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Big Ten Basketball Previews, Open Thread, Nov. 18-21

Mmmmm. Cupcakes.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Arizona
doin’ it for the cockburn
Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

Oofda. Got all that basketball coverage?

As it stands, here’s how the Big Ten teams sit, courtesy of Kenpom:

Here’s what you can expect from the midweek games:

Monday, November 18

#3 MSU Spartans (2-1, KP 1) vs. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (1-3, KP 282)

5:30pm | BTN | MSU -35 | O/U 142.5

Andrew K: Not a whole lot to say here; no disrespect to the scurvy Buccaneers, but a home date with KenPom #282 after a few days to settle down from the thriller against Seton Hall really should not be a problem.

I’ll be looking for MSU to reestablish Marcus Bingham Jr., who was a nonfactor against SHU’s massive frontline. Or maybe the solid effort from Thomas Kithier foretells him seizing control of the power forward spot? Either way, good opportunity to settle the rotation a bit before Maui.

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1, KP 47) vs. Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (3-1, KP 180)

7pm | ESPNU | Illinois -15.5 | O/U 147

Thumpasaurus: Better win this one. I’d be pretty curious as to whether or not the indefinitely suspended Tevian Jones will ever play for the Fighting Illini again, because we sure could have used him against Arizona. My wishlist for this game is to have the Illini win and for Kofi Cockburn and Giorgi Beshanishvili to make it to the end of the game without fouling out or cramping up from overuse. Cockburn has been so much better than I thought he’d be at this stage, but it’s a big ask to get 35+ minutes a game out of such a thicc boi. There’s enough depth in the backcourt that Illinois can survive Ayo Dosunmu or Trent Frazier having a bad shooting night. Alan Griffin can feel free to go off at any time, I certainly wouldn’t mind that.

With the Arizona game lost, I just want this team to be the best version of itself for Braggin’ Rights. I guess TV network executives think that game doesn’t matter, as it’s now scheduled for noon central on SEC network. Whoever the hell is responsible for promoting Braggin’ Rights is doing a terrible job.

#10 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0, KP 8) vs. Stetson Hatters (2-1, KP 330)

7:30pm | BTN | OSU -30 | O/U 128.5

Tuesday, November 19

Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0, KP 33) vs. Bucknell Bison (2-2, KP 138)

5:30pm | BTN | PSU -15.5 | O/U 147.5

pkloa: A Bison has never defeated a Nittany Lion in a fair fight.

MNW: No Nate Sestina for the Bison (he transferred to fucking Kentucky) means the Nittany Lions shouldn’t struggle. PSU does everything Bucknell does, but faster and better.

Northwestern Wildcats (1-1, KP 97) vs. Radford Highlanders (1-2, KP 135)

7pm | BTN+ | NU -5.5 | O/U 130.5

MNW: I would say “this is a game the ‘Cats should win,” but at this point I don’t think those exist. The Highlanders slow the game down and make the most out of their limited possessions, being efficient with the ball (though they don’t assist many makes) and letting G Carlik Jones do the bulk of the scoring.

With the ball, again, the ‘Cats should have the size to impose their will on a Radford frontcourt composed of 6’8” Devine Eke and 6’7” Leroy Butts IV. We saw a great breakout performance by C Ryan Young against Providence, but it’s 6’10” wing Pete Nance and shooter Miller Kopp who could really bury the Highlanders by getting to the basket, finishing, and making sure I don’t have to sweat this one out.

#6 Maryland Terrapins (3-0, KP 14) vs. Fairfield Stags (1-3, KP 283)

7:30pm | BTN | MD -24 | O/U 132

Wednesday, November 20

Indiana Hoosiers (4-0, KP 31) vs. Princeton Tigers (0-3, KP 223)

6pm | BTN | IU -18.5 | O/U 143

Candystripes: I was fully prepared to wax poetic about how this might be Indiana’s first real good test of the year, and then I looked at how Princeton has actually performed this season. They haven’t actually looked bad against teams not named Duquesne, but they are 0-3, and this game is being played in Bloomington, so I’m hoping for a comfortable 15+ point win. Really, any win would be a good win, but one where nobody has to sweat it out unless they bet the spread for some reason would be a-OK.

Rutgers (3-1, KP 80) vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (4-0, KP 268)

6pm | BTN+ | RU -13 | O/U 142.5

MNW: The ‘Jacks will be an interesting test, if nothing else, for the Scarlet Knights, pushing the ball relentlessly (12th in AdjT) with no regard for fouling (342nd in total fouls, 347th, in FTA/FGA) or sticking with opponents who rotate the ball through their offense (326th in eFG%,286th, in A/FGM). Impressively, though, they’ve allowed just 24 offensive rebounds--TOTAL--on the year, though that’s likely a product of just how many of their shots their opponents make. We’ll see how it holds up against the clang’n’bang.

For Rutgers on offense, it’s the usual: Slash, crash, and bash the undersized Lumberjacks into submission, and hope that Montez Mathis or Ron Harper Jr. can emerge as an efficient complement to Geo Baker. Give me Rutgers by 10, but if the game is on pace for a total of 140 or more, I could be talked into Stephen F. Austin.

Illinois vs. The Citadel Bulldogs (0-3, KP 314)

8pm | BTN | Illinois -27 | O/U 162.5

MNW: Thump will add more later, no doubt [update: he hasn’t], but literally the only thing I know about The Citadel’s basketball team is that they basically just run up and down the court and jack up shots from wherever. They’re also not very good at that.

Thursday, November 21

Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1, KP 55) vs. North Florida Ospreys (3-1, KP 178)

6pm | BTN

Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-3, KP 81) vs. CMU Chippewas (3-0, KP 155)

7pm | BTN+

WSR: Please do not get fired up by the Chips, Gophers. In the course of my extensive research, I learned that CMU is 3-0 and that their leading scorer is from Iowa City. All of this is wonderful and will in no way lead to more stupidity for my favorite college basketball team.

MNW: I actually watched the Chips play Mississippi Valley State, and my goodness, while the real takeaway is that the Delta Devils are suuuuper bad, that Iowa City kid that WSR references, David Dileo, is no joke. 6’8”, good hops, efficient and strong with the ball.

We’ll see, too, if the Chips and Keno Davis (like son of Dr. Tom, Iowa fans) roll out their full-court press to create some of that stupidity. It’d be a real shame.

wisconsin badgers (3-1, KP 39) vs. Green Bay Phoenix (1-2, KP 208)

8pm | BTN

MNW: The ol’ in-state clash of styles. Linc Darner’s Phoenix run wildly and are more efficient about it than, say, The Citadel, but that’s a low bar to clear. The badgers should create plenty of open looks and roll.

Floor is yours! Any hot basketball takes you’ve been dying to share? This is your basketball open thread for the mid-week. Go nuts.