Well...that was unexpected.
With an also-ran 10-seed and perhaps the most popular 6-11 upset pick playing on Tuesday, a 3-2 day for the conference was completely within the realm of possibility. And, instead, every single team pulled it out—and Maryland wasn’t even the most embarrassing showing of the day!
Here’s how it happened.
 Minnesota Golden Gophers 86,  Louisville Cardinals 76
Jordan Murphy was unstoppable and Gabe Kalscheur showed us a game where he put it all together. He’s far and away the best guard from in-state to play in the B1G in ages. The starters scored every point and all but 18 minute, but that’s what it took. We looked absolutely dominant yesterday at times, and hopefully that can carry forward to Saturday.
Next Up: vs.  Michigan State (Saturday, 6:45pm, CBS)
 Michigan State Spartans 76,  Bradley Braves 65
Andrew Kraszewski: Loaf of bread is down to one squished piece and the heel? Great, that’s all we need anyway. No lunch meat? Not too much of a problem, we’ll just pivot to PB&J. Ehhh...nothing but grape left. Well, just going to have to take these grapey lemons and make - and I’ve tripped over the dog and the slice of bread with the peanut butter is now face down on the ground.
All of which is to say that this time of year, survive and advance to dinner, even if it means eating 2 bowls of cereal for lunch with 1 bowl of cereal worth of milk left.
After nearly choking to death on a PB&J that was one of the weakest teams in the field, yet started the game 6/9 from deep and held a halftime lead? No problems at all with your already-burdened star point guard playing the entire second half and needing to go 25/26 from the stripe as a team to put away a 15 seed, right?
Look, going into this year I thought, whatever else happened, if MSU got back into the Sweet Sixteen and looked teed up for a big season next year, I’d be fine with it. They’re now one game away from that, AND they raised both banners they already played for. The only thing left before I call this season an unqualified success is a conference opponent MSU flattened in their only meeting, albeit one that’s played better of late and just went all Inigo Montoya on their opponent. I can’t imagine both McQuaid and Goins will both be that ineffective again on Saturday. But today was a reminder that their margin for error is actually still pretty small with the group they’re rolling with.
(If it’s not clear, playing Connor George for like 6 straight minutes in the first half of a one-possession NCAAT game is dropping your last bread facedown, which is to say: not. Ideal.)
Next Up: vs.  Minnesota (Saturday, 6:45pm, CBS)
 Maryland Terrapins 79,  Belmont Bruins 77
MNW: When reached for comment, all DJ Carver did was just keep yelling about Jalen Smith’s dunk. So here it is again:
Next Up: vs.  LSU Tigers (Saturday, 11:10am, CBS)
 Michigan Wolverines 74,  Montana Grizzlies 55
Just a drawn-out strangulation. It was, like, 23-9 midway through the first half. If you wasted your time on this one, you’re already a Michigan fan, so you’ve got it bad enough.
Next Up: vs.  Florida Gators (Saturday, 4:15pm, CBS)
 Purdue Boilermakers 61,  Old Dominion Monarchs 48
Carsen Edwards takes up most of the air in West Lafayette, 26 points on 23 shots, ho hum, you know this song and dance. Oh, and Nojel Eastern rolled his ankle pretty bad in warmups, meaning we were treated to the usual “PURDUE IS CURSED IN THE DANCE” takes until he came back in late and played 10 minutes. Or maybe they’re still cursed. I don’t know or care.
If there’s a problem I’m pointing to for Purdue besides Eastern, it’s the very real lack of a second scorer last night. Ryan Cline had a hand in his face all night and was—holy shit, he really was—1/11 from deep for 5 points, while Matt Haarms was second banana with 13, though he fouled out. When Matt Haarms is second banana, you worry.
Next Up: vs.  Villanova Wildcats (Saturday, 7:40pm, TNT)
Thump: Hey, all the Illini wrestlers lost by the end of today! No need to let a six year absence from the shootyhoops tournament stop me from being disafuckingppointed by Illinois!
Murray State Racers 83,  Marquette Golden Eagles 64
MNW: Fuck. Ja Morant is really, really good. That sucked.