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Big Ten Tournament: Day 1 Recaps, Day 2 Previews and Open Thread

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Northwestern bad, Nebraska fun, more things today. We talk about them.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Northwestern vs Illinois
missed this layup like a big dum-dum; still won the game
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Ugh.

Recaps

Nebraska Cornhuskers 68, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 61

Jesse Collins: Nebrasketball survived Day One of the Big Ten Tournament by forcing all of the turnovers against Rutgers. It was Tim Miles, his merry band of six scholarship players and Johnny effing Trueblood.

Also, Tim Miles fell down like the lovable dork he is:

BRT: You really have to love this team. There’s no reason they should be in games, even with Rutgers probably, when they’re as short-staffed as they are, but apparently, no one has bothered to tell them that. They’re going down swinging, and it’s really fun to watch.

Also, I’m going to miss Tim Miles. I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve watched the clip of him falling down, God bless him. You’ve got to admire that kind of attitude—it’s most people’s worst nightmare to trip in front of an arena of people, but he just bounced up, kept smiling, and laughed it off. If that’s not the perfect disposition to coach Nebrasketball, I don’t know what is.

Zuzu: Well.... that sucked. Very disappointing last 3 games for Rutgers, but I guess I can't be too mad. We had a really exciting season that bodes well for our future. I'm not even a college bball fan (just a Rutgers fan), but I enjoyed the B1G wins we surprised everyone with. Watch out for Rutgers next season, y'all.

Illinois Fighting Illini 74, Northwestern Wildcats 69 (OT)

MNW: There was nothing nice about this. Northwestern fouled out Giorgi Bezhanishvili—who’d been having a helluva game and dominating Dererk Pardon inside with some excellent footwork and who I’m honestly terrified is only a freshman—right before a pair of AJ Turner free throws would tie the game and likely send it to overtime...

...until Illinois ran an inbounds play to perfection with :01.2 left.

...and then they missed the layup. Wide fucking open. Just blew it.

So the ‘Cats go to overtime, and despite not having Vic Law and needing to cobble together offensive production from Pardon—who played a hero’s share in his final game in purple—and...apparently AJ Turner and Miller Kopp. That’s not good.

And so, Illinois remembered how to hit three pointers, and Northwestern’s season ended. Thanks for everything, Dererk and Vic. We’ll always have this:

Thumpasaurus: Yikes. Somehow the game ended up being worse than you’d think given that it combined teams that lost a total of 38 games (29 conference) that entered losing 11 of 12 and 5 of 6 respectively. Kipper Nichols has had about as bad a season as I can remember a player having, but Giorgi B is an absolute stud and Ayo came up big when it counted. Underwood’s rotations continue to baffle me; why Tyler Underwood got on the floor before Tevian Jones is beyond comprehension, and Samba Kane is exactly the type of player that would fit this system defensively at center.

I don’t think anyone who watched this game enjoyed it. I enjoyed the immediate aftermath, but that game was objectively unenjoyable. Iowa is going to kill us and it’s going to suck.

Big Ten Tournament, Day 2

[9] Indiana Hoosiers vs. [8] Ohio State Buckeyes

11:30am | BTN | Ind -2 | O/U 129.5

IU: 17-14 (8-12), NET 51, KP 40
OSU: 18-13 (8-12), NET 55, KP 45

The team that wins this game has a good chance to go to the NCAA Tournament, if the folks behind Big Bracketology have anything to say about it.

This is the part where I tell you my conspiracy theory: That the Gonzaga Bulldogs tanked the WCC Tournament final against St. Mary’s so the conference would get two teams into the Big Dance. It’s ingenious. No one would ever suspect it.

That is relevant because the addition of the wholly-undeserving Gaels to the bracket means that both the Hoosiers and Buckeyes—who are both in that First Four Out/Last Four In range—are in desperate need of some help.

Candystripes: Indiana has actually built up some momentum for the first time since basically the turn of the New Year, and while the last couple of games weren’t exactly the stiffest competition in conference, the Hoosiers have started to look something like a good team again. If they can make it past Ohio State, there may yet be something to look forward to come Sunday evening. If not, possibly an NIT bid, but maybe just the end of Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford’s IU careers. The Hoosiers kept it close in Bloomington, but 3 point shooting woes doomed them then. 30% from behind the arc likely won’t be good enough this time either, so improving upon that performance will be key for Indiana.

Poll

this has a bracketology component

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    indiana wins, dances
    (14 votes)
  • 8%
    ohio state wins, dances
    (3 votes)
  • 40%
    indiana wins, does not dance
    (14 votes)
  • 11%
    ohio state wins, does not dance
    (4 votes)
35 votes total Vote Now

[13] Nebraska vs. [5] Maryland Terrapins

1:55pm | BTN

UNL: 17-15 (6-14), NET 52, KP 44
MD: 22-9 (13-7), NET 26, KP 20

Jesse: Honestly, I don’t even care what happens against Maryland. Maybe there’s some bad blood. Maybe Miles is trying to get his team to save his job. I dunno. Bottom line, it’s been fun to see this team still fight the last two games.

BRT: Realistically, Nebrasketball has probably done all it can do given the shape of the team at the present moment. However, I expect we’ll see them continue to play their butts off and hopefully make it a little fun. I wish big games for all of the seniors—who knows, maybe Palmer will decide to have a 40-point game today. But Maryland should certainly win this pretty easily.

Poll

How will Tim Miles celebrate winning this game?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    By slipping on a banana peel
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Burning his tongue on hot coffee
    (3 votes)
  • 39%
    Bonking his noodle on a sound mic
    (27 votes)
  • 48%
    Maryland wins :(
    (33 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now

[10] Penn State Nittany Lions vs. [7] Minnesota Golden Gophers

6pm | BTN | PSU -2.5 | O/U 135.5

PSU: 14-17 (7-13), NET 49, KP 39
MN: 19-12 (9-11), NET 56, KP 46

WSR: This team has broken me. I have no idea if we’re going to see the team that beat Purdue or the team that only beat Penn State by 2 at home and lost to wisconsin. Right now I’m vacillating towards “we’re gonna trip all over ourselves and lose” but there’s also a very strong “Jordan Murphy won’t let his career end by losing to Penn State” thing that’s running through my mind. Either way, I’m going to be miserable and hate everything when I get home after work and see the last 3 minutes of a game that will be ugly with a lot of backhanded compliments from announcers when recapping it.

Poll

Choose the athletic-but-incompetent team to advance from this one:

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    The NIT Champion from 2018 who definitely has made the most of their past successes
    (42 votes)
  • 42%
    The NIT Champion from 2014 who definitely has made the most of their past successes
    (31 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now

[11] Illinois vs. [6] Iowa Hawkeyes

8:25pm | BTN

ILL: 12-20 (7-13), NET 105, KP 78
IA: 21-10 (10-10), NET 42, KP 41

Stew: Illinois plays an incredibly relentless, and tiring, style. Illinois played an emotionally draining overtime game last night. Illinois is not good. Illinois is still going to beat Iowa. I hear Dayton is lovely this time of year, right? Wait, I’m being told Dayton is, in fact, in Ohio. Fuck.

Poll

Fast and bad, or faster and bad?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Iowa
    (46 votes)
  • 43%
    Illinois
    (36 votes)
82 votes total Vote Now

Anything else on?

You bet your sweet ass there is. I don’t have much creative to say about it, though.

  • Lovable Losers: Tulane (0-18 in the AAC) and Chicago State (0-16 in the WAC) both play today. They are both impossibly bad. Enjoy.
  • Hateable Winners: I mean, pick a few. You’ve got Duke, Kansas, North Carolina...pick one of those games and hate-watch them, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Actually-Good Games: Virginia Tech vs. Florida State in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, on ESPN and all their apps at 1:30, is a good one to which to kill off those last couple hours of work.
  • Best Mascot Fights, Spiderman Meme Edition: Either grab your pocket constitution, fire up NBCSN at 1:30, and take in the COLONIAL CUP, when the George Washington Colonials take on the George Mason Patriots; or grab your red cape and fire up ESPN3 just 30 minutes later for the CS-Northridge Matadors versus the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. ¡Ole!
  • Obscure Sports Networks: PlutoTV is gone, but in its place we get the return of Don’t Watch This; Watch That favorite Stadium Sports! Yes, the C-USA Tournament—which I learned yesterday is, like an AAU tournament, played on two courts side-by-side in some random-ass hall in Frisco—is bringing back its Stadium and Facebook broadcasts. The Big Sky Tournament, found yesterday on PlutoTV channels 230 and 231, takes its talents up the dial to Eleven Sports Network, seen by approximately 30 people.
  • It’s late and I’m drunk: Watch Montana State-Eastern Washington on Stadium (free online/app). They play fast, and they don’t play much defense. Or there’s Bill Walton After Dark, as the Pac-12 Tournament tips off with Utah facing whoever the winner of Oregon and Washington State was (it’s late and I’m not rewriting this shit in the morning). Otherwise there’s always Long Beach coach Dan Monson’s flopsweat on ESPN3.

Here’s the schedule, and this is your open thread. Behave.