B1G Talking Points
- Stick a fork in Iowa.
- And Illinois, rutger, and Minnesota, for that matter. The Gophers most of all. They could actually lose to rutger on Saturday.
- Purdue is still tall. Maryland is still pretty good. Not sure what else to say about those two.
- Please, Boilermakers, save us from another season of Wisconsin in 4th place.
- Penn State and Nebraska both have fading hopes for the NIT, and Northwestern still has work to do if they're going to make it in.
- Your 2016 regular-season Big Ten Champions: the Indiana Hoosiers. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to be showering for the next month.
#12 Indiana 81, #16 Iowa 78
The Iowa collapse...just...Jesus. Anyways, Indiana might actually be for real, and they just locked up the Big Ten title outright with a gritty win in Iowa City. Yogi Ferrell was 4/8 from deep, dropping 20 points on the Hawkeyes, and Nick Zeisloft was once again irritatingly efficient, scoring 11 on 4/5 shooting.
Remember when I said Iowa definitely wasn't a 1-seed, but I had a tough time thinking they wouldn't get a 2-seed? Man. It's total implosion in Iowa City, and the inefficient play of Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok (combined 8/28 from the field for 26 points) hasn't helped matters. Iowa could still get a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament with a win at Mcihigan...
Stewmonkey13: Iowa is in the midst of a freefall almost identical to 2 years ago. I have severe doubts they win another game the rest of the season.
#15 Purdue 81, Nebraska 62
Purdue is big. Nebraska is small. Something called Vince Edwards scored 20 points, Purdue dished out 22 assists and blocked 6 shots and coasted past the Huskers, who wasted 32 points from Shavon Shields.
Jesse Collins: Nebraska relied on its Freshmen class not hitting the proverbial wall... That wall is here. Despite Shavon Shields doing everything possible to win games - even in spite of one of the scariest injuries of the season - this team has nothing left in the tank.
Tim Miles needs a big man going into next season. The pieces are there, but the glue of a big man to man the paint is still missing. I'm hoping that is addressed in recruiting.
#2 Michigan State 97, rutger 66
Only leading 43-41 at halftime off the strength of Bryn Forbes, Michigan State turned on the jets in the second half and coasted past rutger. rutger is terrible.
Andrew Kraszewski: MSU tubthumped (running out of words for blowouts here) two more hapless opponents in Penn State and Rutgers. Bryn Forbes set a new conference record for threes in a single game on Wednesday, easily could have taken the NCAA record if Izzo had left him in, and has a strong claim to the best shooting season in school history.
Senior day against Ohio State's crew of guys too wimpy to wrassle gives MSU the chance to lock up the 2-seed for the conference tourney and continue on their march for a 1 in the Big Dance.
Wisconsin 62, Minnesota 49
A Minnesota loss to Wisconsin on Senior Day was rather expected, what with only 6 scholarship players available since the Amateur Porn Three were suspended, but it can't get any worse, right?
Holy shit. They're gonna lose to rutger.
#14 Maryland 81, Illinois 55
Maverick Morgan had 21 points and 10 boards for the Illini, but this one was never in doubt: Jake Layman and Melo Trimble each went for 18 points, the Terrapins dominated the boards, and Illinois shot just 38% from the field and 25% from deep. The Illini join the Gophers and rutger as the programs desperate for someone to just end it all.
Thumpasaurus: Sigh. Da'Monte Williams and probably a new coach though. Just get me through the next week. And by week I mean two years. :back::on::top::soon:
Northwestern 71, Penn State 61
Aaron Yorke: I was hoping that Penn State would bounce back nicely from that blowout at East Lansing, but instead the Lions lost 71-61 at home to Northwestern in a game that did not do anything to help PSU's NIT resume. Northwestern got hot from beyond the arc early, and Shep Garner answered with two triples of his own, but then the combo guard missed the rest of his shots for the game.
The Wildcats didn't, shooting 48 percent from the field with just 10 turnovers. While Payton Banks continues to fade for Penn State, Josh Reaves is stepping up his game. This is what he did on Thursday: 11 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals, two blocks. Not bad for the freshman.
MNW: That's about spot-on. The 'Cats shot well, but most importantly they've got Alex Olah slowly finding his role in the offense. While the length of Jordan Dickerson kept him away from the basket, he dished out 5 assists early and helped space the floor for Tre Demps to drive. Bryant McIntosh added 17 points, and sophomore Gavin Skelly came off the bench to provide 25 minutes of high-energy play, adding 8 points and 5 boards.
Northwestern will need a similar performance on Saturday against the Huskers: dominate the paint, dish the ball, and get some timely shooting. Most importantly, though, the NIT dream is still alive in Evanston.
We'll have previews and your weekend open thread soon!