Tim Miles is the biggest goober in the world, and we’re extremely here for it.
If you were under a rock or something, you missed a lineup at the Big Ten Tournament that went, in order: Indiana coming back from 20 down; Nebraska holding off ranked Maryland with a 7-man lineup including Johnny Trueblood, which, lol; Penn State and Minnesota derping their way to overtime; and...nah, we’ll just leave it at that.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 69, #21 Maryland Terrapins 61
BigRedTwice: There is no one who thought that would happen aside from a few guys on the court wearing Nebraska jerseys. And I do mean “a few”--Nebraska is down to seven players, six of whom are scholarship players. Star James Palmer, Jr. played 40 minutes less than 24 hours. That Nebraska managed to keep five players on the floor for the duration, without losing them to fouls or other miscellany, is little short of miraculous in and of itself.
But they didn’t just do that. They won. In fact, they led all but a couple minutes of the game. Much is being made of Turgeon’s failures, and that’s probably fair--Maryland should have won this game, no matter how you slice it. But in doing that, don’t discount the insane amount of hustle and effort the Huskers put forth. They had a good plan, they followed it. They fought for every rebound, even though Maryland is a far taller team. The guys in red were all but oozing effort.
After the game, the BTN crew jokingly asked PG Glynn Watson, Jr. how many days he’d packed for, probably anticipating that the guy would say he was down to his final pair of socks. In complete earnestness, Watson said “I packed for Sunday.” However unlikely I think this, it’s clear that this team has decided to have themselves one last stand, to go down swinging, because they have nothing to lose. And boy, it’s fun to watch. Here’s to Glynn’s Sunday socks.
DJ Carver: It’s like Mark Turgeon is just a dude watching this team play. You listen to him speak and he talks like he is not even a part of the damn equation. I am beyond words at this point to describe how bad that loss was. Fire him, and do it now.
Turgeon: “We got the fourth-youngest team, we played the eighth-toughest schedule. We’ve overcome a lot. We’ll overcome this. We just didn’t play well today. We’ll get ourselves ready to go and hopefully play better in the NCAA Tournament.”
Fucking more excuses and man, I hope we get betters. I hate this.
Ohio State Buckeyes 79, Indiana Hoosiers 75
It was a pretty common refrain before this game that it functioned as a play-in game to the Big Dance: The winning team would have odds, through ESPN’s BPI, of about 80% to make the tournament; the losing team would sit around 10%.
And yet, inexplicably, Indiana came out flat, as Kaleb Wesson bullied the Hoosiers inside—and stepped out to hit a three—and Keyshawn Woods added 10 of his own to take a healthy, if ugly, halftime lead. Then, coming out in the second half, the Buckeyes put the pedal down, with Kaleb returning from suspension in a big way and Luther Muhammad making a pair of threes. The lead was 20. This one was over.
Then Indiana went on a 13-0 run. Something called Evan Fitzner hit a three. De’Ron Davis had a layup fall. The Hoosiers were getting offensive rebounds, trapping the Buckeyes in the backcourt, and playing like they should have for the full 40, not just seven and a half minutes.
And, ultimately, there’s the lesson when Indiana misses the NCAA Tournament: It was their disappearance for stretches—in whole games, not just stretches of halves—in eminently winnable games. Write it on the Hoosiers’ 2019 tombstone, unless they’re suddenly good enough for the NIT. I won’t hold my breath.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 77, Penn State Nittany Lions 72
This was ugly. Let’s not speak of it any further. [Unless WSR decides to add something into this article, in which case he will.]
WSR: I didn’t watch it, but plenty of my friends complained and we won.
Iowa Hawkeyes 83, Illinois Fighting Illini 62
Stewmonkey13: I did not see that coming.
A blowout win? Looking good, passing well? 25 assists on 31 buckets is awesome to see. And we haven’t really seen that in more than a month. Really good job at making the extra pass to expose the overly aggressive defense from Illinois.
Thumpasaurus: I guess I can take solace in the fact that regardless of what this game’s score was, Iowa is apparently still an extremely terrible team, possibly worse than Illinois, if the insiders are to be believed.
 Ohio State Buckeyes vs.  Michigan State Spartans
11:30am | BTN | MSU -11 | O/U 135
OSU: 19-13 (8-12 B1G), KP 45, NET 55
MSU: 25-6 (16-4), KP 4, NET 8
MC ClapYoHandz: Hi all, it’s me! Your resident OSU and/or MSU expert! This game carries a lot of intrigue. MSU is heavily favored to win and potentially help set up another edition of The B1G’s Best Rivalry with Wisconsin, but lately OSU has been playing an exciting brand of basketball, consisting mainly of either coming back from huge deficits or flirting with a collapse of their own. If erotic asphyxiation is your jam then the B1G quarterfinals are kicking off in style.
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 Nebraska vs.  wisconsin badgers
1:55pm | BTN | wisc -7.5 | O/U 127
UNL: 18-15 (6-14), KP 40, NET 52
wisc: 22-9 (14-6), KP 12, NET 15
BRT: Delighted as I was to watch Nebraska’s unexpected victory (actually, both of them), I can’t in full sanity predict a continuation of the trend. Eventually, the fatigue is going to have to catch up with these guys--sure, they’re 22 and amazingly in-shape athletes, but even they must have limits. And I think we may find out where they are tomorrow.
That said, I also don’t think we’ll see the Huskers quit. It doesn’t seem to be a part of their MO (nor, I have to say, has it been all year, rotten as parts of this season have been). I’m hoping to see them give the Badgers hell, and for each of these guys, particularly Palmer, Watson, and Trueblood, to have incredible games. And hey, if they can somehow pull another rabbit out of their hat, who among us would complain?
Beez: The betting line feels too big. Once Nebraska beat down Maryland, in what has to be a top 2 non-Wisconsin game for me this year in terms of enjoyment, it became clear that no amount of Nebraska winning should surprise anyone going forward. Except maybe winning the NCAAT.
I’m just excited there’s basketball on, and it involves my favorite college basketball team! I have no expectations or worries/cares for this game. I’m preeeeeetty sure Wisconsin will be a 5 in the NCAAT and the trendy pick for a 12 v. 5 upset, as it is every year Wisconsin gets a 5 seed. Mostly I’m hoping nobody gets hurt, followed hoping for a good game, followed by hoping for Wisconsin to win and advance to get some revenge against Indiana.
MC ClapYoHandz: Beez, you ignorant slut. The expectation is to win the game. Yes, Nebraska is a feel-good story with their lack of their D1 players and their uber-amiable coach that politely requests dumping water on him when his team botches his BTN locker room celebration moment. But there is no joy in losing to a half-team of dead tired players that could very well be playing 4-on-5 at the end of this one. Plus, in an OTE economy already designed to have Wisconsin fans drink from a fire hose, the stakes here are high. Get the win and lock up that 4 seed.
Beez: I am informed that Indiana did not, in fact, win yesterday, making it impossible for Wisconsin and Indiana to meet win the BTT semifinals. In unrelated news, I have fired my researcher.
How should Tim Miles celebrate this time?
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Take a bite of a jelly donut, but have the jelly squirt out the other end and onto his white shirt
Do the Carlton and throw out his back
Try to hug Lil’ Red, who performs the Dementor’s Kiss on him
wisconsin wins :(
 Minnesota vs.  Purdue Boilermakers
6pm | BTN
MN: 20-12 (9-11), KP 46, NET 56
Purdue: 23-8 (16-4), KP 10, NET 12
Boilerman31: Ahh, March Madness. I love this time of year. Time for Matt Painter’s Merry Band of Misfits to bring their show to the UC.
I’m not a huge fan of this matchup. Minnesota played physical enough to disrupt Carsen Edwards last time. Here’s hoping Ryan Cline, Matt Haarms, and Nojel Eastern are up to the task of keeping him out of Heroball mode. If so, I think the Boilers win going away. If not, it will be a grind.
WSR: I’m not going to watch it, but hopefully my friends complain a lot and we win.
Gopher magic part 2?
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 Iowa vs.  Michigan Wolverines
8:25pm | BTN
IA: 22-10 (10-10), KP 34, NET 43
MI: 26-5 (15-5), KP 6, NET 10
Stew: This isn’t a terrible matchup, if Iowa is looking like they did last night. The key would be getting Brazdeikis and John Teske into foul trouble. From there, I think Iowa might have a shot. But then again, they could just as easily turn back into the pumpkin they’ve been the last month and get blown the fuck out.
When you think about it, Beilein-Franimal is kind of the reverse of Harbaugh-Ferentz.
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No, you’re wrong.
Yeah, so what?
What else is on?
I’ll be honest—I’ve got a drive ahead of me today, so I’ll get to watch very little of this unless I magically pull a Houston radio feed heading across wisconsin or something. (No, my 2007 Ford does not have Sirius XM, thanks.)
You missed some good stuff yesterday, though—and not just Bill Walton’s ramblings as Oregon and Utah offended the sensibilities of basketball fans everywhere. The #7 Texas Tech Red Raiders saw their dreams of a 2-seed crumble under the press of Huggy Bear and the West Virginia Mountaineers, Ahmad Caver hit a late 3 to help Old Dominion see off Louisiana Tech, Montana held off Sacramento State amid great advertisements for Mountain Dew on Eleven Sports, and it turns out Gauchos beat Matadors. If you don’t know what those last two things are, there’s a reason to tune in today—you’ll be on the outside looking in, otherwise.
- AACtion: Look, if you aren’t amused by Tacko Fall, by ignoring the UCF you’re missing out on Aubrey Dawkins, son of coach Johnny Dawkins, hitting shots from 35 feet away. The Knights play some fun inside-out hoops, and they’ll be tested by Memphis. Tune in after OSU-Michigan State for some fun.
- Anyone doing the A10? I’ll be honest—I tried to watch some of Rhode Island-La Salle today, and I just couldn’t get into it. True, the Rams romping over the hapless Explorers might’ve had something to do with it, but the conference doesn’t do a ton for me. VCU Rams is fine, of course, with their top-10 defense, and Davidson and Bob McKillop will be plodding along until the end of time...but maybe I just need to give NBCSN another chance. It’s so weird tuning in and seeing it not be Premier League soccer or Rugby Sevens, though.
- Speaking of... Seriously, if you have any way of watching a bit of the streaming service channels like Eleven, the Big Sky is actually a hot mess of decently-fun basketball. Montana held off a challenge from a game Sacramento State, and Eastern Washington-Montana State was fast, fun, and frisky. We’re almost out of the weeds on these, so you’ll be able to watch them on ESPNU or whatever soon, but there’s nothing wrong with broadening your horizons, too.
- Yes, the big boys are playing. No doubt Florida State-Virginia will be slow and stupid, and Villanova is rounding into late-season form just in time for another dumb chalk Big East pick. Oh, and Zion Williamson and Duke play North Carolina. Enjoying hearing about that and nothing but that all day.
- I’m awake and drunk... Me too! You have the option of Bill Walton After Dark in the Pac-12 Tournament semis on ESPN, with Arizona State playing...I don’t know. Maybe I’ll update this. If you’re reading it, though, I didn’t. Otherwise I’ll take some Big West Tournament action from Anaheim, as the Gauchos take on the Cal State Fullerton Titans at 10:59pm CT on ESPN. Something in that milieu will work.
- Go Marquette.
Here’s your open thread; behave.