DETROIT — This is what Tom Wilson, president and CEO for Olympia Entertainment and interim president of 313 Presents said about the first college basketball games at Little Caesars Arena, “Saturday is going to be a great day in The District Detroit. We’re excited about the first two college basketball games at Little Caesars Arena, and encourage fans to arrive early and enjoy everything that The District Detroit has to offer.”
Michigan ran out to an early lead and never looked challenged. They coasted to a 90-58 victory over the University of Detroit Mercy.
After the game, head coach Bacari Alexander said regarding playing in the Hitachi College Basketball Showcase, “Really, really excited that our Detroit Mercy team was lucky enough to play in this inaugural event here at Little Caesars Arena. One of the things that all four coaches recognize is the opportunity to bring college basketball to the city of Detroit.”
Michigan coach John Beilein said, “When I took the tour (Little Caesars Arena), I said that this is the most fabulous building in the world right now for indoor sports. I’m proud to be part of it today; I want to be proud of it in the future.”
It was a full house for the late-game as Oakland gave Michigan State all it could handle. Oakland’s Kendrick Nunn tallied a game-best 32 points. With just 6:11 remaining in the game, the Golden Grizzlies were tied with the second-ranked Spartans at 66-66. The Spartans pulled away late to seal an 86-73 victory.
Tom Izzo on the difference makers in the game, “If I look for stars and heroes, Kenny Goins did an unbelievable job and ‘Tum.’ He was just amazing. Nick Ward saved us early; I think Kenny and Tum saved us late. Cassius had an unbelievable second half. We got the win and that’s all that matters. But the deal of the day to me was that this building was filled with green and white. I want to thank everyone for the (great) treatment, and thank our fans down here in Detroit.”
The 2018 Little Caesars Horizon League Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship will take place March 2-6, at the brand new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Tickets can be purchased now at campus box offices or at www.HorizonLeague.com.
Little Caesars Arena is located in the heart of The District Detroit, a 50-block, mixed-use development that unites eight world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions — The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.