Now that we’ve recapped the week that was in Big Ten hoops, it’s time to move on to more conference, non-conference, and just plain random fun over the weekend. Will Greg Kampe wear a bitchin’ sweater? Can Nebraska keep the home win streak alive when Purdue comes to town?
Let’s hit it:
Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-5, KP 158) at Indiana Hoosiers (9-4, KP 27)
7pm | BTN | IU -16.5 | O/U 148.5
Candystripes: Given how IU has struggled to do much of anything offensively in their last two games, perhaps a game with Nebraska is just what the doctor ordered. A raucous crowd in Assembly Hall for the last game before finals week starts and a team that’s had some larger struggles this year could be just the thing the Hoosiers need to send the students off to winter break happy.
Jesse: Can Indiana rebound? Yes? Well... Nebraska is in trouble. I hate to be a broken record, but until this team has a semblance of defense, an ability to rebound, and the completion to go get out in transition, we are not going to win a lot of games. There are flashes of potential but that’s probably the best we can hope for in 2020. I’m just hoping we don’t lose by 40.
BRT: I will be at a company Christmas party on Friday night, so won’t be tuned into this game. If you are a Husker fan, I suggest you occupy yourself similarly, as Nebraska will almost certainly not be winning this one.
#10 Oregon Ducks (7-2, KP 14) at #5 Michigan Wolverines (8-2, KP 17)
11am | CBS
Thump: I want to acknowledge that it’s time Zavier Simpson gave up on trying to be Dee Brown. Get your cosplayin’ ass outta here.
#16 Michigan State Spartans (6-3, KP 4) at Oakland Golden Grizzlies (5-5, KP 164)
11am | ESPN2
Andrew Kampefanski: Have not watched a moment of Oakland this year. On paper, a .500 team in the KenPom 160s is not much cause for concern for MSU, but Greg Kampe’s team reliably plays their best against MSU, much the way a UNI would against Iowa for example.
Big picture, MSU needs to get its 3-point shooting in order, as we’ve seen Tillman is just not a reliable source of post offense and that’s putting too much of the scoring load on Cassius Winston. If Izzo intends to try what I think could be the solution - playing Aaron Henry and Gabe Brown together - the window for experimentation is closing quick.
Alabama Crimson Tide (4-4, KP 85) at Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2, KP 23)
1pm | BTN
Aaron Yorke: Alabama is off to a rough start under new head coach Nate Oats, who takes over for Avery Johnson after leading Buffalo to three NCAA appearances in four years. The Crimson Tide plays fast and turns the ball over a ton, and that should play right into Penn State’s hands as the Lions look to score in transition.
There is a letdown factor for Penn State at play with the team coming off the “upset” win over Maryland, but revenge is also at stake since the Lions lost last year in Tuscaloosa. Donta Hall was a dominant force in that game with 17 points and three blocks, but he’s since graduated. Junior guard John Petty could be a major factor, as he’s shown the ability to get scorching hot from beyond the arc this season.
For Penn State, I want to see freshman Seth Lundy get more involved. He scored 10 points against Ohio State, but then only played a minute against Maryland.
#22 Seton Hall Pirates (6-3, KP 18) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-3, KP 69)
3pm | BTN
Old Dominion Monarchs (3-7, KP 184) at Illinois Fighting Illini (7-3, KP 38)
5pm | BTN
Thump: Kofi Cockburn is such a monster. Forget B1G freshman of the year, he’s a player of the year candidate right now. He’s the kind of player that helps you feast on cupcakes. Sidenote: hot damn, Brad Underwood finally decided it was time to consider a different defensive strategy and it paid off handsomely.
Purdue Boilermakers (6-3, KP 6) at Nebraska
3pm | BTN
Boilerman31: The B1G schedulers have again blessed Purdue with not only an early bye across Finals Week but a trip to Lincoln, where the Huskers are in full-on rebuild mode. Last year, this game with this squad would’ve scared the everliving crap out of me.
Matt Haarms and Trevion Williams need to dominate this game. We’re talking double-double for both. Nebraska is one of the absolute worst rebounding teams in the nation. Matt Painter’s bigs should have their way on the block. Add in Nebraska’s not great 3-point percentage and it shouldn’t be close, even with the weird shit that seems to happen inside PBA.
SIU Edwardsville Cougars (2-7, KP 342) at Northwestern Wildcats (4-4, KP 99)
3pm | ESPNU
MNW: The Cougars are one of the worst teams in college basketball: They beat Quincy, NU’s exhibition opponent, by 9. Their only other win is KP 348 Incarnate Word. They allow teams to get to the FT line and shoot 55% from the field, and chuck threes with reckless abandon.
This should be a nice bounce-back game for Ryan Young inside and Pat Spencer on the perimeter, and if Pete Nance can’t slash and score on a front line that tops out around 6’7”, we’ve got bigger problems.
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-5)
5:30pm | BTN
WSR: Much like BRT, I will not be watching my team’s game either. Instead of watching Ohio State vs. Minnesota, I will be outside in weather that’ll be between 0 and 10 degrees playing hockey. Because I am approaching 40 and am dumb (read: overly aggressive and competitive) and a terrible skater and it will be cold out, I will inevitably end up getting hurt.
Even so, I will be having a much better time than any Gopher fans that watch that game. Do not watch this game, Gopher fans.