the ball as well. Jay Wright said it himself…They(Villanova) were playing better with each successive game in the tournament. And nobody with half a brain would claim Purdue was the same team without ‘The Thing’ in the paint.

    I could care less about the winner. I wanted the Ramblers over Michigan. Hoped for a better championship game.

    I will admit that I like Beilein ….Very gracious and I’ve never seen him be anything but a class act. He gave Villanova all the glory. Wasn’t about being out-coached. Out-talented….Michigan’s only chance was for a perimeter game to complement Wagner. Did you watch the game?

  9. 3-pt shooting national rankings:

    #2 Purdue
    #10 Kansas
    #11 Villanova
    #17 Loyola-Chicago

    #156 Michigan

  10. Eating breakfast this AM Haas would’ve had the same outlook on life as Wagner did this morning. Trying to understand how you recover from being steamrolled.

  11. No argument….Haas(a.k.a. “The Thing”) too slow …but Purdue’s guard play was substantially stronger than Michigan. Maybe it helps if you catch Nova on a poor shooting night. Happens to the best of them. Kansas center also got steamrolled. Who didn’t they steamroll? Oh, that’s right..They lost to St. Johns….proving everyone is capable of laying an egg.
    Nova had all the parts and all the answers…and then some. They could have built two championship teams from their one roster…Hee-hee. (I like that one).
    And the game of basketball is so strange that we may not see them back at another Final Four for a decade….”Golden Eras” seem to end as quickly as they burst onto the scene. If anyone should know such a lesson, it’s Hoosier fans old enough to recall our own. Doesn’t it just seem like yesterday…? If only we were relevant enough to get noticed…You’re only perceived as “steamrolled” if someone is watching.
    67 teams got steamrolled…and we weren’t even part of that huge college party. Thus, our stellar reputation secured. Lonely in our safe basketball dorm rooms..Didn’t Mo look like such an awkward ass?
    Nobody gets hurt when you’re not even there to participate. This is the ‘new and improved’ Indiana: Golden criticisms for those who are relevant.

  12. It is highly entertaining to bait Harv into defending Michigan over and over again.

    Back to bowling season.

    1. I take it like a largemouth bass minus the ‘b’ …..

      Damn you. But let’s do it one more time! It was fun while it lasted.

    2. Not sure why he is here other than to troll. His college team is Michigan and the pro teams he supports are all from Illinois. He dislikes most former IU greats and raves about colossal Michigan failures.

      He isn’t a fan of anything Hoosier. His perfect athlete would be a clumsy white kid from UM playing for an Illinois pro team (or bowling in a Chicago league).

      Troll on, Harvey.

      1. I grew up 50 miles outside of Chicago…It was all Chicago radio and television. Do you really think my favorite pro sports teams were going to be from Indianapolis? Hell, I’m older than most pro teams born in Indianapolis.

        Geoff loves his Patriots. Husky Tom loves his Mariners and Seahawks….Andy Graham loves his St. Louis Cardinals….Double Down loves his Mets….Mike Millier loves his Orioles….and so on…and so on.
        And you’re jerking my chain for not abandoning my leanings toward pro teams that were in the backyard of my childhood? Hell, the sweet and uplifting smile of Ernie Banks on a tiny black and white television felt like more nurturing than most anything I ever got from my aloof and career driven parents. Nobody knows…

  13. It’s more entertaining to see Geoff explain it to you with one sentence.

    My bad for not getting it 100% right… I guess if I wanted to get it 100% right, I’d just predict IU to never be in a Final Four again. When you hire buffoons in committee rooms, that’s easier money.

  14. Don’t be greedy…
    Next thing you know, you’ll be praying for more impossibles….like the Mets winning a World Series before the next time you’re in diapers.

  15. Indy Star has some IU Basketball coverage today. The 6 Mr Basketball finalists, 2 headed to IU and maybe 3. Of the 13 Indy All Stars, six will be attending Indiana schools. Another article quotes Fred Glass “Program doesn’t want for anything”. (Talking basketball) $11.5 million basketball-specific profit for 2017. $7000 revenue surplus for total of IU athletics. And a nice full page congratulations to Notre Dame and IU Women’s program from the Pacers and Fever.

    1. Heady days.

      I looked at the NBA standings last night and 2 games separated the Pacers and the Cavs. They have really improved with the new lineup.

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