Welcome to Better Know a Non-Conference Tournament, a possibly-regular series meant to lighten my self-assigned workload from last year’s tourney preview by breaking it up into each team’s games. You can find all the tournaments at SBNation’s Blogging the Bracket, but we’ll try to give you a rough idea of what bad Big Ten basketball you can expect here at OTE.
It’s been an underwhelming start to the year for Purdue, who blew out Fairfield at home but followed that up with just a 9-point win over MAC contender Ball State. Carsen Edwards (26.5 ppg) has been running the show for the Boilers, but C Matt Haarms has come and gone with foul trouble and Ryan Cline has yet to find his stroke from deep (26.7% on 15 attempts in 2 games).
They’ll have a good chance to get on track in Charleston, SC, where two Kenpom Top 50 teams lurk on the other side of the bracket.
Bracket and Schedule
Who: Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1, KP 176, Jeff Sagarin 216)
When: Thursday, 11/15, 4pm CT
Boilerman31: Purdue heads to South Carolina for their pre-Thanksgiving made-for-TV tournament (remember when it was just the pNIT, the Great Alaska Shootout, and the Maui Invitational? Those were good times). In the first round, they’ll face App State (glances at Beez). The Mountaineers will be a pesky test for Purdue, however, they don’t feature much scoring depth beyond their top three. I expect Purdue to pull away in the second half and win by double-digits.
Should the Boilers advance, they’ll likely face Wichita State. The Shockers are in a bit of a rebuild this season, having dropped their season opener to Louisiana Tech before beating Providence. However, they’re still a dangerous team. Markis McDuffie is the type of forward that can stretch a defense and create opportunities. This one should be a decent game. Purdue’s defense will be tested but I’m expecting a W.
Should Purdue make it to the championship game on Sunday, they’ll likely face either Alabama or Virginia Tech. I’m guessing it will be the Hokies, although the Crimson Tide’s defense is not usually one to mess around with. The problem at this point is lack of data. These games are so early that there’s not much to lean on. Purdue would likely be favored against Alabama and a slight underdog against Buzz Williams’ crew. Either will be a good early test to see how well Purdue has reloaded.
Remember a Charleston Classic...
The 2011 Charleston Classic
There aren’t many of these to choose from, as Big Ten teams have competed in only 4 other Charleston Classics since its inception in 2008. The runaway winner, I guess, comes to us in 2011:
Yes, you can go ahead and laugh at the video quality; what stands out to me, though, is the absolute paucity of Northwestern highlights—a shot of some shirtless nerds spelling “CATS” on their chests and JerShon Cobb hitting a three—in comparison with the four or so Western Kentucky highlights, etc.
Northwestern won the tournament, capped by an 80-73 win over Seton Hall.
The ‘Cats would eventually put together an 18-12 (8-10) campaign, earning some NCAA Tournament bubble hype, before collapsing to an abysmal Minnesota team in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and losing, 75-68, in overtime. (I drank 2.5 bottles of wine—that we’d packed in part for raucous hotel celebrations that night, assuming a victory—on the band bus ride home from that one, the only redeeming part of that trip.)
They eventually beat Akron in the first round of the NIT, a game that saw nothing notable happen in the crowd, no sir, before getting crushed by Washington in Seattle to finish 19-14.
2014: Penn State, Consolation Champs (L, Charlotte, 106-97 OT; W, Cornell, 72-71; W, USC, 63-61)
2013: Nebraska, 7th Place (L, UMass, 96-90; L, UAB, 87-74; W, Georgia, 73-65)
2011: Northwestern, Champions (W, LSU, 88-82; W, Tulsa, 69-65; W, Seton Hall, 80-73)
2009: Penn State, 7th Place (L, UNC-Wilmington, 80-69; L, Tulane, 63-60; W, Davidson, 59-57)
How will Purdue finish in the Charleston Classic?
This poll is closed
6th or worse