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Is basketball over yet? Conference Play, Week 1 Recaps

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The first set of games are in the books for the Big Ten, and...shit, it’s Michigan, Michigan State, and wisconsin leading the conference?

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Never mind. When does football start?

The only other thing we’ll note: Our deepest condolences to Minnesota’s Dupree McBrayer and his family. His mother Tayra McFarlane passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. Richard Pitino had this memorial for his guard’s late mother:

Nebraska players joined in as well:


*Note: All rankings used are the rankings from that day.

[9] Michigan State Spartans 78, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 67

[22] Wisconsin Badgers 72, [14] Iowa Hawkeyes 66

Minnesota Golden Gophers 83, Oklahoma State Cowboys 76


Indiana Hoosiers 68, Northwestern Wildcats 66

MNW: A wild, tight (the largest lead was 5 for Indiana), back-and-forth, sometimes sloppy affair ended in a Northwestern loss after Romeo Langford hit a late floater and a Ryan Taylor desperation heave missed the mark.

Dererk Pardon poured in yet another double-double, posting 24 points on 11/15 shooting and 10 rebounds, but the ‘Cats couldn’t keep Langford (20 pts) or Juwan Morgan (17 and 12) in check down the stretch, yielding a 55% shooting mark to the Hoosiers.

If you’d like to go look for it, the Indy Star noted that Indiana and poor Archie Miller weren’t happy about the number of fouls called in this game, forcing them to go to their bench. Fouls ended 20-16, with Northwestern—you guessed it—having more called. Stop bitching about referees. It only makes you look like a fucking moron.

[7 Michigan Wolverines 76, [19] Purdue Boilermakers 57

Boilerman31: Michigan is easily the frontrunner for the B1G title this year. They challenged almost every Purdue shot and stomped on the gas on offense from the opening tip.

While Purdue is definitely more athletic this season, it’s greatly concerning that all that talent can’t crack the Starting lineup and Purdue has a former walk-on at the 4.

There will be few games that Purdue isn’t in, but teams like Michigan are going to run most teams out of the gym. Purdue is one of them.

[24] Maryland Terrapins 66, Penn State Nittany Lions 59

DJ Carver: Maryland doing as they should and just attacking. Penn State couldn’t defend hard in the second half with so many fouls, and Bruno Fernando had a double double at the 15 minute mark of the 2nd half.

Penn State could be very good if they had another scoring option besides Lamar Stevens and Josh Reaves.


[16] Ohio State Buckeyes 79, Minnesota 59

WhiteSpeedReceiver: That game sucked and I turned it off before halftime.

And then, because everything last night needed to be frustrating, I wasn’t able to find any bears to shoot in RDR2. I did get a ton of belt buckles, watches, and rings from bounty hunters trying to catch me, but it still feels unfulfilling.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 75, Illinois Fighting Illini 60

This game was Husker play-by-play man Tim Kent Pavelka’s 1,000th game on the radio. That’s about all you need to know about this game.


[10] Michigan State 90, [18] Iowa 68

Stew: Iowa was back and forth with MSU for the first half. When Iowa started cold in the second half and MSU started to pull away, Iowa seemed to just quit. So that’s fun.

Creighton: Actually, basketball is bad and dumb. Is it Hellerball season yet?

[12] wisconsin 69, Rutgers 64

beezer07: Wisconsin survived an off shooting (from 3) night against a hard-defending Rutgers team who, if they can limit the number of 3s they take that miss the rim entirely, might actually win some games this year!

Wisconsin recorded very few assists (see, missing 3s), but Happ was able to control the game in the 2nd half, as you might expect. He had multiple possession either dribbling from baseline to baseline and scoring or getting the ball above the FT line and taking his guy to the rim.

Also they won at Iowa in a game with approximately 90 fouls, but that was last Friday so I don’t know if it counts, but people should know Wisconsin won at Iowa last week because lol Iowa.


[5] Michigan 62, Northwestern 60

MNW: Hey look, a moral victory.

Vic Law hit a three to give the ‘Cats their first lead with 6:32 left after they trailed by as much as 15 in the second half, but Jordan Poole’s dunk just inside 2 minutes was the last scoring of the game—another Ryan Taylor heave hit backboard and iron but rattled off.

Had the ‘Cats won, this was the Dererk Pardon game. The senior had 20 points on 9/10 shooting and was nigh-unstoppable inside, complemented by Vic Law (19 pts, 4/8 three-point shooting) just taking over at various points of the game, including that go-ahead three. But Northwestern just couldn’t keep Ignas Brazdeikis out of the lane at the worst times, and despite forcing Michigan into a rough night offensively (43.6% from the field, 25% from deep), the Wolverines escaped with their perfect record intact.

Indiana 64, Penn State 62

Candystripes for Breakfast: Indiana has managed to win two Big Ten games by exactly 2 points each.

What this means going forward is unknown, but it is very clear that starting conference play 2-0 is far better than 0-2.

Aaron Yorke: Penn State’s defense is going to keep it in a lot of games this year, but that is only going to lead to more agony for its fans, if Tuesday night is any indication.

The Lions jumped out to a 9-0 lead that eventually turned into a 34-30 halftime deficit due to a stunning inability to convert on free throws and fast-break opportunities. Despite falling behind by 11 points with four minutes left in the game, Penn State battled back and had a chance to tie or take the lead on its final possession. Needless to say, the team up short even after an offensive rebound went its way.

The Lions are inconsistent and sometimes painful to watch on offense. Freshman guard Rasir Bolton had another nice showing, but Josh Reaves was off all night and the team is getting almost nothing from the center position. It needs to work on getting John Harrar and Mike Watkins the ball in the pick-and-roll. It would have been nice to get more shots near the rim on a night when Penn State shot 37 percent as a team. As much effort as Lamar Stevens is putting in, he needs to get the ball more as the only player who can create his own shot consistently. There shouldn’t be a game in which he doesn’t lead the way in field goal attempts.


[19] Ohio State 77, Illinois 67

Thump: Attendance at the United Center was 5,285. Let’s not go there again til we’re good.

Are we good? No. In fact, the last time we were this bad was when all the black players quit the team over how Harv Schmidt was treating them differently.

Only two games matter anymore: home against Rutgers, which is our best shot to avoid going winless, and Braggin Rights.

You know how sometimes you see people say “if we lose a record number of games but beat our rival, I’m happy”? Be on the lookout for that to be put to the test...or for Mark Smith to put up 50 points on us.

Minnesota 85, [24] Nebraska 78

Jesse Collins: This was a weird game. The comeback for Minnesota included a missed goaltend, a dumb technical, some touchy fouls one possession and not the next, and Nebraska didn’t keep the pressure on while that was happening. I’m hoping it’s a good learning moment and they move on. Minnesota didn’t give up so kudos to them.

WSR: Minnesota is weird as hell. We’ve played some great games and have beaten some really good teams (Washington just lost by 2 to Gonzaga last night!), but we can get cold as hell shooting and just get walloped (see: losing to Boston College and Ohio State).

It’ll be interesting to see where we go, but this team doesn’t quit and I’ll take Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy against any other pair in the conference. Wow, can Amir take over a game.

Nebraska is a really good team and I think they’re going to get their revenge on Feb. 13th, and I feel like they’re going to be one of the teams in contention for the double bye.

BRT: Here’s my summary: It was my fault for believing in Nebrasketball. It was nice to be ranked for one game.

We are certainly better than we were. But if they want to get to the tournament. you have to win games against mediocre teams like Minnesota, on the road or not.

It’s a bad loss.

Especially because it didn’t need to be a loss, if they could only figure out a way to keep the hammer down.


Purdue 62, #23 Maryland 60

Boilerman31: That was ugly. That was dirty. That was a grind.

I question if Purdue really won that game.

For a healthy stretch of the first half, I wondered if Purdue was going to repeat their forgetful game against Michigan.

They didn’t. Fortunately for Matt Painter, the baskets started to fall in the second half and Aaron Wheeler emerged when Ryan Cline couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. Ultimately, the Boilers turned to defense, drew multiple shot clock violations down the stretch, and a Nojel Eastern block sealed the W.

I need a shower.

DJ Carver:

Can someone tell me if this is a problem? And who I should blame for such problem?

I fucking swear he must practice against chairs or something. His reaction to things and the “plays” he runs never account for the defense actually moving.

I watched the end of last night’s game again. Two things:
1) MD scored 1 FG in the last 8 minutes of play, the rest on foul shots.
2) Cowan should not have been the point man on the last play. It should have been Wiggins because he’s big enough to actually screen Fernando’s defender and also a more competent 3 point shooter if Fernando doesn’t get open.

You could also see Cowan hesitate like he wanted the ball. He could have got it to Fernando but opted to keep it and got stuck.

I’m only so critical because the team actually has fucking talent and Turgeon can’t get past his own inability to coach. He can only recruit. Lack of drawn up plays out of timeouts and OOB plays. Still awful substitution patterns, although he’s cut his lineup considerably so I guess that’s a positive.

#18 Iowa 98, Iowa State Cyclones 84

Here’s a brief video summing up most of the game—good basketball, overshadowed by lots of slap-fighting and poking between two teams no one, come March, gives a fuck about:

Creighton M: That was fun as hell.

Iowa looked as good as they have all season, and the recipe for success against ISU was easy: Dominate the boards and limit field goals. Tyler Cook had a double-double. Isaiah Moss went 4/5 from 3 point land, and Cordell Pemsl played through a supposedly season-ending injury for some serious minutes.

Bonus: little brother threw a temper tantrum while the clock was winding down. It was a supremely satisfying night.

Stewmonkey13: Iowa is a very capable team when they’re playing focused. They’re not great on defense, but they don’t over rotate or get too much out of position. And they protect the ball more, and attack the rim relentlessly. Either getting easy buckets, open kick out 3s, or drawing fouls.

But they’re also prone to losing focus and playing out of control. Turning the ball over continuously, and allowing free lanes to the basket and wide open 3s. In this way Iowa games seem to have a lot of runs from both teams.

Against Iowa State, it was no different. In the first half Isaiah Moss went off for 20 points with a sizzling 5/6 on 3s. He picked up a quick 3rd foul early in the second half and cooled way off, but Iowa’s lone senior, Nicholas Baer, stepped in and led a big Iowa run to a twenty point lead. Iowa promptly forgot how to play basketball and turned the ball over approximately 18 billion times and let Iowa state chip the lead down to single digits. But Iowa went on a run late and hit free throws to ice the game.

The news out of this game, though, well likely be some of the extracurricular histrionics. In the first half, Cordell Pemsl took a charge from Iowa State’s lone Iowa native (and former Nebraska Cornhusker) Michael Jacobson. Afterwards, there was some jawing and pushing. Those two and Connor McCaffery (surprise—Fran’s kid is a bit of a hot head) [ed. note: HE’S FRAN’S KID?! THEY LITERALLY NEVER MENTIONED!] were all given techs. Then, at the end of the game, as time was expiring, Jacobson swiped the ball out of McCaffery’s hands. This led to a bigger confrontation, including Iowa State coach, Steve Prohm, yelling down Iowa players and coaches, and Fran yelling at his players to get to the locker room (without shaking hands).

This will be blown way out of proportion.

We’re working on getting you a Power Poll by the weekend. In the meantime, vote in the poll and talk about your biggest takeaways from the week of Big Ten basketball.


Which win was the best in the B1G this week?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    wisconsin over Iowa
    (39 votes)
  • 24%
    Michigan pounds Purdue
    (58 votes)
  • 19%
    Michigan State pounds Iowa
    (45 votes)
  • 12%
    Minnesota over Nebraska
    (30 votes)
  • 12%
    Purdue over Maryland
    (28 votes)
  • 14%
    Iowa over Iowa State
    (33 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now