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Introducing the Shootyhoops Slowdown: OTE’s Big Ten Basketball 2017-18 Preview Series

Your favorite Big Ten football blog trades in its spikes for sneakers, footballs for free throws, and field goals for...well, field goals. What to expect during our three-week tour of the Big Ten basketball landscape!

NCAA Basketball: Big 10 Media Day
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Have you given up on your team’s football season already? Did you never have hope to begin with? Are you, like Northwestern now, a basketball school?

Do we have the series for you!

As with years past, Off Tackle Empire will be previewing the 2017-18 Big Ten basketball season* and even providing some semi-regular coverage of the games and your** favorite teams. We’ve got an excellent collection of basketball enthusiasts ready to provide y’all with some red-hot shootyhoops takes, and this article is just to announce what should be coming up and solicit your thoughts.

*If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like basketball, congrats. No need to hop to the comments and tell us how stupid it is. You’re awesome or whatever, but no one gives a shit.
**Well, not your favorite teams. We’ll be actively persecuting them. But that other guy’s team? Yeah. We love that team.

The Schedule:

We’ll be providing team-by-team previews during weekday afternoons. These will come in reverse order of finish from 2016-17, meaning we’ll proceed with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and finish with the Purdue Boilermakers.

Of course, our writers have their own life schedules, meaning we’ll no doubt switch the order around at points. So if we lead off with Northwestern, don’t be surprised or offended! It just needed to be done to fill space. Those will kick off next Monday.

We’ll also be taking a couple looks at the non-conference slate and Big Ten schedule (more on that below), along with releasing our preseason All-Big Ten team, in the run-up to college basketball beginning on Friday, November 10. The (tenative) schedule:

Thursday, 10/19: Intro
Friday, 10/20: Best Non-Conference Games
Monday, 10/23: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Tuesday, 10/24: Penn State Nittany Lions
Wednesday, 10/25: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Thursday, 10/26: Indiana Hoosiers
Friday, 10/27: Ohio State Buckeyes
Sunday, 10/29: Kenpom Ratings, Non-Con Edition
Monday, 10/30: Illinois Fighting Illini
Tuesday, 10/31: Iowa Hawkeyes
Wednesday, 11/1: Michigan Wolverines
Thursday, 11/2: Northwestern Wildcats
Friday, 11/3: Michigan State Spartans
Sunday, 11/5: Preseason All-B1G Team
Monday, 11/6: Minnesota Golden Gophers
Tuesday, 11/7: wisconsin badgers
Wednesday, 11/8: Maryland Terrapins
Thursday, 11/9: Purdue Boilermakers
Friday, 11/10: Record Predictions, Open Thread

Your Thoughts

So we put it to you, humble reader: Is there anything else you’d like to see during this basketball season? We can’t promise much, but we’re always open to suggestion.

Another place this applies is to writing. Would you like to write things for this? Hit up our FanPost section! We try to promote good stuff when we can, and basketball is no exception. We’re especially open to someone who actually wants to write about wisconsin basketball—email me at minnesotawildcat at gmail dot com to get in the game.

But wait...there’s news!

This morning the Big Ten announced its plans—long-rumored and first broken by Jon Rothstein—to move to a 20-game conference schedule beginning in the 2018-19 season, with an added emphasis on protected regional rivalries:

Michigan-Michigan State

Minnesota, Iowa, wisconsin, and Nebraska will presumably rotate their pairings, as will Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, and rutger. In effect, the above ESPN article notes, “during a six-year scheduling cycle, in-state opponents will play each other 12 times, regional opponents will play 10 times and all other matchups will happen nine times.”

While this will no doubt be to the chagrin of Michigan State and wisconsin fans, who have some weird boner for each other, and Illinois fans who desperately want to deny just how far they’ve fallen, the Big Ten got this one spot on. Cementing rivalries in the Quadrangle is silly, and spreading the rutger around the other three East teams is a smart way to both build some rivalries and ensure that no one is saddled with too much.

But that’s just one man’s (correct) opinion. What say you? Vote in the poll, hit up the comments, and thanks for considering OTE as one of your homes for Big Ten basketball chatter as well!



This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Can’t start soon enough!
    (115 votes)
  • 34%
    Once football is done—I haven’t given up yet!
    (111 votes)
  • 21%
    Sure, I’ll read about it here.
    (69 votes)
  • 7%
    I am a Minnesota fan and here for the hockey.
    (25 votes)
320 votes total Vote Now


The Big Ten’s 20-game schedule to guarantee protected rivalries is...

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    A great call!
    (219 votes)
  • 20%
    Good, but they got the rivalries wrong.
    (63 votes)
  • 6%
    A bad idea.
    (21 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now