Before we recap the week’s Big Ten basketball games, we wanted to bring you two amusing moments in fandom.
So this weekend, this happened at an NC State game:
There is a man at the State basketball game reading his Volvo's owner's manual. Rock. Bottom. pic.twitter.com/IoSYIypiP5— Whit Salmon (@whitsalmon) February 18, 2017
It’s not Miss Lonelyhearts, but it’ll do.
Meanwhile, in Evanston, Doug Collins’ face turned shades I don’t think the human body is actually capable of achieving as the Wildcats pulled back in front and then decided to be adventuresome at the free throw line:
#16 Purdue 80, Michigan State 63
Andrew K: As expected, MSU was not able to content with Purdue's physicality. To add injury to insult, Eron Harris made the mistake in the second half of driving at Ivan Drago's broadsword-shaped limbs. Harris is now out for the season with a knee injury, and as a transfer senior is done for his collegiate career.
MSU does have the bodies on the wing to soldier on without him, but that cuts this team's flexibility to zero. MSU probably needs to spring an upset on either Wisconsin (doubtful) or Maryland (more doable but on the road) to keep itself on the right side of the bubble heading into the conference tourney, but will likely have work to do in Indianapolis either way.
Illinois 70, Iowa 66
Stew: What an embarrassing game. Iowa played large portions of this game in a haze. Letting Illinois players blow by then, slow on rotations, sloppy passes, missed layups, settling for long jumpers, just a lazy game all around. Iowa should have won this game going away, because it's not like Illinois played some sort of great game, they were just as careless with the ball, and just fouling if out of position on defense. Nothing positive to take away, here.
didn't watch. Did you guys seriously just straight up out-terrible us?
Thump: Illinois won today, which means they're going to lose their next game and probably look like shit doing it.
MNW: I am very OK with that.
Northwestern 69, state university of new jersey at rutger 65
This game was fucking stupid. All hail Bryant McIntosh, because holy shit was that awful. My love of CJ Gettys—CJ FUCKING GETTYS—nearly came back to bite me in the ass, as the senior nose tackle grabbed 9 boards and scored 10 points, most of them over Northwestern’s hapless interior rebounders.
The ‘Cats gave up a 45% Oreb% to rutger and ultimately won this one at the free throw line, sinking 16 of their 21 down the stretch. Scottie Lindsey clearly did not have his legs fully back in his return from mono, and the 24 minutes Chris Collins asked of him were no down too much, but at this point it’s all hands on deck.
For rutger, the “1-2 years away” mantra will have to do right now, as Steve Pikiell’s “defense and height” strategy this year is yielding close calls but few results.
Nebraska 58, Ohio State 57
BigRedTwice: As the game started, Nebraska was TERRIBLE. The Huskers scored 13 points in the first 13 minutes of the game. Barf. But then, I got two free burrito bowls at Chipotle, courtesy of the nice boy behind the counter because I had to wait for like three minutes for more fajita veggies.
Well, good omens don't come any more delicious than that. I listened to all but the final few minutes of this game on the radio, and frankly, that was a great choice, because this was an UGLY game that no doubt burned a few retinas. This game exemplifies everything that is the experience of being a Nebrasketball fan this season:
1) The horror of watching some seriously hideous basketball. Offensively, this game was a travesty. In addition to the aforementioned point per minute pace for a portion of the first half, the Huskers shot only 38% from the field and 44% from the free throw line. The Huskers got zero breaks on fouls, racking up 18 to OSU's 10 (and three of the Buckeyes' were intentional at the end of the game)--Ed Morrow fouled out, and Glynn Watson had to sit for a spell with four fouls with 15 minutes remaining in the second half. Fortunately for the Huskers, the defense was relatively solid, and helped hold OSU close to Nebraska's level on offense.
2) The pride of watching a team that never, EVER quits. This team never gives up. OSU led two different times by 11 points, and each time, the Huskers chipped away and got back into it. It's why they've been in almost every game in conference play, and why they've been able to surprise some of the conference's big boys. They're an easy group to root for, because we know that, led by the indefatigable Tai Webster, they will give it their all, every time.
Anyway, this was a fun one. OSU beat Nebraska by 1 in Lincoln earlier this season, so it was nice to return the favor. The Huskers have never before won in Columbus, so getting that 0-7 monkey off their backs is terrific. With four games left in the season, let's see if the Huskers can build on their two-game win streak and gain a little more ground in the conference standings.
#11 wisconsin 71, #23 Maryland 60
Welcome to the Big Ten, Maryland, where no one gives a fuck that at one point all the Carolina schools were super-mean to you and got a lot of calls. I have never seen a fanbase that bitches this much about the referees. For God’s sake.
DJ Carver: Mark Turgeon is responsible for this loss. Maryland took a lead into halftime and came out lackadaisical in the second half along with the General kohl center calls from refs you expect. To be honest this game was reminiscent of watching the non-con when referees were calling all of the questionable BS, but whatever you expect that against you at Wisconsin.
Melo Trimble was single handedly carrying Maryland in the second half as the bigs were in foul trouble and the trio of freshmen starters all at once had a down game. So what does Turgeon do? Sits Melo at the 4:24 mark, presumably for insertion at the U4 timeout but instead benched him for the rest of the game because he could tell he was tired and, in his own words, stated Wisconsin took control so he sat Melo because of a 4 game in 10 day slate.
FUCK THAT. Fuck that nonsense. Mark Turgeon gave up with four minutes to go in a game that was 10 points a part. I have no words for a coach of a now 22-5 team giving up in a game that keeps you tied for first in the conference. Unbelievable.
MNW: Like clockwork.
Minnesota 83, Michigan 78 (OT)
A late three by D.J. WIlson completed a Gopher collapse in the waning minutes of this one, but Eric Curry’s 12 second-half points and Jordan Murphy’s 83rd double-double (16 points, 15 boards) lifted the Gophers past the Wolverines in a battle of bubble teams.
I did find John Beilein’s postgame comments to be very interesting. From the ESPN recap:
The Gophers shot 41 free throws to Michigan's 18 and made 15 of their last 16 to hold off the Wolverines. With Minnesota clinging to a 58-57 lead and 4:39 to play, the Michigan bench was given a technical foul after Beilein stomped his foot furiously on the sideline in reaction to a foul call. That jumpstarted a 10-3 run that put the Gophers up 68-60.
"We couldn't stop their free throws," Beilein said. "It's a physical, physical game. It's got to be physical both ways."
And in that vein, fellow fans, I beseech you: STOP BITCHING ABOUT REFEREES. Jesus. Everyone can find an example of everyone else getting screwed over or favorable calls or homerism or whatever.
Beilein’s comments in particular rankle me, because he openly admitted that his team was not going to be successful on the glass and as a result didn’t even try to “win that war.” If you concede physicality, don’t piss and moan about the referees when the more physical team gets to the line.
If you have a point guard whose neck will need medical attention in the coming years due to self-inflicted whiplash, stop making every fucking review of the games about how the big, bad referees are out to get you.
Does Big Ten refereeing suck? Sure. But there’s no agenda or ulterior motive. Games flow as they do, calls are made as they are.