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Big Ten Basketball’s Back! Indiana-Arkansas, Ohio State-West Virginia highlight B1G tune-up weekend

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Putting the “Oops!” in “We forgot to make a B1G Hoops!” weekend preview thread.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Kentucky Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Oh wow, in all that Penn State and Ohio State excitement yesterday, we completely forgot basketball was happening!

Maybe that’s a good thing, as yesterday’s hoops action offered little in the way of excitement or action—though wisconsin did nab a big road win that could look good on a resume come March. I’m not sure the NIT seeding committee takes road wins into account, but maybe it’ll bump bucky from the 3-line to the 2-line. Progress!

Saturday

Purdue Boilermakers 97, Central Michigan Chippewas 62

Boilerman31: I was at Ikea. Sounds like Purdue did what they’re supposed to MAC opponents in Mackey. Sasha Stefanovic found his shooting touch that the Boilers will need in B1G play.

Wisconsin Badgers 68, Tennessee Volunteers 48

MC ClapYoHandz: It’s fortunate that Wisconsin ran into a neutered Tennessee playing their first game without their leader, Lamonte Turner.

That said, if you had told me in the preseason that perhaps UW’s toughest nonconference game would be their FIRST win away from the Kohl Center on the year, well, laughter and gratuitous hand gestures would be had. Unlike every other road game though, Wisconsin came out firing and looked aggressive and confident on offense. Tennessee couldn’t match the intensity and passed the ball like the Monstars stole their talent. As a result this one was comfortable from the start.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 89, FIU Golden Panthers 62

Daniel Oturu had 20 rebounds to go with 21 points, which seems pretty objectively good, even if the Sunblazers are pretty objectively mediocre.

WSR: Surprise! Minnesota beat the hell out of FIU!

Gabe Kalscheur seems to have broken out of the funk he was in earlier this season by getting 23 points on 5/10 from 3, and Daniel Oturu continues to be one of the best bigs in the B1G by contributing 21 points and 20 boards.

When the two SO from Minnesota play like this (writers note: please remember insert some ridiculous comment about how Pitino can’t recruit Minnesota) (ed. note: he should get a sweet helicopter and land it on top of the Minnehaha Academy gym otherwise he just doesn’t care enough about crootin’ Minnesota), the Gophers will be tough to beat. Let’s see how long we can keep it up.

Sunday

#2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #22 West Virginia Mountaineers

11am | FS1 | Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH

Biggest game of the weekend for a #2-ranked Ohio State team, surely.

#13 Maryland Terrapins vs. Bryant Bulldogs

11am | BTN

DJ’s already in minor meltdown mode over this one, but this is the first game for Maryland without Makhi Mitchell and Makhel Mitchell—the twins have entered the transfer portal and Maryland 24/7 has been quick to condemn them as bad seeds, so Turgeon’s got the media arm working in full force, anyways. Chol Marial, the 7’2” center from South Sudan, has already nabbed his first two points, but things aren’t looking smooth for new-look Maryland just yet.

DJ Carver: I’m not kidding when I say this: apparently Maryland barely practices against live defense. Now someone watch this game and it all becomes more apparent when you see the lazy passing.

#20 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Cornell Big Red

11am | ESPNU

It’s still so jarring to see a ranking next to Penn State. The Lions may wind up allowing fewer points in hoops than they did in basketball—Cornell’s kicker isn’t as good, though.

#11 Michigan Wolverines vs. UMass Lowell River Hawks

1pm | FS1 | Mich -22.5 | O/U 146.5
Mich: 9-3, KP 14 | UML: 6-8, KP 259

I got nothing.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. North Carolina A&T Aggies

1pm | ESPNU | Ill -24.5 | O/U 131.5
ILL: 8-4, KP 48 | NCA&T: 3-10, KP 323

The Aggies are historically bad on offense. But let’s check Thump’s autofill preview anyways:

Thump: We’ll play like shit in the first half, unable to stop them from finishing at the rim, unable to find an open shot and you’ll be able to see that it’s really frustrating. Trailing big at halftime, we’ll fight back playing tough defense and heating up from deep. Incredibly, we’ll have the ball in a one-possession game at some point in the last 8 minutes. But then someone will do a really dumb basketball play to completely blow it at the end and it will have been for nothing. This is Brad Underwood’s identity. This is what we do.

I’ll still watch for the Kofi Cockburn, though.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders

1pm | BTN | UNL -12.5 | O/U 135
UNL: 5-7, KP 138 | TAMCC: 4-8, KP 294

You don’t get enough good “Islanders” nicknames any more. There should be more island-based teams. [insert climate change joke about FIU here]

Minnesotans may be amused to learn that De La Salle’s “Islanders” nickname confused me until about the age of 25 because I was from the East Metro and never bothered to interrogate the basic geography of Minneapolis. Walked across Nicollet Island finally; makes sense now.

Dear God, UNL actually lost to KP 230 North Dakota last Saturday (75-74, a game the Huskers trailed a great deal of). Thank goodness for bowl season, right, Huskers fans? Woof.

#25 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Kennesaw State Fighting Owls

3pm | ESPNU | Iowa -29 | O/U 146
Iowa: 9-3, KP 18 | Kennesaw: 1-11, KP 342

Oh sure, but you don’t have time to play Drake or UNI. Cowards.

Ranked cowards, though. Props.

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Hartford Hawks

3pm | BTN | NU -17 | O/U 134.5
NU: 5-6, KP 98 | HU: 6-7, KP 319

I know literally nothing about the Hawks except that they possibly used to employ Sidney Johnson and Bill Carmody [ed. note: that was Fairfield, MNW, you absolute dumbass], but playing teams from tertiary Northeastern cities has not gone well for the ‘Cats so far in 2019.

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

5pm | BTN | IU -6 | O/U 140
IU: 11-1, KP 33 | UA: 10-1, KP 36

Good article on how Indiana’s schedule is about to get substantially harder. What gets lost in the tweets of “Look at what a tough schedule!”, though, is the fact that the Hoosiers have one KP Top 50 win (vs. Florida State). (To its credit, the article acknowledges that.)

I dunno, maybe there’s something to be said about those neutral court wins over UConn and Notre Dame. This one should be a cracker, though.

#14 Michigan State Spartans vs. Western Michigan Broncos

7pm | BTN | MSU -27 | O/U 144
MSU: 9-3, KP 5 | WMU: 7-5, KP 274

Slow, defensively-challenged, and lucky—Broncos are the second-worst team in Michigan (that honor belongs to the Detroit Titans), and Michigan State should blow ‘em out while emptying the bench.

Monday

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Caldwell Cougars

6pm | BTN+ | RU: 9-3, KP 52 | CU: 6-5 in D-II

Here are things I have learned about Caldwell from their team page and Wikipedia:

  • Mary Jo Kopechne went to Caldwell! If that name means something to you, you’re over 40 or have wasted your life.
  • The Cougars opened the year by allowing 114 points to D-II St. Michael’s and 100 to Assumption College (fellow Catholic schools of the Northeast-10 were not kind).
  • Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, NJ.
  • The North Jersey Dominican school has actually bounced back, beating the D-I Norfolk State Spartans in a Fort Myers Tip-Off game at Monmouth. So that’s something.

Tuesday

wisconsin vs. Rider Broncs

6pm | BTN
wisc: 7-5, KP 34 | Rider: 7-3, KP 142

Given that Chancellor Rebecca Blank still refuses to allow alcohol sales in non-luxury suites at the Clearance Rack, there’s no point to going to (or watching!) this game.

But if wisconsin did sell beer in the stadium, this would be an amazing pregame stop for New Year’s Eve (assuming you go out in downtown madison for NYE—a brave proposition even when it’s not NYE): Some sort of beer deal or beer/ticket package, then funnel the people right out onto the streets at 8:30pm to make merry.

Eagerly awaiting your call, wisconsin athletics department. Don’t worry, I won’t just tell you to fuck off.


Don’t worry, there will be more bowl week content as we go. In the meantime, here’s a basketball thread for when you’re not arguing about football and how badly the poor Buckeyes didn’t actually get screwed because play to win the game.

Update: There’s the schedule for you. If you’d like to know just how shitty Pac-12 basketball is, note that Cal is a 2.5-point dog to Harvard. At home. I know. Eagle-eyed viewers will note the Virginia Cavaliers-Navy Midshipmen points total for today is 99. I’ve seen Big XII football games with higher totals. Fuck BoBall, and fuck Tony Bennett’s regressive-ass “basketball”.