Well, it’s basically over. It’s Michigan State’s conference, and we might as well just get used to it. I don’t care if they still have to play Purdue. It’s over. Bubble-wrap the trophy and just ship it to East Lansing. This season is stupid.
Reggie Lynch is now suspended from Minnesota the institution, too.
wisconsin continues the Hoosiers’ Madison Misery, 71-61
uw: Ethan Happ (28 pts, 9 reb)
IU: Collin Hartmann (18 pts on 4/8 3pt shooting off the bench)
MNW: Indiana has never won in the Kohl Center. If you need to know more, you’re clearly not picking up on things. I honestly don’t know the last time Indiana beat wisconsin in a revenue sport, and that’s probably pretty irrelevant, because this series is so lopsided they should play for an Axe to boot.
Michigan gives Iowa enough rope, 75-68
UM: Zavier Simpson (15 pts, 7 ast)
IA: Tyler Cook (28 pts on 10/15 shooting, 8 reb)
Graham Filler: Good lord Tyler Cook is a man! A man! But Iowa is terrible overall, looks like a division 2 squad, so Michigan needed this win badly to keep its Tourney hopes alive. Lots of threes and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led to an easy Michigan victory.
One positive: Michigan plays well against zone (open threes and slashing cuts open up) or against man (where the effective ball screening and Beilein patience pay off). That bodes well for a bunch more of these Iowa-esque games, where 1-2 bad losses might sink the Wolverine’s post-season chances.
Stew: Tyler Cook is a bad, bad man. It’s a joy to watch him just lay waste to rims. However, it turns out that one guy does not a basketball team make. Iowa fell back into the habits that had them losing games to the likes of LA-Lafayette: sloppy turnovers, over/slow rotations in zone, complete lack of transition defense, settling for bad, jump shots early. Progress isn’t always a straight line, and this was a BIG step backwards.
Maryland holds off Penn State, 75-69
MD: Bruno Fernando (17 pts, 11 reb)
PSU: Mike Watkins (17 points, 17 rebounds)
Aaron Yorke: The Lions led for much of this one but failed to finish the deal against a Maryland team that isn’t that much better than them this year. Penn State did a great job getting Mike Watkins the ball in the pick-and-roll and setting him up for easy buckets, but the defense failed to stop Bruno Fernando on the other end.
The biggest problem on offense came from the point guard spot, where Tony Carr and Jamari Wheeler combined to go 8-for-30 from the field. You have to give Anthony Cowan and the Maryland defense credit, but Carr has to play better in big spots on the road, and Wheeler shouldn’t be shooting from beyond the arc at all. He did that three times in this one, and that makes a difference in a close game.
Nebraska, Northwestern murder offensive basketball, Huskers win 70-55
UNL: Glynn Watson Jr. (19 pts)
NU: Dererk Pardon (17 pts, 15 reb—11 o-reb)
MNW: There are no words for what the fuck we just witnessed, but I’ll try anyways. Nebraska decided right off the bat that they weren’t going to even give one remote shit on the defensive glass, allowing the ‘Cats to rack up 22 offensive boards on 48 chances. Northwestern assisted on 14 of its 19 made baskets and moved the ball through the Huskers’ defense at will.
So what’s the problem? NORTHWESTERN CAN’T FUCKING SHOOT. At all. Fire every fucking person out of a goddamn cannon. Dererk Pardon was 6/18 from the field and, save a couple nice hook shots, ,looks to be just turning and praying in the lane. Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey combined to go 6/25 from the field, and the members of Northwestern not named Aaron Falzon went 3/16 from deep (Falzon was 3/5 but is hilariously inept inside the arc). The ‘Cats shot 29.2% from the field and 28.6% from deep. Fuck this all.
Credit to the Huskers for figuring out the energetic defense of Tanner Borchardt (rather than the athletic but un-good defense of Jordy Tshimanga and Duby Okeke) would be what slowed Pardon down, and for realizing in the second half that the ‘Cats lacked any semblance of energy. When Nebraska turned up the pace and got James Palmer, Jr. and Watson in space on the fast break, this one was over. The ‘Cats had no transition defense and little energy after the half.
Embarrassing showing from Northwestern without Bryant McIntosh, but the problems run deeper than another guard who can’t actually fucking shoot.
BRT: Well, my Northwestern colleague covered that pretty extensively. This game had a soundtrack, and it was CLANK. I'm not sure if MNW's beloved AllState Center has world's loudest rims, or if the atrocious shooting of both teams just really brought it out and sent a chorus of clanks echoing through the land.
Anyway, Nebraska remains a frustrating team to watch. The half-assery (that may be generous) on rebounding and the horrific first-half shooting are maddening. However, in the end, this one was worth watching. Shooting improved, and I got to see a Nebrasketball win, a rare enough thing in conference play that I'll take them however they come. Because next they play Purdue, and that's going to be oogly.
Purdue does bad things to rutger, 82-51
PU: Isaac Haas (12 pts, 6 reb)
RU: Mike Williams (10 pts, 5 reb)
Boilerman31: Damn, I hate writing this on my tablet, it just too!k me three times to write that without a typo (I blame Canada). [MNW: I’m gonna just leave that one there.] Purdue dominated the first half. Purdue fell asleep for a bit. Purdue woke up and finished off rutgre. There's not a ton to say here. When Isaac Haas wasn't doing bad things to the Scarlet Knights' big men, Carsen Edwards was gashing them. Sprinkle in some Ryan Cline and Vince Edwards and things went about as expected. Which is to say Purdue got the W and Tommy Luce got some playing time.
Minnesota survives Illinois, 77-67
MN: Jordan Murphy (17 pts, 17 reb)
IL: Trent Frazier (12 pts, 6 ast)
Thump: We played like shit in the first half, couldn’t stop them from finishing at the rim, couldn’t find an open shot and were really frustrating. Trailing big at halftime, we fought back playing tough defense and finding some room in the paint. Incredibly, we came back within 4 in the last 8 minutes. But then we forgot how to play basketball with under 4 minutes to play, and a series of stunning mental lapses pushed us out of contention towards the end
^^^ almost this exact text can be used for every big ten game
[MNW: no joke, he legitimately copied and pasted that from a month ago]
WSR: We just strangled the life out of them in the first half, then got lazy in the second. WAITWAITWAIT...we wanted to entertain the Williams Arena faithful. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Was this Big Ten basketball? Ohio State races past Iowa, 92-81
OSU: Keita Bates-Diop (28 pts, 13 reb)
IA: Tyler Cook (21 pts, 9 reb)
Stew: Iowa is very similar to Illinois, in that both are very bad teams, that are incredibly frustrating to watch. Feels like I could do the same thing as Thump and copy this same thing for every game.
Iowa kept pace with [Team] during the opening minutes. However, they went on an offensive drought and turned the ball over a lot and that led to fast break points where their sloppy transition defense and poor rotations led to a run by [team] causing Iowa go down by 15-20 points. In the second half Iowa made a bit of a run to cut the deficit to less than 10. However, just as it seemed they had clawed their way back into the game, [Team] went on another run aided by more turnovers and bad defense.
Iowa just couldn’t get any closer. This a very bad team.
Whatever. 91-61, let’s just get this over with.
MD: Anthony Cowan (26 pts, 4 ast)
MSU: Miles Bridges (15 pts, 7 ast, 6 reb)
Andrew K: Maryland showed early fight, and Kevin Huerter in particular came out shooting hot, but MSU did as well, and eventually Matt McQuaid of all people put the clamps on Huerter and held him to 2 points in the last 25 or so minutes after he had 14 out of the gates.
MSU’s depth eventually overwhelmed Maryland, as the Spartans had nine players chip in at least 5 points with a really good bench showing. It probably won’t be so lopsided in the rematch when Maryland is at home and will have had nearly a week’s rest instead of one day.
So...yeah. Sorry to the Purdue fans for giving away the title already, but it’s Michigan State’s. Whatever. You can get a 3- or 4-seed to the NCAA Tournament for your troubles. Fat lot of good that’ll do you.
Best performance of the mid-week?
This poll is closed
Ethan Happ (28 pts, 9 reb)
Tyler Cook (averaged 24.5 pts, 8.5 reb)
Bruno Fernando (17 pts, 11 reb)
Jordan Murphy (17 pts, 17 reb)
Keita Bates-Diop (28 pts, 13 reb)
Other (comments, yo)