Rule #1 of conference play this #B1GMBBall season: Just don't go on the road. Anywhere. Don't do it. Stay home. Read a good book instead. But don't leave home.— Off Tackle Outback Empire Boat Rowers #RTB (10-2) (@offtackleempire) December 16, 2019
Indiana Hoosiers 96, Nebraska Cornhuskers 90 (OT)
Jesse Collins: Legitimately, Nebraska played fearless, often beautiful basketball which was a far cry from the awful effort against Creighton. Coach Hoiberg is starting to figure out who he can rely on and who he can’t and that rotation is getting really tight.
Cam Mack and Dachon Burke are going to be a handful for defenders and if shots fall, this is a really fun team. Nebraska will consistently be at the bottom of the conference this year, but the style is there and so long as the effort follows, I am fine with the growing pains of the new system.
#16 Michigan State Spartans 72, Oakland Golden Grizzlies 49
Andrew Kampefanski: If you looked at the box score from MSU-Oakland, you’d assume an easy blowout, and in some ways it was that. Oakland doesn’t have their usual lethal lead guard who’s a threat to drop 30, and it showed. But shooting 21% from 3 is a problem, a real problem, and we have enough of a sample size now see it’s not a fluky bad shooting day.
There’s also the matter of Aaron Henry, who had a decent stat line but appears indecisive most of the time offensively. Only a handful of tuneups left before we get down to business here.
#10 Oregon Ducks 71, #5 Michigan Wolverines 70 (OT)
AK: MSU’s brisk pace also gave me a chance to catch the end of Michigan-Oregon. A quick, DVR-forward assisted replay of the first half gave me the impression that Oregon was relying too much on hitting difficult shots to make it last.
With the game on the line in OT, though, Juwan Howard drew a play for Zavier Simpson, which...I just wonder about. I get that he’s a senior with a wide array of moves attacking the basket, but given that he’s no threat to shoot, his guy was able to sag off him and make that scoop shot in the lane all the more difficult. Maybe a bit of nitpicking, but not getting even a touch for either Isaiah Livers or Fritz Wagner on that last possession...I dunno, man.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 68, #22 Seton Hall Pirates 48
Aaron Yorke: Here’s a treat: I also watched some of the Seton Hall vs. Rutgers game! [ed. note: we have differing definitions of “treat”, man]
This one was out of reach surprisingly early and also in a surprising direction as the Knight raced out to a 26-5 lead in the first 10 minutes and didn’t look back. Seton Hall just couldn’t hit a damn shot in the early going and Ron Harper Jr. is developing into a major scorer.
It’s worth noting that SHU’s preseason All-American Myles Powell suffered a concussion in this game and played only 15 minutes, but I don’t think it impacted the result too much. There is serious excitement about Steve Pikiell’s team in the Garden State, and Rutgers optimism is at the highest it’s been in years.
AY: Penn State avoided a major letdown on Saturday and beat Alabama 73-71.
It was an ugly game with both teams shooting well under 40 percent from the field, but the Lions pulled ahead in the final minutes thanks to Lamar Stevens finally figuring out how to score the ball. Stevens has been fine this season, but he hasn’t shown shines of taking a step towards superstardom. In his last four games — all against major conference opponents — he’s been held under 20 points.
The good news is that Penn State features bench scoring this year. That’s important because it needed all 18 points from Oklahoma State transfer Curtis Jones to get over the Alabama hump.
Thump: A surprisingly good effort on defense by the Illini left the Mighty Monarchs unable to do very much of anything until Underwood emptied the bench, sparking a 17-2 ODU run, but more importantly, giving Brad a reason to scream at his players. The game was nowhere near as close as the final score indicates, and it’s good that Brad had to go all the way to the end of the bench to find a lineup worth screaming at.
MNW: Northwestern scuffled through a rough day at the office for Boo Buie (2/13 FGs) and the deep shooting in general (3/19), and it didn’t matter, because freshman chonker Ryan Young is substantially larger than the entirety of SIU-Edwardsville. He racked up 25 points and 12 boards, moved guys around inside at will, and this became a semi-comfortable laugher in the second half (while Pat Spencer and his chest hair did throw down an unlacrosse-esque dunk). Got a little sloppy late, but there was never much doubt.
For those of you gambling along at home, Northwestern got a pair of late FTs from Ryan Greer to put them up 20, but a Chase Audige turnover with :03 left allowed a Cougars bucket to cut the Wildcats’ margin of victory to just 72-54.
The line was -19. And if you bet on Northwestern-SIUe, seek help.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 70, Purdue Boilermakers 56
JC: Addendum. On a 48 hour turnaround, Hoiberg and company poured it on against Purdue. Cam Mack is evolving into his potential with good speed to run this offense—he recorded the first triple-double in school history.
The best part of today though? 22 assists on 26 made baskets. Love this system and love where things are going. Gonna be a lot of hiccups along the way, but it’s fun to watch.
Boilerman31: Glad I didn’t watch that game altogether.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 84, #3 Ohio State Buckeyes 71
WhiteSpeedReceiver: So. Holy shit.
After mightily riding the struggle bus the last game in Iowa City, Marcus Carr showed up to the tune of 35 points on 12/17 shooting to lead the Gophers. Gabe Kalscheur, in spite of going 3/7 from 3, chipped in 15, and Daniel Oturu absolutely dominated Kaleb Wesson with 14 points and 13 boards while holding one of the other best bigs in the B1G to 12 points.
The entire team did a great job defensively, and the Williams Arena crowd decided to be a big game Williams Arena crowd. I have no idea how good we’ll be going forward, but tonight was fun.
Seriously, though. Don’t leave home. If—and I will say “if” because it’s not happening but we’ve got to remain open to the idea—Northwestern manages to upset Michigan State in Evanston on Wednesday—a feat the Wildcats have accomplished twice (2002, 2012) this millennium—we will have perfection in the Big Ten standings:
No Big Ten hoops tonight, as much of the conference takes the week off for finals. We’ve got a schedule for tonight and a poll for the weekend’s action below, though—sound off on why we’re not giving your team nearly enough love!
Who had the best weekend in Big Ten hoops?
This poll is closed
Nebraska’s 2 victories: moral on the road, actual at home
Rutgers: Best in Jersey? (And that’s a good thing?)
Minnesota: A high-quality court-storm
Other: You better show your fucking work in the comments if you’re gonna insist someone else had a better weekend.