Big Ten basketball is upon us, like it or not...we’ve recapped what happened across the Empire over the weekend, and now we march through a slim conference slate during Finals Week with three tricky road games in what can probably only be described as a “Finals Week atmosphere.”
Iowa (7-3, KP 30) at Iowa State Cyclones (6-3, KP 33)
7pm | ESPN2 | ISU -4 | O/U 157
Ahh yes, Cy-Hawk. This year, perhaps more than any year, it’s Spiderman pointing at Spiderman, but across a cornfield rather than an alley! The Hawkeyes have a 45-27 advantage in this age-old* rivalry, but the ‘Clones own a 7-3 advantage over the last decade.
*Not really, but every season since 1970 is something?
That said, let’s get back to the stupidity! Do we have two teams that both push the pace and like to score? Sure! Will we have dumb booing and shouting and probably a Cyclone booster showing his ass on the sideline? You bet! Is Iowa super-bowling it up for the in-state rivalry game they haven’t won in Ames in 17 seasons?
The Cy-Hawk basketball game - which Iowa has not won in Ames in 17 seasons - is so important to the Hawks that they sat their hobbled star guard so he can play one last game in Hilton before redshirting pic.twitter.com/pnW7UW1oUl— Spencer Hughes (@spencerhughes) December 12, 2019
Stew: The teams seem pretty evenly matched so far this season. Iowa has an elite offense with a questionable defense, while ISU is fairly well balanced. The game is in Ames, so I’m not really expecting a win, but I do want this to be competitive.
Jordan Bohannon has reached the point of the season where he needs to make the decision to redshirt or not. Personally, I think he should, he just doesn’t look like himself. So without him, it’ll require Joe Toussaint to step up. He’s been pretty electric so far, but he’s still a freshman, and not a great shooter. Iowa keeps it close with Luka Garza abusing the likes of Michael Jacobson, but has some big problems containing Tyrese Haliburton, and that’s the difference.
Who wins Cy-Hawk?
This poll is closed
Old previews and a full schedule of tonight’s games can be found below.
MNW: Northwestern takes finals. Those in SESP will enjoy an even bigger cupcake than awaits them on the basketball court with SIUe coming to town on Sunday; those who have real majors will feel as if they’re grappling with Michigan State.
The most notable thing to come out of this game, surely, is that Richard Pitino has provided Iowa fans with the sense of grievance they require to get through another cold winter:
This is not ok! He deserves a lifetime ban from the big ten! Down with Pitino! pic.twitter.com/wDS33h4Jo9— Jason (@stlrnhwk) December 10, 2019
Floyd was in attendance, too. He saw what he’s used to seeing, at this point—Minnesota losing.
#4 Maryland Terrapins (10-0, KP 8) at Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2, KP 24)
6pm | ESPN2 | MD -1 | O/U 143.5
The number four team in the country, barely favored against a Penn State club that’s done...well...they’ve been there. Isn’t that enough?
Of course, our Maryland correspondents are concerned with aspects of tonight’s game:
DJ: We have Dakich again tonight. I feel like he’s becoming the team color commentator for us.
BrianB2: Please Dan, tell us about Anthony Cowan’s shoe collection one more time.
Maryland heads to the Bryce Jordan Center, a place that hasn’t exactly been kind to them in the recent past. If they play like they did against Illinois, they are definitely losing to a probably-okay Penn State team.
Indiana Hoosiers (8-1, KP 26) at UConn Huskies (6-2, KP 51)
Jimmy V Classic | Madison Square Garden
8pm | ESPN | Indiana -1.5 | O/U 139.5
Candystripes: 8 years ago today. Still probably the greatest sports moment I’ve ever been a part of.
wisconsin badgers (5-4, KP 48) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-3, KP 74)
6pm | BTN | Rutgers -1.5 | O/U 125
Do not watch this game.
#5 Michigan Wolverines (8-1, KP 11) at Illinois Fighting Illini (6-3, KP 43)
8pm | BTN | Michigan -1 | O/U 142.5
Thump: We’re gonna lose. Just not sure how. Could be a blowout. Could be a buzzer beating heave. All I know for certain is that Illinois is 100% losing.