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Big Ten Shootyhoops Weekend in Review

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Recapping, rating, and previewing all the Big Ten basketball that's fit to print, plus Rutgers and Minnesota!

Diamond Stone, casually falling over and bracing himself on Vitto Brown's noggin.

Lots of basketball to catch you up on and preview! Check out the recaps, ratings, and previews of a wild week in Big Ten basketball: Will Rutgers finally get its first Big Ten win? Will Minnesota? Is Michigan for real, or is Purdue Purduing? What the hell, Maryland? All these questions and more, answered!

B1G Talking Points:

  • I know you couldn't get into Wisconsin, Diamond Stone, but that's not the way to take out your anger at Admissions.
  • Hope you enjoyed your first home loss in the Big Ten, Maryland. Here's to many more!
  • Michigan is slowly playing its way toward a 7-seed and first-round departure when they go ice-cold from deep against someone...let's call it Texas Tech.
  • How is Matt Painter continually employed when he can't use three fucking giants correctly?
  • I'm still not sure what the hell Ohio State is doing, but after playing with fire against Northwestern, I guess Thad Matta and Company have the NIT to look forward to. So there's that.
  • Speaking of the 'Cats, they better find a marquee win quickly if they want to avoid paying to play in the Vegas 16 Invitational. Oh hell, who am I kidding? Spirit flights are cheap and I've got nothing better to do with my life.
  • This is your reminder that Illinois is bad.
  • Lose Shavon Shields and still play like a competent team. I don't get you, Nebraska, but you're 6-7 in the Big Ten and I guess that's good. Remind me how you started the season 8-5?
  • More of the same in Happy Valley, as no one gives a fuck about Penn State basketball, even after they upset Indiana.
  • How was that for a hamblasting, Hoosiers? Tom Crean's squad was on the wrong side of a Michigan State club getting hot at the right time, but unless Indiana... wait. [/opens every article on Indiana basketball written in the last 5 years] [/copy] [/paste] Unless Indiana learns how to play defense at some point, they'll be bounced early in the Big Dance.
  • Iowa got lucky against Minnesota. Looks like the Hawkeyes have more in common with the Terps than they thought! Terps discipl...no, we'll get there.
  • Stop, Minnesota and Rutgers. On second thought: Don't. This 0-28 BATTLE OF THE TITANS needs to happen.

Weekend in Review:

Michigan 61, #18 Purdue 56

Graham Filler: ALL THE MICHIGAN SCHOOLS ARE HOT HOT HOT HOT

But honestly, no idea how Michigan beat Purdue. Michigan somehow outrebounded Purdue. Read that again.

Zac Irvin (STRONG CLICHE WARNING) gave it all he got. Defensively and offensively. Seriously he was playing at the 4 position against Swanigan? I think, if we're talking big picture, this games speaks to the relative weakness of the Big Ten in 2015-16.

Wisconsin 70, #2 Maryland 57

#SpethThoughts: Wisconsin beat Nebraska in a fairly nonchalant game but it was the 6th win in a row and cemented the rise of Vitto Brown. NOW SATURDAY... Wisconsin got arguably the most impressive win of the season for anyone, not just taking down the #2 ranked team in the nation, but dominating for large stretches on their way to a 13 point win. Don't look now, but not only is the NCAA tournament streak very much alive, but the top 4 conference finish streak is still alive as well. Not bad for a completely rebuilding team with an interim coach that was 9-9 a month and a half ago.

DJ Carver: Watching the replays, shoving a player's head into the ground is never what you want to see.  Stone probably should have been tossed but the refs decided otherwise and it led to his suspension for the Minnesota matchup.

That being said, at least Maryland punishes its players when they commit shots to the head, unlike a rather well known eye poker in the conference who went 3/3 in eye pokes last year with no suspension for the repeated behavior.

Ohio State 79, Rutgers 69

We still have no Ohio State writers. Keita Bates-Diop went for 24 and 14, Jae'Sean Tate added 22 and 13, and Ohio State held Rutgers at arm's length for most of Sunday afternoon. The Buckeyes waxed the Scarlet Knights on the boards, turning in a 33% OReb rate while doing strong work on the defensive glass as Rutgers' hapless offense shot 15% from deep and 38% from the field.

ZuzuRU can't be bothered to care about Rutgers basketball, and, quite frankly, why should she? Rutgers could slip into the Kenpom 300s soon, an historically-abysmal mark for the Big Ten. More on that later.

Nebraska 70, Penn State 54

Jesse Collins: So it's time to talk about Andrew White III. At two points in the game against Penn State, it felt like he could possibly outscore the entire Nittany Lions team. He was only down 17-15 at 10:28 mark of the first half, and he was only down 41-35 at the 6:06 mark of the second half. Simply put, he sort of put on a show on Saturday, and with Shavon Shields still out, it was nice to see him step up.

Going into the stretch run of games for the Cornhuskers, the talk was about how White's scoring had fallen off - only averaging around 15 points per game - and despite having a cold (or what was arguably worse) he scorched Penn State. White is a legitimate scoring threat, can beat you deep and in the midrange, and when he gets hot, all bets are off. Nebraska has a chance to make a run at the NITs, and to do so, they'll need more hero games like they got from him on Saturday.

Aaron Yorke: After an exhilarating win over Indiana and a week of rest, Penn State put forth a lackluster effort at Nebraska on Saturday. The same offense that did a great job limited turnovers against the Hoosiers gave the ball away 17 times in Lincoln on the way to a 70-54 defeat. The Lions might have been able to overcome all those turnovers if only they had been able to shoot well (6-for-23 from beyond the arc) or get to the foul line (only nine attempts for the game). Also, Andrew White just knocked down another triple.

Not knocking down triples is Shep Garner, who continues to play heavy minutes despite going 0-for-16 from three-point range in his last three games. He's now hitting just 32 percent of those for the season, which is worse than his rate from last year. 36-percent shooting from the field overall is an even worse look. Please stop shooting, Shep.

Northwestern 58, Illinois 56

Thumpasaurus, when asked for comment:

I'm all out of fucks to give.

MNW: At one point Tre Demps made 4 threes on 4 consecutive possessions. I'm no basketball expert, but I believe that's, um, not bad. More importantly, Scottie Lindsey is finally making the campaign to be a 6th man to be reckoned with, matching Demps on threes made (4) and points (18) as the 'Cats held off the Illini. Sophomore power forward Gavin Skelly also has pushed his way into the lineup, forcing out Nathan Taphorn with his particular brand of lunchpail-bringin' energy-slingin' out-of-control basketball. And that's fun to watch! Also super important on Saturday was Alex Olah. The senior Romanian might be rounding into a little bit of form here for the 'Cats, as he exploited Illinois' interior for 10 points and 7 boards after freshman Dererk Pardon faltered and picked up three early fouls. He'll be crucial for the stretch run.

This was, in effect, Northwestern making its case to avoid slipping into the bottom tier of the Big Ten and staying somewhere around the mushy middle of the conference, though Wisconsin is now pulling away from a group that includes (in my mind) Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, and Illinois if you get drunk enough and squint hard. The NIT is still a pipe dream for the 'Cats, who I'm still holding out hope will pay to play in the Vegas 16 Invitational to give Demps and Olah the farewell they deserve and McIntosh, Pardon, and Lindsey a little more of the seasoning they'll need for a tourney run in 2016-17.

#8 Michigan State 88, #22 Indiana 69

Andrew SomethingPolishewski: MSU dropped a wild back-and-forth affair with Purdue in which the first half went disastrously, the second half was a complete reversal of that, and the Boilers edged out a 1-point OT win. TV Teddy was present and...was himself, and that's all I have to say about that.

Valentine's Day was a nice rebound with a romp over Indiana. Denzel, of course, went off for 30 with 13 dimes, and Matt Costello continued his All-B1G push with a career high 22 points. MSU is out of the conference race, but Wisconsin is the only team left in the regular season that's on MSU's level, so there will be a chance to figure out what, if anything, to do with Tum Tum Nairn, who made a cameo against IU for his return from injury.

Candystripes for Breakfast: Yet another up and down week has left Indiana basically where they've been (at least in the minds of many, if not always in reality) all season: near the top of the conference, but still chasing Iowa. Having a win over Iowa now might be a very good benefit to have come season's end, but if more games like what happened at the Breslin Center keep occurring, even a season sweep of the Hawkeyes won't be enough to keep IU in the top 3 of the conference and above the 8/9 line come tourney time.

#4 Iowa 75, Minnesota 71

Stew: This was an ugly-ass game.  Iowa's bench has been a bit of a no-show the last week.  Early in the season guys like Nicholas Baer, Ahmad Wagner, and Dominic Uhl were killing the opposition coming off the bench.  Now, Iowa has really only gotten decent production out of the starters.  Peter Jok is on a scoring tear, and Jarrod Uthoff is filling up the stat sheet.

Was this a one off poor performance, or a trend?  Right now I'm thinking it may be just a grueling schedule catching up a bit.  They have a bye coming up after the Penn State game this week, so they should be able to get some rest before the stretch run at a conference championship.

The Ratings

For rankings, we'll throw the KenpomStewPoll, and the Massey Composite ratings at you side-by-side for some compare-contrast.

Illinois Fighting Illini (11-14, 3-9)

Kenpom

124

StewPoll

168

Massey Composite

124

Last Week: L @ Northwestern, 58-56

This Week: vs. Rutgers (Tuesday, 8pm, BTN); @Wisconsin (Sunday, 6:30pm, BTN)

#22 Indiana Hoosiers (20-6, 10-3)

Kenpom

21

StewPoll

25

Massey Composite

20

Last Week: W vs. #4 Iowa, 85-78; L @ #8 Michigan State, 88-69

This Week: vs. Nebraska (Wednesday, 7:30pm, BTN); vs. Purdue (Saturday, 7:30pm, TBD)

#4 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-5, 11-2)

Kenpom

5

StewPoll

13

Massey Composite

8

Last Week: L @ #22 Indiana, 85-78; W vs. Minnesota, 75-71

This Week: @ Penn State (Wednesday, 5:30pm, BTN)

#6 Maryland Terrapins (22-4, 10-3)

Kenpom

14

StewPoll

5

Massey Composite

11

Last Week: L vs. Wisconsin, 70-57

This Week: @ Minnesota (Thursday, 7pm, BTN); vs. Michigan (Saturday, 12pm, CBS)

Michigan Wolverines (19-7, 9-4)

Kenpom

48

StewPoll

42

Massey Composite

37

Last Week: W @ Minnesota, 82-74; W vs. #18 Purdue, 61-56

This Week: @ Ohio State (Tuesday, 6pm, ESPN); @ Maryland (Saturday, 12pm, CBS)

#8 Michigan State Spartans (21-5, 8-5)

Kenpom

3

StewPoll

10

Massey Composite

5

Last Week: L @ #18 Purdue, 82-81; W vs. #22 Indiana, 88-69

This Week: vs. Wisconsin (Thursday, 8pm, ESPN)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-19, 0-13)

Kenpom

179

StewPoll

255

Massey Composite

186

Last Week: L vs. Michigan, 82-74; L @ #4 Iowa, 75-71

This Week: vs. #6 Maryland (Thursday, 7pm, BTN)

Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-12, 6-7)

Kenpom

90

StewPoll

130

Massey Composite

94

Last Week: L @ Wisconsin, 72-61; W vs. Penn State, 70-54

This Week: @ #22 Indiana (Wednesday, 7:30pm, BTN); vs. Ohio State (Saturday, 6pm)

Northwestern Wildcats (17-9, 5-8)

Kenpom

92

StewPoll

90

Massey Composite

85

Last Week: L @ Ohio State, 71-63; W vs. Illinois, 58-56

This Week: @ #17 Purdue (Tuesday, 6pm, BTN)

Ohio State Buckeyes (16-10, 8-5)

Kenpom

71

StewPoll

83

Massey Composite

78

Last Week: W vs. Northwestern, 71-63, W @ Rutgers, 79-69

This Week: vs. Michigan (Tuesday, 6pm, ESPN); @ Nebraska (Saturday, 6pm)

Penn State Nittany Lions (12-13, 3-9)

Kenpom

147

StewPoll

166

Massey Composite

129

Last Week: L @ Nebraska, 70-54

This Week: vs. #4 Iowa (Wednesday, 5:30pm, BTN); @ Rutgers (Saturday, 12pm, ESPNU)

#17 Purdue Boilermakers (20-6, 8-5)

Kenpom

18

StewPoll

18

Massey Composite

17

Last Week: W vs. #8 Michigan State, 82-81 (OT); L @ Michigan, 61-56

This Week: vs. Northwestern (Tuesday, 6pm, BTN); @ #22 Indiana (Saturday, 7:30pm, ESPN)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-19, 0-12)

Kenpom

283

StewPoll

296

Massey Composite

269

Last Week: L vs. Ohio State, 79-69

This Week: @ Illinois (Tuesday, 8pm, BTN); vs. Penn State (Saturday, 12pm, ESPNU)

Wisconsin Badgers (16-9, 8-4)

Kenpom

33

StewPoll

56

Massey Composite

38

Last Week: W vs. Nebraska, 72-61; W @ #6 Maryland, 70-57

This Week: @ #8 Michigan State (Thursday, 8pm, ESPN); vs. Illinois (Sunday, 6:30pm, BTN)

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Agree with our rankings? Disagree? Vote in the poll and hit the comments!