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Gavitt Games Previews, Open Thread: Big Ten, Big East meet up. Does anyone care?

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The Big Ten shoots to run its undefeated record in the lightly-cared-about challenge to 5 consecutive years. Never mind what “undefeated” means here. Keep moving.

NCAA Basketball: Binghamton at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

In the fifth year of the Gavitt Games, it’s a battle as much to see if anyone gives a shit as it is conference bragging rights. And boy, if a DePaul-Iowa tilt doesn’t get you excited about whose basketball teams are better, maybe a Providence-Northwestern face-off will!

The Big Ten is 1-0-3 in the series, breaking a string of three consecutive 4-4 ties with a 5-3 win in 2018. This year a pair of ranked match-ups anchor the proceedings and will surely create some hype for the contest, but...my goodness, there’s some dead weight.

We’ve got some previews (which will also be updated as the week goes on and writers get the time to chip in) of the Gavitt Games, along with breakdowns of the other various and sundry Big Ten basketball contests for the week:

Monday, November 11

Gavitt Games

DePaul Blue Demons at Iowa Hawkeyes

DePaul: 3-0, KP 77 | Iowa: 1-0, KP 42
7pm | FS1 | Iowa -9 | O/U 150

Stew: I expect Iowa to do what Iowa typically does, attack the rim, get to the line, and get the Blue Devils into foul trouble. I think Iowa does that by going inside to Luka Garza, who is a force inside, offensively. That should open things up on the perimeter for Joe Wieskamp to do his thing, and Iowa should pass a pretty decent early test.

Creighton: If you like high scoring games and the opposite of whatever Virginia and wisconsin do in basketball, this is going to be a fun game to watch. DePaul has 5 players averaging at least 9 points per game, and Iowa..uh...doesn’t play defense. Kansas transfer Charlie Moore and Iowa’s Luka Garza will probably be the players to watch in this one. Iowa should win this one, but it’s definitely our biggest test until the Las Vegas invitational.

Poll

The Battle for Chicago?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    DePaul
    (5 votes)
  • 75%
    Iowa
    (15 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now

Tuesday, November 12

Gavitt Games

Creighton Bluejays at Michigan Wolverines

Creighton: 1-0, KP 32 | Michigan: 1-0, KP 31
5:30pm | FS1 | Mich -4.5 | O/U 148.5

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Butler Bulldogs

Minnesota: 1-1, KP 78 | Butler: 2-0, KP 27
7:30pm | FS1 | Butler -9.5 | O/U 135.5

Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Tournament

Indiana Hoosiers vs. North Alabama Lions

Indiana: 2-0, KP 37 | UNA: 1-1, KP 284
6pm | BTN | IU -22.5 | O/U 142

Candystripes: This is just our basketball team taking on that oft-repeated football request “WE WANT (north) ALABAMA!” I don’t see any problem here whatsoever.

Wednesday, November 13

Gavitt Games

#10 Villanova Wildcats at #16 Ohio State Buckeyes

Villanova: 1-0, KP 7 | Ohio State: 2-0, KP 12
6pm | FS1

Providence Friars at Northwestern Wildcats

Providence: 2-0, KP 17 | Northwestern: 0-1, KP 107
8pm | BTN

MNW: Pack it in and pray.

Look, the Friars are a better team than Northwestern and, in some ways, possibly what Chris Collins wants the ‘Cats to look like—a team that rolls with an athletic coterie of stretch guards like 6’7” Alpha Diallo and the unfortunately-named 6’5” David Duke, all of whom can slash and score, along with a banger inside like Kalif Young. Oh, and they hit the offensive glass (36% oreb rate), something I’m pretty sure it is written into the Northwestern Constitution that no Wildcats basketball team can do, along with go bowling inside Evanston city limits or live in a house with more than 3 other unmarried, unrelated people.

Northwestern, you might have guessed from a season-opening loss to Merrimack, is not at that level. This game will test whether Collins’ preferred man defense can work with young players against more athletic teams (it probably can’t yet) and whether freshmen post players like Jared Jones or Ryan Young are ready for the big time (probably not yet either).

Ultimately, I’m rooting for Northwestern to switch into a 2-3 zone and hope that the Friars who shot 19% from deep against NJIT, rather than the Friars who shot 47% from deep against Sacred Heart, show up. Maybe the home (lack of) atmosphere at Welsh-Ryan throws off Providence. Maybe Pete Nance, Miller Kopp, and A.J. Turner show an ability to use their side to create threes and get to the basket.

Or maybe not. Give me Providence, 81-63.

Purdue Boilermakers at Marquette Golden Eagles

Purdue: 1-1, KP 9 | Marquette: 1-0, KP 15
8pm | FS1

Boilerman: You want a great early season matchup? Here you go. Nojel Eastern and company will have their hands full with uber-talented Markus Howard. The team that dictates pace in this game wins. The last time these two teams met in Milwaukee, it was a barn-burner. Expect the same.

MNW: As this blog’s Defender of the Faith, I have both written to the Pope for Boilerman’s immediate excommunication and will defend my Golden Eagles to the death.

Actually just kidding, as B-Man has it covered. My hope is that Matt Haarms is not ready for the smoke of my Large Adult Son, forward Theo John, and that between John and former Nebraska man Ed Morrow, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles can force the Boilers to play outside-in before what should be a hopping crowd at the Fiserv Forum.

Boilerman: Don’t make me start cussing at you in Latin.

Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Tournament

wisconsin badgers vs. McNeese State Cowboys

wisconsin: 0-1, KP 49 | McNeese: 0-2, KP 320
6pm | BTN

MC: Snooze fest. The focal points will remain consistent and introspective for Wisconsin against one of the worst teams in the country. Can Kobe King continue to build off of his newfound assertiveness from the Eastern Illinois game? He is key to their success against better competition down the road. I also nervously await their performance behind the arc, as through two games (I know) the team is shooting just 21.6%. Finally, can Wisconsin get anything from its bench? Through two games (I know!) the bench has scored just 12 points, almost all from sixth-man Brevin Pritzl. They should be able to get the bench more time to figure themselves out in this one.

Finally, I had nowhere worthwhile to add this, but Nate Reuvers is averaging 6.5 blocks and that’s hilarious.

Beez: Maybe I’m crazy or drunk, but Wisconsin has participated in the Gavitt Games what, like once in four years? Against Creighton and they lost by a bunch? The Big East has enough teams for everyone to play, right?

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Drexel Dragons

Rutgers: 2-0, KP 69 | Drexel: 2-1, KP 242
7pm | BTN

Thursday, November 14

Gavitt Games

Penn State Nittany Lions at Georgetown Hoyas

Penn State: 2-0, KP 45 | G’town: 2-0, KP 63
5:30pm | FS1

#3 Michigan State Spartans at #12 Seton Hall Pirates

Michigan State: 0-1, KP 1 | Seton Hall: 1-0, KP 20
7:30pm | FS1

Andrew K: MSU found their footing against hapless Binghamton and probably comes into this game with a sharpened purpose for a truly tragic reason. But the headline going into this game is that Seton Hall will be without All American candidate Myles Powell, who injured an ankle against Stony Brook and is ruled out. Without him to worry about, this should be a manageable test for MSU, who got a head-turning performance from Marcus Bingham Jr. off the bench on Sunday.

Aaron Yorke: It’s Penn State’s first big test of the season! It’s a big one because the Lions have to rack up as many quality wins as possible to build a nice, fat resume before Big Ten season sets in. Georgetown is beatable, but NC State transfer Omer Yurtseven is going to be a problem. The seven-foot senior has been dominant on the glass so far, and he could get Mike Watkins in foul trouble. Penn State is going to have to improve its three-point shooting this year, so look for Myreon Jones to step up in this one. He had trouble finding playing time in his freshman season, but in two games so far he’s already racked up 24 points and nine assists while playing 52 minutes.

Poll

How will the Big Ten fare in the Gavitt Games?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    6-2 or better
    (10 votes)
  • 37%
    5-3
    (37 votes)
  • 27%
    4-4
    (27 votes)
  • 16%
    3-5
    (16 votes)
  • 8%
    2-6 or worse
    (8 votes)
98 votes total Vote Now

Give us your picks and predictions in the comments! Here’s your basketball (and MACtion!) open thread for the mid-week slate of games.