2. The Pirate big men still played well
Unless if you're UConn, Ryan Kalkbrenner is always going to have a pretty solid game against your squad, especially when you do not have another seven-footer to go against him. Jaden Bediako came through with a double-double of 17 points, and 10 rebounds and handled his matchup as well as you could ask out of him. It was an impressive duel to watch, and that is exactly what you expect out of Big East Basketball.
The Pirates also saw some good things out of Elijah Hutchins-Everett, he only played 10 minutes in this game but finished with six points, three rebounds, and a very clutch three in the second half. He may see an increased role as the season goes along, but Bediako has been outstanding this season.
At the end of the second half, there were a couple of plays where Kalkbrenner had easy paths to the basket, including an impressive alley-oop. This defensive breakdown was not a constant throughout the game, but it was tough to see that happen in the game's key moments.
While there were always moments to improve upon, it is clear Bediako was ready to handle being a big man in this great conference, and he has done everything and more to prove himself as that. He was efficient, stayed very much out of foul trouble, and played some solid defense against one of the best big guys in the country. All that is going to make this rematch in Omaha all that much more fun to watch.