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CUPCAKES FOR EVERYONE: Big Ten Basketball Weekday Open Thread

In a rematch of last year’s delightful upset, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne visits Indiana. This is also far and away the best matchup this week.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama A&M at Minnesota
The most flattering picture of an Alabama A&M Bulldog I could find (i.e. “not getting dunked on/blocked by Reggie Lynch”) was this one, literally captioned “Arthur Johnson (10) drops the ball.” Poor Alabama A&M.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Hello from Iowa City! It would stand to reason that, two weeks after I compared wisconsin basketball to I-380 in our first basketball power poll of 2017-18, I’d not only be stuck in something approximating rush hour on the Waterloo-to-Iowa City spur, but also nearly go cruising past an asshole unmarked ISP cop in the right lane. Jen Bielema, your thoughts?

I’ll be honest: I didn’t even solicit input from the other basketball writers for this. This is the cupcakiest of cupcake weekday slates. It’s really not worth it. If the Big Ten does not go 13-0 this week, there needs to be raucous, raucous laughter and finger-pointing in the direction of the fanbase whose team lost.

And with that, I have guaranteed that Northwestern will lose to the D-II Lewis Flyers.


#2 Michigan State Spartans (10-1, KP 2) vs. Houston Baptist Huskies (4-7, KP 266)

5pm | BTN | MSU -31

Greg Kampe wore a shirt and tie against Michigan State, and that’s fucking bullshit, to be frank. I don’t care if it was a week and change before Christmas. That is all I know him as—Funny Sweater Coach—and that is the only role he need play in college basketball.

Indiana Hoosiers (6-5, KP 74) vs. IFort Wayne Mastodons (7-5, KP 185)

7pm | BTN | IU -13.5

Not a lot of people know this, but Indiana lost to Fort Wayne last year.

OK, we’ll watch the full interview:

Whatever happened to Thomas Bryant?


Ohio State Buckeyes (9-3, KP 48) vs. The Citadel Bulldogs (5-6, KP 315)

6pm | BTN

Huh, another team that uses “The” in its moniker. It also has a Confederate flag hanging in its fucking campus chapel. S’pose that’s fitting company for the home state of Clement Vallandigham.

(Citadel also plays the third-fastest pace in CBB, so possibly watch for that, I guess.)

Penn State Nittany Lions (9-3, KP 38) vs. Binghamton Bearcats (8-4, KP 202)

6pm | BTN+

The town of Binghamton hasn’t really recovered from when Robert California closed their Dunder-Mifflin branch. I was annoyed that we never got closure on what happened to that branch after David Wallace bought the company.

Not as much as I was at the whole last season of The Office, though.

Northwestern Wildcats (8-4, KP 46) vs. Lewis Flyers (4-6 in fucking D-II)

7pm | BTN+

Amusingly, DePaul’s Max Strus, who torched the Wildcats, went to Lewis before transferring and dropping like 74 of the Blue Demons’ 60 points on Saturday. The Flyers have a road game on Monday night at Godwin Heights High School against the Ferris State Bulldogs. And then they’re playing in the Allstate Arena against a Big Ten team.


Iowa Hawkeyes (6-6, KP 73) vs. Southern Utah Thunderbirds (6-4, KP 298)

8pm | BTN

I might get to go to this game. Pray for me.


Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-5, KP 85) vs.UTSA Roadrunners (7-5, KP 199)

7pm | BTN

I didn’t know this was a thing:

Apparently rickrolling is so 2005 or whatever.


#16 Purdue Boilermakers (11-2, KP 6) vs. Tennessee St Tigers (5-4, KP 228)

5pm | BTN

The Tigers (now-home of Demry Croft) are the second-best team in NCAA basketball with “Tennessee State” in their name.

But it’s time for another round of our favorite game...

Who will Isaac Haas murder this week?

  • Christian Mekowulu, 6’9” F averaging 11.4 ppg and 9.6 rpg. Good luck, Christian. Most of us are pulling for you.

#2 Michigan State (probably 11-1) vs. Long Beach State 49ers (5-8, KP 237)

6pm | BTN+

Power-ranking the Minnesota basketball coaches through whose tenures I suffered:

  1. Clem Haskins (get fucked, Stew)
  2. Jim Molinari (interim)
  3. Dan Monson

This is the only non-exhibition Michigan State game that will be relegated to BTN+. Fuck you, Sparty.

Maryland Terrapins (10-3, KP 37) vs. Fair Dick Knights (3-7, KP 287)

6pm | ESPNU

My current power ranking of basketball teams in the state of New Jersey:

  1. Princeton Tigers: Bestowed upon college basketball the greatest offense known to man.
  2. Rutgers Scarlet Knights, somehow: I don’t get it either.
  3. Monmouth Hawks: Definitely exist.
  4. Saint Peter’s Peacocks: Would be top-half for nickname alone. Coach John Dunne’s Mystery Method has SPU at 5-5 this year.
  5. Rider Broncs: Why couldn’t you just at the ‘o’ at the end of “Broncos” like a normal school?
  6. NJIT Highlanders: Still coasting off that Michigan win.
  7. Fair Dick: Penis jokes aren’t funny, guys.
  8. Seton Hall Pirates: Lost to rutger.

Indiana (probs 7-5) vs. Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (8-4, KP 201)

7pm | BTN


[edit: I was going to add commentary on the number of different “Golden Eagles” logos in college basketball, but I forgot. “something” seems just as cromulent a commentary for this game.]

Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-3, KP 41) vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (4-9, KP 219)

7pm | BTN+

PJ Fleck is the Oral Roberts of the Big Ten, only I think I’m more likely to actually give money to Oral.

Michigan Wolverines (10-3, KP 35) vs. Alabama A&M Bulldogs (0-11, KP 349)

8pm | ESPNU

Five SWAC teams (Texas Southern Tigers, Alabama State Hornets, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lions, AA&M, and Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils) are 0-fer so far, with the latter three ringing in at 348, 349, and 350 in Kenpom (TXSo and ALSt are 214 and 342, respectively).

The ten SWAC teams, as of Monday, are 15-94 and have played a total of 14 home games. Of those home games there are 9 home wins. Of those 9 home wins are 6 wins over teams in D-II or lower:

  • Grambling State Tigers (4-7): def. Tougaloo, 111-95.
  • Alcorn State Braves (3-8): def. Concordia College (AL), 103-56; def. Rust College, 89-50; def. Fisk, 77-69—they’ll likely have another over Blue Mountain College (not State—go Toppers!), which is a very real NAIA school in Blue Mountain, MS.
  • Southern Jaguars (3-8): def. Wiley, 92-69.
  • Jackson State Tigers (3-7): def. Millsaps, 84-46; def. Fisk, 60-53.

To their credit, Southern beat both UT-Martin and Florida A&M , two teams with bitchin’ mascots, at home. Even better, Grambling went on the road and beat UT-Rio Grande Valley (RIP UT-Pan Am, go Vaqueros!), SE Louisiana, and...noted beaters-of-Northwestern, Georgia Tech (on this hilarious GT). Jackson State beat Nebraska-Omaha, 75-73, in overtime in the consolation game of the lower bracket of the already-prestigious Emerald Coast Classic (you’ll remember this as the tournament where Maryland lost to St. Bonaventure). Finally, the Prairie View A&M Panthers, who I can guarantee you had no idea were in the SWAC, claimed two netural site wins over Eastern Kentucky and Georgia State after losing to UNLV by 35 in the opening round of the MGM Resorts Main Event Tournament.

Those four bullet points and that paragraph. Those are all 15 wins for SWACsketball, summarized. Jesus.

I don’t know what just happened. Here’s your super-exciting open-thread to see if Indiana can lose to Fort Wayne again. Stay tuned, and behave.