With a couple games to play but two already in the books, here's your open thread for the rest of the Big Ten basketball weekend:
#3 Maryland 100, Ohio State 65
Not in the face! Robert Carter Jr. poured in 25 points, that Duke transfer chipped in 22, and the #3 Terrapins emptied the bench with about 7 minutes to go in a laugher over the struggling Buckeyes.
Maryland: vs. Northwestern (Tues)
Ohio State: @ #24 Purdue (Thurs)
Indiana 70, Minnesota 64
After a promising start during which the Gophers harassed Robert Johnson and Thomas Bryant into a number of turnovers and Joey King went 3/3 from distance in the first half, Minnesota faded and fell to the Hoosiers, 70-63. It was sad to watch the Gophers set aside many of the bugaboos--stagnant offense, lazy defense (especially help-side), poor shooting--for much of the game only to watch them rear their ugly heads late.
Yogi Ferrell did the heavy lifting for Indiana, pouring in 20 points on an afternoon in which no Minnesota player could guard him 1-on-1, and Nick Zeisloft dropped 15 on 5/8 shooting, all from deep. The Hoosiers (15-3, 5-0 B1G) needed this win to keep alive any postseason hopes, while the Gophers (6-11, 0-5) missed a chance to pick up that first win in conference.
All-World forward for Minnesota Jordan Murphy had 10 points on 4/9 shooting to go with 8 rebounds.
Indiana: vs. Illinois (Tues)
Minnesota: @ Michigan (Wed)
Nebraska (10-8) at Illinois (9-8)
When: 1:30pm CT
Prediction: Illinois, 71-64
Penn State (10-8) at Northwestern (15-3)
When: 7:30pm CT
It's Social Media Night at Northwestern! That means this happens:
Alex Olah might finally make his return to 'Catsketball, which hopefully won't be all that necessary against Penn State, since Dererk Pardon and Joey Van Zegeren should be able to get theirs against a weaker Penn State interior. That's all I got. Northwestern should win this game, and that terrifies me to my very core.
Prediction: [/gulp] Northwestern, 65-54
Is this The Year? Watch:
#4 Michigan State (16-2) at Wisconsin (9-9)
Wisconsin has neither the length nor the shooting ability to trouble Michigan State in the ways that Iowa did. On top of that, the Badgers aren't really a "punch you in the mouth" kind of team. Denzel Valentine should have a field day as afterwards, Tom Izzo opines that Greg Gard is a "great guy" who "deserves to get the full-time Wisconsin job." In unrelated news, Izzo never found a coach he could beat that he didn't like.
Prediction: Michigan State, 71-55
Michigan (13-4) at #16 Iowa (13-3)
Fresh off a home upset of #3 Maryland without the services of Caris LeVert, the Wolverines look to keep their good vibes going as they head to Carver-Hawkeye to take on the surging Hawkeyes. Iowa, behind a stifling defense (Kenpom #11), managed to shut up the Spartans at the Breslin Center and should be able to do so at home. Unless Michigan can grind this game to a halt and somehow keep the longer (and stronger) Hawkeyes off the offensive glass (and shoot, say, 50% from deep), Iowa's got the athletes to make this a long day for the Maize and Blue. LeVert is questionable, but I don't think his presence or absence tips the scales in Michigan's favor either way.
Prediction: Iowa, 77-63
Talk about 'em here! Usual rules apply.