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Iowa, Ohio State with a shot at Sweet 16; Tim Miles’ Last Last Ride: Sunday Basketball Previews, Open Thread

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This is exhausting and exhilarating and LET’S GET DAY-DRUNK ON SUNDAY.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Nebraska vs Rutgers
THE NEXT COACH OF HAWAII BASKETBALL
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, this is all still happening.

After going 7-w through the Round of 64, the Big Ten produced a couple corkers on Saturday...and also whatever Michigan State-Minnesota and Purdue-Villanova were.

But there’s a lot more happening today! Three Big Ten teams have punched their tickets for the Sweet 16, but two more could today—albeit by pulling off improbably upsets. Beyond that, the awkwardness of Tim Miles making a slow, painful exit from Nebrasketball as the Huskers publicly thirst for Fred Hoiberg’s jock makes for appointment basketball viewing, and three women’s squads make their go at the Sweet 16 as well.

Like I said. Exhausting.

NCAA Tournament

[10] Iowa Hawkeyes vs. [2] Tennessee Volunteers

South Regional: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
11:10am | CBS | Tenn -8 | O/U 155.5

The three-point shooting and eyebrow prowess of Hawkeyes’ C Luka Garza (and the old man game of Ryan Kriener, I suppose) has garnered some national attention, but...boy, it’s a good thing Cincinnati was so inept on offense in the second half of that game. Iowa has real defensive problems on the interior, and here are Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams.

And, if the ball gets inside to those two, there’s Jordan Bone on the outside waiting to tear Iowa apart, unless their rotations have suddenly gotten a lot better.

For me, the Hawks need to throw the everything AND the kitchen sink AND maybe Fran’s shoe at the Volunteers to keep in this one. It should be one of the fastest games of the day, but that tempo has to be to Iowa’s liking—they succeeded in pulling Cincy out of their comfort zone...but it’s unclear how they can do that to a longer, more athletic Tennessee club. Gonna need a HUGE day rom Jordan Bohannon, and that quiet 15 points from Nicholas Baer that seems to underline many a Hawkeyes upset.

Poll

What song will we hear over and over

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    A theologically-incorrect song about the availability of alcohol in the afterlife
    (11 votes)
  • 45%
    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD OLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD ROCKY TOP—[/commits seppuku]
    (9 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now

[11] Ohio State Buckeyes vs. [3] Houston Cougars

Midwest Regional: Bank of Oklahoma Arena, Tulsa, OK
7:40pm | TNT | UH -6 | O/U 132.5

I haven’t paid a lick of attention to Ohio State basketball in the Big Dance, and I am sure as hell not going to start now.

Poll

YEAH IT’S URBAN MEYER AND TOM HERMAN LET’S DO THIS THING

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    ...there are so many wrong things with this statement, I don’t know where to start
    (24 votes)
  • 20%
    OSU wins, more Dwayne Haskins please
    (12 votes)
  • 37%
    Cougars win
    (22 votes)
58 votes total Vote Now

Other NCAAT Games to Watch

There’s so much and it’s so good, I’ll give you bullets for each:

  • Washington-North Carolina (1:40pm, CBS): OK, so they’re not all good. This is still the Huskies club that runs a Boeheim zone and scored under 50 points in their conference championship. Get a snack or lunch around 2.
  • UCF-fuck Duke (4:15pm, TNT): Now we’re talking! Johnny Dawkins (along with son Aubrey and Very Tall Man Tacko Fall) taking the coach whose fortune he made. Oh, and Zion Williamson plays, too. But if you’re telling me you’d rather watch Zion than Tacko Fall, you might as well just go watch the NBA. Seriously. There’s the remote. Timberwolves and Grizzlies played a shitshow last night—you’d probably rather watch that. The Tacko Falls of the wonder are what make college basketball great.

Poll

Who would you rather watch?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Tacko Fall and college hoops
    (60 votes)
  • 10%
    Zion Williamson and the NBA fap-fest
    (7 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now
  • Buffalo-Texas Tech (5:10pm, TNT): I honestly don’t know the first thing about either of these teams, which is dumb. Like, I can tell you their coaches are Nate Oats and Chris Beard—because those are great names—and that Nick Perkins for UB is really good inside. That’s about it. Oh, and that I wish Northwestern would’ve gotten (but then wasted) Matt Mooney.
  • Liberty-Virginia Tech (6:10pm, TBS): Fuck Liberty. Go Buzz Williams, you beautiful, sweaty Sontaran.
  • Oklahoma-Virginia (6:45pm, TruTV): I’m glad that, as the field narrows and the TV slots are winnowed down, OKU-UVA is the clunker that gets shunted to TruTV. Enjoy your Impractical Jokers and Tacoma PD commercials, asshats. I bet Sooner fans fucking LOVE Tacoma PD, and Hoos-bros think Impractical Jokers are TOTALLY FUCKING HILARIOUS also did you know I’m starting Darden this fall
  • UC Irvine-Oregon (8:40pm, TBS): You’ve done us all your great service, Oregon. Now get out of the way so our Large Anteater Sons can do the goddamn thing. Go UCI.

The NIT

[4] Nebraska Cornhuskers at [1] TCU Horned Frogs

8:30pm | ESPNU | TCU -3.5

As I watched Nebrasketball build that lead over Butler and then try to piss every...last...point of it away, I felt for the players, for Tim Miles, for the whole damn outfit. Here was a group and program that put over 10K asses in the seats at Pinnacle Bank Arena (as the UNL BB tweet noted, the best of the 16 first-round sites and triple the average of the other 15), and raised a ton of money (almost $30K, last I saw) to help victims of the catastrophic flooding.

And then they won.

Tim Miles and the Huskers are the epitome of house money—hell, walk-on/instant legend Johnny fuckin’ Trueblood hit consecutive layups to stretch the Huskers’ lead—and it’s just fun to watch.

Plus, if you’re wondering “Hey, why the sudden B1G solidarity on a site that hates B1G solidarity?” Imagine if UNL wins the whole goddamn thing. I don’t care that Penn State is a poster child for the NIT not actually mattering in the grand scheme of things; imagine moribund Nebrasketball and AD Bill Moos holding a presser a few days after the NIT thanking tournament-winning coach Tim Miles for his services, but terminating him.

It’s not going to happen—UNL won’t have the depth to run with the Clemsons, Texases, and even Indianas left in the NIT—but imagine if it did. Imagine the division in the Husker fanbase. That’s the schadenfreude you come to OTE for.

NCAA Women’s Tournament

[8] Michigan vs. [1] Louisville

11am | ESPN2 (regional)

[2] Iowa vs. [7] Mizzou

1pm | ESPN (regional)

[10] Indiana vs. [2] Oregon

8pm | ESPN2 (regional

Not a ton of surprise or intrigue here, just the straightforward business of the early rounds of the NCAA Women’s Tourney—high seeds roll.

...oh yeah, unless they’re Iowa. The Fightin’ Megan Gustafsons barely squeaked by the Mercer Bears, avoiding becoming the first 2-seed to lose to a 15-seed...ever. The Hawks had nearly as many turnovers as Gustafson did points. Meanwhile, they’ll face a Mizzou club that bested Drake (a team Iowa already beat in 2018-19) in overtime. Could be a good one.

As for Michigan and Indiana—they have to win, on the road, at top-seed Louisville—who’s getting their coach back after he served a one-game suspension against the 16-seed, which, bullshit—and 2-seed Oregon on their respective home courts. Good luck, Wolverines and Hoosiers.

WNIT: It’s A Thing!

Northwestern at Toledo

1pm | ESPN3

Minnesota at Cincinnati

2pm | Bearcats TV

You’re probably thinking—”wow, MNW, that’s selfish to only care about the WNIT because your team is in it.”

Fuck off; you didn’t even know it was happening. I will be eagerly streaming ‘Cats-Rockets on my second TV instead of watching UW-UNC. Go get ‘em, Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah. Go out with a bang and a deep WNIT run. Blizzards for everyone.

Full Schedule

As always, here you are:

Open Thread for the day. Don’t be assholes.