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B1G Hoops Open Thread: Purdue-Michigan, Maryland-Ohio State headline kind-of exciting week?

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Previewing the week in Big Ten basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve recapped the weekend of Big Ten basketball and read the Stock Report on Big Ten basketball, now it’s time to turn ahead to a week in Big Ten basketball in which...there might actually be a couple games you want to watch! No, really!

Michigan has been its usual competent, underwhelming self, and they’ll take on #5 Purdue, while Maryland heads to Ohio State in a marquee matchup with the 4-0 (B1G) Buckeyes, just like we all predicted. AND one of Iowa and Illinois will get its first conference win, in a game that will likely feature approximately 2 minutes of defense and the rest of the game spent hurtling from one end of the court to another.

I put lots of polls in, so go vote or something.

Tuesday, January 9

Penn State Nittany Lions (12-5, 2-2 B1G) at Indiana Hoosiers (9-7, 2-2)

5:30pm | BTN | PSU -1 | O/U 143

Looking at the Minnesota-Indiana boxscore, I realized that I hadn’t appreciated just how thin the Hoosiers’ roster is. There’s...my God, there’s no one. No wonder Candystripes won’t return my calls.

Aaron Yorke wondered in today’s recaps when Tony Carr would break out of his shooting slump. Well, the Hoosiers are ranked 324th in college basketball in 3pt% allowed, at 38.4%. So I’ll take tonight as the night that happens.

My Pick: Penn State, 78-71

Poll

Pick this game, if you’d like.

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Penn State
    (11 votes)
  • 10%
    Indiana
    (4 votes)
  • 35%
    I would prefer not to.
    (14 votes)
  • 25%
    New York abstains, courteously.
    (10 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

wisconsin badgers (9-8, 2-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-6, 2-2)

7:30pm | BTN | UNL -1.5 | O/U 132

I plan my recap of this game to be “Nebraska’s energy propelled them to an early lead, as James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. got penetration against the badgers’ defense before Ethan Happ began to—”

And then I will have switched over to the Purdue-Michigan game.

My Pick: Nebraska, 21-18 at the under-8.

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    wisconsin
    (5 votes)
  • 39%
    Nebraska
    (18 votes)
  • 50%
    /changes channel
    (23 votes)
46 votes total Vote Now

#5 Purdue Boilermakers (15-2, 4-0) at Michigan Wolverines (14-3, 3-1)

8pm | ESPN | PU -2 | O/U 139

I want to see Matt Haarms and Moritz Wagner get into some overly-showy, super European nonsense in which the announcers laud how “emotionally” they play and how much they appear to really care about the game inside. That will be underscored by Wagner trying to drag Haarms and Isaac Haas out to the perimeter and Purdue pulling down upwards of 20 offensive rebounds because you know how these games go.

Of course, none of this accounts for the Wolverines’ ability to just flip a switch and shoot 60% from deep on any given night. Purdue is now ranked #5, and this would absolutely be the night they decide to do that.

I’d also like you to read from Haarms’ Purdue basketball bio:

AS A FRESHMAN / 2016-17 • Joined the team at the semester break, using his redshirt year. • Went against Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan every day in practice. • Has grown an inch and added about 20 pounds to his frame since his arrival at Purdue.

This raises a number of questions for me, because I was initially amused by the Purdue SID (seriously, go read some of that other puff piece bullshit) writing that Haarms played against Haas and Biggie as an accomplishment, but now I’m marveling at how Purdue is fucking genetically engineering their 7-footers to grow even more. That’s just not fair, guys.

My Pick: Purdue, 68-64

Poll

Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    The ones with the Dutch guy
    (29 votes)
  • 35%
    The ones with the German guy
    (16 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Wednesday, January 10

rutger Scarlet Knights (11-6, 1-3) at #4 Michigan State Spartans (15-2, 3-1)

6pm | BTN | MSU -21.5 | O/U 135

That’s a tough weekend loss for Michigan State, but a home date with a perennial Big Ten cellar-dweller should get the Spartans right.

The Knights are in the top 30 nationally in Kenpom’s AdjD, but in the bottom 100 in AdjO. That’s at least comforting, to know what we’re going to get every night out of the Knights—lots of missed shots but laudably dogged defending.

That raises the question, though, of which you’d rather see: Tough, gritty defending but CLANG CLANG CLANG, or disinterested defense but ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM and some fun on offense?

My Pick: Michigan State, 81-59

Poll

Which would you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Tough defending but offensive ineptitude (rutger)
    (35 votes)
  • 54%
    Offensive excitement but...theoretical defense (Iowa?)
    (42 votes)
77 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2) at Northwestern Wildcats (10-7, 1-3)

8pm | BTN | NU -4 | O/U 144.5

The problem, though, is when you have defensive disinterest and offensive ineptitude combined. Meet the 2017-18 Northwestern Wildcats!

I would have been even more worried about this game if Reggie Lynch weren’t likely a huuuuuge shitstain of a human being, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to be an issue. So I’ll just worry about Jordan Murphy pulling down about 15 rebounds. I’m setting his over/unders at 18 points and 15 rebounds. And I’m likely taking the over for both.

Lucky for Richard Pitino and Mark Coyle, though: this news came as the Vikings are finally shaking off the curse of decades of mediocrity jerking us all around before they fuck it up—

EDIT/UPDATE: I’d written this at literally (1)—LITERALLY—11:15am this morning, and LOOK WHAT ROLLED ACROSS THE OTE SLACK CHANNEL:

You cannot do motherfucking ANYTHING right, Minnesota. Fucking anything. Yes, Lynch has used his appeals process (as is his University—I believe—right to do; he gets 2 appeals). He is technically only suspended from competition; he has not been dismissed from the team and is, as Stew put it, “in good standing,” which is, again, technically true but such a fucked-up way of having to write this.

Oh don’t worry, though, Creighton pointed out that Minnesota has a moral “out,” whereby “at least Ricky isn’t speaking to the victim and telling her to try prayer instead of legal action like Fuckstick McShitmouth [Steve Alford].” Which means yes, that’s where Minnesota is as an athletic department: Saying “At least we’re not Steve fucking Alford.”

So yeah. Reggie Lynch. Practicing with the Gophers. Looks like the greasy apple doesn’t fall too far from the withered, vampiric tree.

Anyway, here’s what I originally followed “fuck it up” with:

...so the Twin Cities sports media is pretending to care about the latest Minnesota athletics scandal but really just showing up because they’ve got writers’ block on their “Where were you in 1998/2001/2009?” retrospectives.

Pick: Minnesota, 74-61

Poll

Which Minnesota sports disappointment causes you the most pain [Minnesota fans edition]/enjoyment [non-Minnesota fans edition]?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Gary Anderson
    (14 votes)
  • 24%
    Brett Favre
    (17 votes)
  • 10%
    The playoff loss to the Yankees [NO I WON’T SPECIFY]
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    Drew Pearson
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    The North Stars lose the 1991 Stanley Cup and leave two years later (fuck Norm Green)
    (9 votes)
  • 27%
    Other (fuck you)
    (19 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now

Shit, that poll’s a lot less fun after learning Lynch was practicing with the team.

Thursday, January 11

Maryland Terrapins (14-4, 3-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes (13-4, 4-0)

6pm | ESPN2

I was momentarily outraged this morning when the AP Basketball Poll rankings came out and the Buckeyes were about 30th when counting “Also Receiving Votes.” Then I remember that this is the Ohio State that has losses, not bad but still hurting, to #15 Gonzaga, #19 Clemson, #20 UNC, and unranked Butler. And they were only all that competitive for half the Gonzaga came and all the Butler one. So maybe we’ll pump the brakes for a week more.

I honestly don’t know what to do with Maryland. Can Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, and Bruno Fernando keep this up? Maybe! I...I don’t think so, as I don’t like Cowan’s efficiency numbers and think Fernando’s cruising for an ass-kicking in one of these Big Ten games, but Huerter can shoot them back into about every game. Players like Darryl Morsell seem to be slowing down as Mark Turgeon has to increase their minutes.

My Pick: Ohio State, 72-67

Poll

Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Turtles
    (40 votes)
  • 53%
    Nuts
    (46 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

Iowa Hawkeyes (9-9, 0-5) at Illinois Fighting Illini (10-7, 0-4)

7pm | FS1

Someone has to win this game!

My Pick: Illinois, 82-78

Poll

Who gets that sweet, sweet "1" in the conference win column?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    "My team’s more pathetic!" (Iowa edition)
    (22 votes)
  • 68%
    "No, MY team’s more pathetic!" (Illinois edition)
    (48 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your open thread for the week. Don’t burn the place down.