[One more night of this thread! Talk about Northwestern-Penn State here, all one of you.]
Last night’s two big conference clashes did not disappoint* as Iowa hosted co-frontrunner Michigan and Maryland traveled into polar vortex country to face Wisconsin.
*Michigan and Maryland fans may indeed have been disappointed.
- #5 Michigan 59, Iowa 74: Reassuring, signature-type win for an Iowa team which often fades down the stretch; Michigan doesn’t often get in foul trouble, but when they do, that frontline depth is a problem.
- #21 Maryland 61, #24 Wisconsin 69: That stat about road losses to ranked opponent is going to become A Thing for Turgeon until he does something about it; Ethan Happ exiled Maryland’s springy frontcourt stars to the bench and then went to work.
DJ: Pretty incredible how consistently Maryland goes scoreless in the U4 of the 1st half and almost nearly scoreless in the last 8 minutes of a game. This is four games in a row now this has happened
The common denominator is Turgeon pulling Fernando to start it all
MCClapYoHandz: Vroom vroom party starter!
Saturday, February 2nd
Rutgers (11-9, 4-6 B1G) @ Ohio State (13-7, 3-6 B1G)
12 pm EST // BTN // OSU -9.5 // O/U 131
Rutgers, owners of their first three-game conference winning streak since joining the Big Ten (and apparently going back to the 2003-04 season), bring their good vibes into Columbus, where the Basketbucks are one win away from going 0-for-2019 to this point. If OSU wants to get back in the tournament picture short of winning the conference tournament, this is a must-win, and despite their improved play, you still can’t be getting swept by Rutgers if you want anyone to take you seriously.
Andrew’s Very Serious Gambling Advice: Smash that under button, folks. Sleepy noon game between two offensively challenged teams, and Rutgers has a battalion of bigs to throw at Kaleb Wesson? Yeah either team getting to 60 would be a small miracle.
Nebraska (13-8, 3-7 B1G) @ Illinois (6-15, 2-8 B1G)
2:15 EST // BTN // Nebraska -4 // O/U 145.5
Losing Isaac Copeland has sent Nebraska into a somewhat preditable tailspin, as their four-game skid has even included three home games on their respectable home floor. With a couple of notable exceptions, this has been a letdown season for Illinois, but the schedule lightens considerably down the stretch (as much as it can in this conference).
Andrew’s Very Serious Gambling Advice: The over is a temptation here, but Nebraska’s season-long numbers aren’t going to reflect their new reality without Copeland; it would probably be advisable to wait until someone steps into a secondary role behind James Palmer Jr. to start betting the Huskers with confidence again. As for the spread, Illinois has gotten blown out a lot, but their two conference wins were also by double digits. Maybe just stay away from this one.
Indiana (12-9, 3-7 B1G) @ #6 Michigan State (18-3, 9-1 B1G)
6:00 EST // ESPN // MSU -15 // O/U 142.5
Raise your hand if you thought, before the season, that Indiana would have an identical record to Northwestern on Groundhog’s Day. The Hoosiers’ absolute dearth of outside shooting has allowed defenses to zero in on Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan, who still get their numbers but in such a way that opponents can mostly live with.
Michigan State had almost a full week off to catch their breath after clearly hitting a bit of a wall against Purdue. Now that they know Josh Langford is not returning and Kyle Ahrens will remain limited the rest of the year, MSU will count on its junior combo of Cassius Winston and Nick Ward to an even greater extent.
Candystripes for Breakfast: Our basketball season is basically over, and unless MSU completely forgets to show up, this could very easily be a bloodletting.
Andrew’s Very Serious Gambling Advice: MSU to cover at home is tempting given the week of rest and a reeling opponent. Let’s keep it reasonable and bet a modest 5 mortgage payments on that.
Sunday, February 3rd
Minnesota (16-5, 6-4) @ #17 Purdue (15-6, 8-2 B1G)
12:00 pm EST // BTN
Purdue kept themselves in the conference championship picture with an impressive win over Michigan State last Sunday, and then needed late-game heroics from Carsen Edwards to avoid what would have been a humiliating upset in a very well-officiated game against Penn State.
Minnesota would need a top-tier team to falter if they want to work into BTT double-bye territory, but Maryland has shown enough signs of that for the Gophers to remain hopeful. They’re also on a safe trajectory to make the tournament, but this is a big opportunity for a banner win at the start of a brutal week (@Purdue, vs Wisconsin, @MSU).
Boilerman31: The Boilers head back home for their tilt with Minnesota with plenty of hot shooting in hand. Carsen Edwards is coming off a 38 point performance and Ryan Cline is shedding the “Clone” nickname after back to back hot shooting performances. The emergence of Trevion Williams is a welcome change in the paint. There are still plenty of issues to clean up but I like the Boilers to pull away late against Little Ricky.
Monday, February 4th
Uhm, there’s nothing - oh fine, Penn State (7-14, 0-10 B1G) @ Northwestern (12-9, 3-7 B1G)
8:00 pm EST // FS1
Penn State has to be hanging their heads a bit after letting Purdue escape a game the Nits led very late. This remains a team clearly still trying to find an identity, but with two-thirds of the season over, time is running out to salvage anything from this campaign.
Northwestern is likewise trying to find its footing after getting roughed up in back-to-back road games against better conference opponents, but returning home should help (the ‘Cats are 11-3 at home this season).
MNWildcat: Now that Penn State has played its fast, fun game with Purdue, that means it’s time for CLANG CITY! live from Welsh-Ryan Arena. I long for the simpler times, when a dirt track ringed the floor or a pimply sophomore shot-putted threes at the basket with baby-faced efficiency. Mike Watkins will do gangly things that torment Dererk Pardon, and just to really punch me in the dick and/or balls, Shep Garner will be granted a tenth year of eligibility right before the game and shoot 9/12 from deep to doom the ‘Cats.
Utilize this post as your gamethread through Monday, be safe, be nice(ish), don’t make us moderate on a weekend please.
Who needs a win most this weekend?
This poll is closed