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Shootyhoops Week in Review, 12/21

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A quiet week sees a big upset for Ohio State, one unbeaten fall, and the other have its quest for perfection look much murkier.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

B1G Talking Points

  • Ohio State might have just turned their season around. Do we start talking NCAA bubble? No, but NIT should be firmly in the Buckeyes' sights.
  • Same goes for Indiana...funny how that "playing defense" thing works out once in a while, huh? Let your football team know, too.
  • It'd be really, really nice if Michigan or Northwestern would play someone so we can figure out if they're halfway decent or they just like beating bad teams.
  • Thanks for letting us go back to ignoring you, Purdue.
  • Then again, Northwestern looked no different than Penn State, Illinois, or Minnesota when they struggled to put away modest competition. Make up your damn minds, Wildcats, Nittany Lions, Illini, and Gophers!
  • You've made up your minds, Nebrasketball and Buttgers: You're not very good. Tim Miles better have some nice 'croots coming in, otherwise I can see this administration giving him half a year in 2016-17 to get his things in order.
  • Iowa keeps chugging along in workmanlike fashion, but at least they won the Hy-Vee Consolation Game this week! Des Moines' Big Ten Team!
  • And just when we think "Wow, maybe this is the year where the Fightin' Izzos put it all together," Denzel Valentine's knee lightly explodes.
  • So...I guess that means Maryland, perhaps the most underwhelming team in the Top 5, might have a chance to get out of the gate in first place. Mark Turgeon, you crafty sum'bitch.
  • Speaking of the crafty bastards, g'bye, Bo. I won't miss you.

This week for rankings, we'll throw the Kenpom, StewPoll, and Sagarin ratings at you side-by-side for some compare-contrast. No fancy recaps unless the writer from that team provided them, but we'll get you up-to-speed on the latest in B1G Shootyhoops!

Week in Review

Illinois (7-5)

Kenpom

115

StewPoll

108

Sagarin

98

Last week: W vs. South Dakota, 91-79

Illinois did not lose to South Dakota. They will try to match Northwestern by not losing to Mizzou down in Columbia this week. We'll see how it goes.

This week: at Mizzou (12/23, 6pm, ESPN2)

Indiana (9-3)

Kenpom

23

StewPoll

43

Sagarin

22

Last week: W vs. Notre Dame (Crossroads Classic), 80-73

Candystripes for Breakfast: Indiana nearly got themselves blown out by Notre Dame. However, they finally showed some actual in-game toughness, and put together a dominating second half thanks to (gasp!) a correct Tom Crean defensive adjustment, leading to a badly needed victory over a good team. If we played any other games this past week, I've forgotten them.

This week: vs. Kennesaw State (12/22, 5pm, BTN)

Iowa (8-3)

Kenpom

18

StewPoll

40

Sagarin

21

Last week: W vs. Drake (Hy-Vee Big Four Classic), 70-64

Stewmonkey13: Iowa had finals last week, so the only game was on Saturday against Drake in Des Moines.  Iowa won 70-64, but it wasn't the prettiest game.  Uthoff was limited by foul trouble, and RS FR, walk-on, Nicholas Baer stepped in to fill up the stat sheet.  Baer will certainly be put on scholarship as soon as one opens up and has been one of the most impressive new comers to the team, a very pleasant surprise.  However, if Iowa is relying on him against the likes of MSU, MD, or a few other B1G teams, it will not end well.This week: vs. Tennessee Tech (12/22, 7:30pm, ESPN3)

#4 Maryland (10-1)

Kenpom

14

StewPoll

25

Sagarin

16

Last week: W vs. Princeton, 82-61

DJ Carver: Maryland had been off for a week for finals and opened up a bit rusty against a 3-2 zone look from Princeton.  Once they shook the rust off they so thoroughly put Princeton away that Melo Trimble sat from the under 8 timeout on.  It's great to have these type of games.

This week: vs. Marshall (12/27, 3pm, BTN)

Michigan (9-3)

Kenpom

33

StewPoll

42

Sagarin

29

Last week: W vs. Northern Kentucky, 77-63; W vs. Youngstown State, 105-46

Graham Filler: Cupcakes! Cupcakes everywhere. My wife makes great damn cupcakes. Nothing to see here. Duncan Robinson still hot. LeVert the real deal. Probably the 5th-8th best B1G team right now.

This week: vs. Bryant (12/23, 6pm, BTN)

#1 Michigan State (12-0)

Kenpom

3

StewPoll

2

Sagarin

1

Last week: W @ Northeastern, 78-58

Andrew Kraszewski: Your sole remaining undefeated B1G team cruised to an easy victory in an odd one-off road game at Northeastern. Gavin Schilling finally made his season debut,  and showed plenty of rust, but at least he was able to get out there. Next comes a neutral site game with Greg Kampe's always-game Oakland squad at the Palace of Auburn Hills to wrap up the noncon.

[ed note: Andrew was then confronted with this news:]

AK: That probably swings the conference opener in Iowa's favor. Protects him from eye pokes, at least.

This week: vs. Oakland (12/22, 6pm, ESPNU)

Minnesota (6-5)

Kenpom

127

StewPoll

142

Sagarin

141

Last week: W vs. Chicago State, 70-52

Minnesota did not lose to any South Dakota teams in the past week. We're taking that as a net positive. They will try to avoid tripping up against UW-Milwaukee like Wisconsin did.

This week: vs. UW-Milwaukee (12/23, 7pm, ESPN3)

Nebraska (7-5)

Kenpom

110

StewPoll

150

Sagarin

112

Last week: L vs. Samford, 69-58

Jesse Collins: I had tickets for Star Wars, got out of the theater, checked the score and just started cussing.

We scored 28 second half points.

Nebraska needs a third scorer asap. Shields/White scored 42 out of Nebraska's 58 points on 17/28 from the field.

In theory, that should be good enough to go so long as one more guy doesn't suck. Didn't happen. Everyone else sucked.

So hooray, Nebrasketball!

This week: vs. Prairie View A&M (12/22, 7pm, BTN+)

Northwestern (10-1)

Kenpom

51

StewPoll

38

Sagarin

44

Last week: W vs. Mississippi Valley State, 78-48; W vs. DePaul, 78-70

Not much to say. On a very devilish week for the ‘Cats, they avoided laying any eggs, rolling the Delta variety and holding off the Blue variety in overtime. It's the same old, same old for the ‘Cats: Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh continue to ball out, and contributions from Alex Olah, freshman Aaron Falzon, "glue guy" Sanjay Lumpkin, and super-efficient three-point shooter Nathan Taphorn will determine how far the ‘Cats go.

In any regard, only cupcakes Sacred Heart and Loyola-Maryland stand in the way of a 12-1 start to the season for Northwestern. That's pretty awesome. And the Mayor's Key now resides in Evanston, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Is This The Year? Watch:

For the NIT? Absolutely.

This week: vs. Sacred Heart (12/21, 6pm, BTN); vs. Loyola-Maryland (12/27, 7pm, BTN)

Ohio State (6-5)

Kenpom

55

StewPoll

92

Sagarin

73

Last week: W vs. Northern Illinois, 67-54; W vs. #4 Kentucky (at Brooklyn), 74-67

OHIO STATE BEAT KENTUCKY! OHIO STATE BEAT KENTUCKY!

@OTE Commentariat: Can you give weekly thoughts in a one-paragraph form about Ohio State? Let me know! I don't care enough about the Buckeyes to try.

This week: vs. Mercer (12/22, 8pm, ESPNU); vs. South Carolina State (12/27, 5pm, BTN)

Penn State (8-3)

Kenpom

143

StewPoll

103

Sagarin

128

Last week: W @ Drexel, 63-57

Aaron Yorke: Penn State played one game this week. It was against Drexel at the famous Philadelphia Palestra. The Lions fell behind 32-15 in the first half, but came back to win 63-57 thanks to strong team defense and a surprising 20-point performance from Payton Banks. It was nice to see the sophomore put up a career-high total while making just one three-pointer. With at least nine points in every game this season, he has become a reliable third scorer who appears to be getting better at attacking the basket.

This week: Continental Tire Classic in Las Vegas vs. Colorado (12/22, 9:30pm)

#14 Purdue (11-1)

Kenpom

4

StewPoll

8

Sagarin

5

Last week: L vs. Butler (Crossroads Classic, 74-68)

Welp. Down goes Purdue. Despite using their vaunted all-center lineup, the Boilermakers couldn't capitalize inside against the Bulldogs, falling for the first time this year. A sneaky-tough matchup against Vanderbilt represents a good chance for Purdue to get back on track heading into Big Ten play.

This week: vs. Vanderbilt (12/22, 7pm, BTN)

Buttgers (4-7)

Kenpom

260

StewPoll

235

Sagarin

239

This week: L vs. Monmouth, 73-67

The OTE team's reaction to Rutgers losing to non-conference darling Monmouth:

Aaron Yorke: Monmouth beating Rutgers wasn't much of a surprise

Stewmonkey: Yeah, Rutgers covered the spread. Rutgers is super bad, you guys. I mean, they'd be competitive in the SWAC or MEAC.

MNW: It was as bad as they're making it sound. While the Scarlet Knights only lost by 6, their offense appeared to be "hold the ball, throw something at the basket, and see what happens." So many undisciplined shots and drives, along with terrible defense on the dribble-drive. Rutgers will need to gum up games in the Big Ten, and even then they'll be praying for historically-bad shooting nights.

This week: vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (12/23, 6pm, BTN+)

Wisconsin-Madison (7-5)

Kenpom

43

StewPoll

94

Sagarin

61

Last week: W vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 64-49

Bo Ryan retired after a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. This either means that Bo Ryan is a great guy who cares about his assistants, a terrible jerkface, or something else. I list toward terrible jerkface, myself.

Wisconsin tries to prove that they are not, in fact, the worst team in Wisconsin when they take on the Phoenix of Green Bay on Wednesday night.

This week: vs.UW-Green Bay (12/23, 8pm, BTN)