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Big Ten FEAST WEEK Previews, Pt. III: Purdue tips off, two surprises go for titles

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Purdue, Maryland, Iowa, and Michigan in winners’ tournament action today.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Finally. We’ve reached the end of FEAST WEEK. It’s been a delight, I’ve had a great time, but I’d ready to sleep.

Tourney Preview

Purdue Boilermakers (3-2, KP 9)

Emerald Coast Classic | The Arena at Northwest Florida State, Niceville, FL

R1: vs. #20 VCU Rams (6-0, KP 37)

8:30pm | CBSSN | Purdue -2.5 | O/U 127.5

Boilerman31: Purdue kicks off the tournament round of the Emerald Coast Classic versus VCU. Of course, the Boilermaker faithful still have nightmares of the Baby Boilers getting run out of the United Center when Shaka Smart and company made their Final 4 run in 2011.

This is a sneaky good matchup IMO. VCU comes in 6-0 but largely hasn’t played anyone of note outside of a 2-point win over LSU. They also haven’t played a road game so it will be interesting to see how they react to partisan crowd. To say there is a bit of a size mismatch in this one would be an understatement. VCU doesn’t have anyone on the roster over 6’9”. Simply put, Matt Haarms and Trevion Williams have to dominate.

This will also be a test for Purdue’s backcourt. VCU likes to pressure the ball and create turnovers with the 5th highest rate in the country. They’re senior-laden and have plenty of depth. I honestly don’t have a prediction. Purdue’s guards will be tested. If they can get the ball down low to Haarms and avoid turnovers, it should be a good game.

R2: Florida State Seminoles (5-1, KP 16) or Tennessee Volunteers (5-0, KP 21)

Boilerman31: Awaiting Matt Painter’s crew in the second game will either be Tennessee or Florida State. Both rematches from last year. The Seminoles, as usual, are lengthy and athletic. They lost to Pitt out of the gate but have ripped off 5 straight wins, most in dominant fashion. This would be an amazing test for Haarms and Williams to work inside-out and force the ‘Noles to rotate effectively.

On the other side would be Tennessee, the team Purdue eliminated from the tournament after a controversial foul allowed the Boilers to force overtime (I was there, I don’t think my voice will ever be the same). Gone are the core of Jordan Bone, Admiral Schofield, and Grant Williams but it appears Rick Barnes has reloaded. The Vols are efficient on both ends of the court. Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner would be another great test for Purdue’s guards. With a revenge factor in mind, this is the one matchup I’d like to avoid.

MNW: The hottaek I will offer for you to refute: Boiler Basketball Twitter is almost as bad as Voltwitter or FSUtwitter.

Boilerman31: I refuse to defend any fanbase’s actions on Twitter. They’re all hot burning nuclear trash.

Tourney Games

#5 Maryland Terrapins (6-0, KP 15) vs. Harvard Crimson (5-2, KP 91)

Orlando Invitational | 10:30am | ESPN2

Anthony Cowan Jr. Goddamn.

30 points for the dynamic guard, who showed great wiggle on drives and knocked down a ridiculous number of contested shots. Eric Ayala added 13 off the bench, and while I don’t think Maryland should get scared by Temple, credit Turgeon’s club with responding.

They get Harvard, who they should beat. I see nothing here going wrong.

Michigan Wolverines (6-0, KP 20) vs. #8 Gonzaga Bulldogs (8-0, KP 6)

Battle 4 Atlantis | 1pm | ESPN

Holy shit.

A day after mocking some ESPN analyst crowning the Wolverines a better team than Michigan State, I think we just might have to take Michigan seriously? Behind Jon Teske, the Wolverines dominated the point, and Eli Brooks (24 points) helped lead a massive second half run to blow away North Carolina.

The Wolverines’ reward is a date with #8 Gonzaga, who survived #11 Oregon in an OT thriller. Front-liners Killian Tillie, Filip Petrusev, and especially Corey Kispert are great for the Zags, and we’ll see if two teams who have played short benches can put on a show in the final.

Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1, KP 30) vs. Syracuse Orange (4-2, KP 46)

NIT Season Tip-Off — Not Championship | 6pm | ESPN2

An ugly collapse to Ole Miss, and now Penn State gets rewarded with a date with the Jim Boeheim zone. Congrats. Find something else to do.

Iowa Hawkeyes (5-1, KP 42) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (7-0, KP 47)

Las Vegas Invitational — CHAMPIONSHIP | 7pm | FS1

Well. This is surprising. Iowa pulled off one of the upsets of Feast Week, downing #12 Texas Tech in Vegas behind Joe Wieskamp’s unconscious first half, Jordan Bohannon’s 4/9 bombing away from deep, and a Luka Garza double-double brought on seemingly by Texas Tech never having seen a capable center.

The Hawkeyes benefited from Texas Tech seemingly not knowing how to shoot a basketball, but that’ll be a bigger challenge tonight against a San Diego State team that bombed Creighton out of the fucking gym (56% from the field, 61% from deep) and has the length behind three 6’10” forwards Yanni Wetzell, Joel Mensah, and Nathan Mensah to run with Garza. I don’t see all the stars aligning for the Hawks again, but I was sure wrong yesterday.

Sir Not-Appearing-In-These-Tournaments

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-1, KP 78) vs. UMass Minutemen (5-2, KP 177)

1pm | BTN+ | RU -8.5 | O/U 133

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3, KP 73) vs. DePaul Blue Demons (7-0, KP 65)

2pm | FS1 | Minn -3.5 | OU 136

#10 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, KP 5) vs. Morgan State Bears (3-5, KP 295)

8pm | BTN | OSU -28 | O/U 130


Here’s the schedule for the weekend’s basketball games! Make use of this thread as you will. DR has your football open threads coming up soon, but feel free to make OTE your home for Big Ten and college basketball as well! Thanks for reading.