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Big Ten Basketball Week Recap: So, about those five NCAA Tournament bids.

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Is Nebraska one of them? The conference, uh, might be stuck hoping so.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Wisconsin
Oh no, Ethan. There are no timeouts. You have to sit there and take it all.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Monday

#24 Michigan Wolverines 58, Northwestern Wildcats 47

GF: Michigan beat Northwestern in a game that was quickly labeled “NSFEWEEEE” not safe for ever watching ever ever ever ever. The Wolverines are actually decent at playing defense (except against Purdue) this year and it carries them during stretches of ugly shooting. Still on pace to be an 8 seed, all the while avoiding losses to bad teams, this is turning out just fine so far. Credit to Beilein, credit to Muhammed-Ali Abdur-Rahkman for taking leadership on this team (along with a scoring load).

MNW: Northwestern had positively no answers after a strong start, going something like 7 minutes at the end of the first half without scoring a point. No, not a field goal—a fucking point.

From there, Michigan did what good teams do and just stepped on the Wildcats’ throats. It’s fucking unconscionable that the ‘Cats turned it over 16 times in this game and assisted on just 7 of their 18 makes. That’s not Northwestern basketball.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 74, wisconsin badgers 63

BigRedTwice: It looked like the magic was gone from the Cornhuskers, playing their fourth game in a week. Their shots didn’t fall, and annoyingly, many of Wisconsin’s did, especially from three. Happ, for once, shot well, and three Huskers--Isaiah Roby, Jordy Tshimanga, and Duby Okeke--were all in foul trouble before the half. The Huskers struggled back to tie it up shortly before halftime, but their struggles continued in the second half. When Khalil Iverson made a terrifying dunk to put the Badgers up 55-44, it seemed that this would just not be Nebraska’s night.

But. The Huskers believed in themselves more than most of us did. I didn’t turn off the game, but I also didn’t expect to see what I saw--namely, the Huskers close out the game with a 30-8 scoring and defensive explosion, that sent previously exultant Badger fans scurrying for the exits. The Huskers finally slammed the doors, winning 74-63, and sweeping Wisconsin for this season.

This was a tough stretch for the Huskers, not so much in the opponents, but because four games in a week is a tough draw no matter who you’re playing, and three of those games were on the road. For the Huskers to come out the winners in three of those four? Well, it’s pretty dang great. This team is exciting to watch right now.

MCClapYoHandz: Coach Gard submitted a petition to the NCAA earlier in the week to cut gameplay to 30 minutes, and that motion must have unknowingly been in limbo as of the Nebraska game. Wisconsin looked pretty good through 30! They were able to move the ball pretty well, work through Happ, and get Nebraska in foul trouble.

Then surprisingly the clock kept running and Nebraska dominated those controversially-included final 10 minutes. I think it’s only fair that we consider both teams to have left the Kohl Center with a 1-1 record that day. Cool? Anyone? I’ll see myself out.

Tuesday

#17 Ohio State Buckeyes 71, Indiana Hoosiers 56

I dunno, this was a basketball game. I didn’t watch it because I was teaching, and I think Candy mails me a dead rodent every time I ask him for Indiana basketball content.

That, or whoever is mailing me dead beavers: Please include some A-1 or BBQ to dip in.

Illinois Fighting Illini 91, rutger Scarlet Knights 60

Thump: The Fighting Illini had a decent three-point shooting night and suddenly everything looked dynamic. All five starters were in double figures and Rutgers wasn’t able to find many open looks. It was a complete and thorough dismantling of a conference opponent that I, for one, did not anticipate.

This team has officially surpassed my overall win total prediction and needs two more conference wins to match my projected conference win total, and I think they’ll get them.

Iowa Hawkeyes 94, Minnesota Golden Gophers 80

Minnesota’s bad, probably. Iowa’s not quite as bad apparently. You probably knew this, but these recaps serve to remind you of those facts.

Wednesday

#3 Purdue Boilermakers 75, Maryland Terrapins 67

Boilerman31: Purdue jumped out to a 9-0 lead and the Boilers clearly thought this was sufficient. Instead of running away from Maryland, they allowed them to stick around. Content to grind from that point on, the lead would shrink and then Purdue would put together a mini-run to keep Maryland at bay.

There’s either some pressure building because of the streak or Purdue is finally cooling off a bit. Either way, the last three games haven’t looked the best for Matt Painter’s crew, despite the W. Isaac Haas got himself 20 and Carsen Edwards chipped in 17 on a night when Vince Edwards was supposedly puking his guts out just prior to tip. Here’s hoping a trip to rutgre is just what the doctor ordered.

#5 Michigan State Spartans 76, Penn State Nittany Lions 68

Aaron Yorke: Penn State did a lot of good things against Michigan State to make it an exciting game in East Lansing. The Lions forced 16 turnovers and kept the Spartans off the offensive glass. Penn State did a great job double-teaming Nick Ward, and he ended up with almost as many turnovers (four) as points (six).

However, basketball is still about putting the ball in the hoop, and while the Lions led 41-30 with 15 minutes left, Tony Carr and the rest of the offense struggled from that point forward. At the same time, Cassius Winston got the Michigan State attack going, and the Spartans cruised to victory by shooting 63 percent in the second half.

Thursday

Northwestern 60, wisconsin 52

MNW: Holy shit, what was that. What was that.

Northwestern jumped out to an 18-1 lead, and I was at full-mast, stuck with the wisconsin radio broadcast but thoroughly enjoying myself.

Then, as it has been wont to do all fucking year—the ‘Cats not only forgot how to shoot the basketball, but insisted on sitting on the ground, crying, and filling their diapers in front of a meager crowd at the Kohl Center (sorry about your one losing season, assholes). Here’s Stew with a helper of what all happened:

Stew: 10 total players scored any points in the NU/wisconsin game

4 wisconsin players and 6 NU players

2 of wisconsin’s starters scored no points

1 of those 10 only scored 2 points

This was bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. Special shoutout to the 0-11 (0-9 from deep!!!) performance from Brevin Pritzl, the prick. Loved Brad Davidson being called for a blocking foul, and Dave Eanet openly disdaining an early Ethan Happ flop down in the post. Terrible basketball, played the wisconsin Way, with Northwestern picking up Chris Collinsthird win in the Kohl Center in his 4 years as coach. I don’t know why y’all think it’s so hard to win there.

But yeah, Northwestern is still fucking terrible.

MCClapYoHandz: Take everything said about the last 10 minutes of the Nebraska game above and apply it to the first 10 minutes of this game, and that’s the recap.


Who had the best performance of the week? Who was most disappointing? Vote in the polls and let us know in the comments.

Poll

Player(s) of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    James Palmer Jr. (UNL): 28 pts, 8 reb vs. wisconsin
    (54 votes)
  • 4%
    Keita Bates-Diop (OSU): 13 pts, 13 reb vs. Indiana
    (7 votes)
  • 12%
    Illinois’ starting lineup vs. rutgre
    (21 votes)
  • 2%
    Jordan Bohannon (IA): 20 pts, 10 ast vs. Minnesota
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Tyler Cook (IA): 17 pts, 10 reb vs. Minnesota
    (3 votes)
  • 8%
    Miles Bridges (MSU): 23 pts, 9 reb vs. PSU
    (14 votes)
  • 17%
    Isaac Haas (PU): 20 pts, 9 reb vs. Maryland
    (31 votes)
  • 17%
    The lids on the basket in NU-uw
    (31 votes)
  • 4%
    Other (tell me in the comments or so help me God)
    (7 votes)
173 votes total Vote Now