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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Previews

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Ohio State has a marquee showdown with Indiana, Maryland takes on Iowa, and ILLINUTGERS is back to titillate us all.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve seen what happened this week...

...now let’s prepare for the weekend.

Friday, January 10

#12 Maryland Terrapins at Iowa Hawkeyes

6pm | FS1 | MD -2 | O/U 146.5

DJ: Maryland travels to Iowa tonight to take on the depleted Hawkeyes, which is always a recipe for success for Maryland. I look forward to Maryland struggling to score for the first 6-8 minutes, which is apparently compulsory even against Iowa’s shit defense, and then clawing back into the game.

Look for Daryl Morsell to cover Wieskamp to attempt to limit his three point shooting while they’ll largely allow Jalen Smith to take on Luka Garza 1-on-1 after doing a great job shutting down Wesson on Tuesday night.

I’m not sure which random bench player/walk on from Iowa goes 6-8 from deep tonight but someone is definitely doing it to keep this game interesting. Maryland wins, uncomfortably.

Stew: Iowa finally back home for their 3rd game in 6 days. Oh great it’s against a underperforming, yet incredibly talented Maryland team. CJ Frederick is still out so Iowa is probably going to go with a bigger lineup, with more Ryan Kriener. Iowa’s perimeter defense is going to be poor, as a result, so expect Maryland to shoot effectively from deep should they so choose.

On offense Maryland can simply put their best perimeter defender on Joe Wieskamp, and pack the paint to try and limit Luka Garza. This worked out beautifully for UNL, as Iowa attempted to shoot them out of that defense (33 3pt shots attempted), and failed miserably, making only 4. If Maryland doesn’t do this, they’re idiots.

Poll

Does Maryland do this?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Yes, wins easily
    (19 votes)
  • 29%
    No, loses
    (8 votes)
27 votes total Vote Now

Saturday, January 11

#11 Ohio State Buckeyes at Indiana Hoosiers

11am | FOX

DJ: Oh, look! Another nationally televised game for the Hoosiers to shit the bed on! Look for Ohio State to take out their aggression on the flailing Indiana team that competes until about 13 to 12 way through the second half before throwing the towels in. Wesson will dominate inside and open the perimeter up. I don’t expect this one to be close after Maryland was up 30 at one point on Indiana last weekend.

C4B: Here are the facts, as I know them:

  • Fact: Indiana looked terrible against Northwestern, a worrying sign for a lot of reasons.
  • Fact: Indiana somehow did not lose to Northwestern, which in theory gives them momentum. In theory.
  • Fact: Indiana hosts a ranked team for a Saturday game, a scenario that Indiana basketball has been surprisingly good at taking down for most of the last decade.
  • Fact: Despite having a worse record than the Hoosiers, Ohio State is favored in this game.

What all of that means, I’m not actually sure, but either Indiana is going to do the thing, or they’re going to lose and look bad doing it.

Poll

So which does it mean?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Indiana does the damn thing
    (17 votes)
  • 66%
    Indiana loses, looks bad doing it
    (33 votes)
50 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Illinois Fighting Illini

11am | BTN

This is such an important matchup that Thumpasaurus already has his own preview out. Go take a look!

My prediction is that Illinois smacks rutgers back to reality in a game that will be ass ugly from a viewability perspective.

Poll

ILLINUTGERS

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    ILLIN
    (34 votes)
  • 57%
    UTGERS
    (46 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

Wisconsin Badgers at #20 Penn State Nittany Lions

1:15pm | BTN

Beez: I am v done trying to figure out or predict anything Wisconsin 2020 is going to do, but I will continue to be annoyed that Wisconsin lost 2-3 games in 2019 because Micah Potter had to sit out a year and a half after transferring.

Anyway, PSU is not actual garbage anymore. They get Wisconsin at home, which seems advantageous, but this is the same Wisconsin team that won at Tennessee and Ohio State before promptly shitting the bed at home against a thoroughly bubble Illinois squad.

Aaron Yorke: Penn State hasn’t lost at the Bryce Jordan Center yet this season, but the toughest team it’s played there is Alabama. The Badgers ought to be a tougher test, but one that PSU needs to conquer if we’re going to keep seriously talking about it as a tournament team. The schedule ahead doesn’t let up, and while this Wisconsin team has shown potential, the Illinois loss shows that it’s not going to remind anyone of the Frank Kaminsky days.

Lamar Stevens continues to get much of the focus from broadcasters, but with the emergence of Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington, the offense is more than just a one-trick pony. I’d like to see talented freshman Seth Lundy get more involved after the team-wide slump in the second half at Rutgers.

Poll

Badgers in the Blue Tomb. Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Lions
    (38 votes)
  • 34%
    Skunks
    (20 votes)
58 votes total Vote Now

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats

3:30pm | BTN

MNW: Movable force, stoppable object!

Northwestern can’t rebound. Nebraska can’t rebound. Northwestern can’t shoot. Nebraska can’t shoot! Northwestern has approximately five scholarship players. Nebraska has approximately five scholarship players!

These are all very exciting things in the race to the bottom of the Big Ten. I only regret that I will have to dual-monitor this one, as I will be busy watching the Vikings lose in typical Vikings fashion to the San Francisco 49ers and tearing my hair out/rage-drinking.

My wife actually asked me yesterday if I wanted to go to a birthday party/secondary game-watch at a brewery in St. Paul for some of her friends during this. No, Packer fan wife, I do not want to watch playoff football at a crowded brewery with a group where my main friends consist of a Bears and Broncos fan. I want to sit on my own couch and pout like the man that I am.

Anyway I think this is the game where [/spins wheel] Ryan Young scores 25 and grabs 11 boards -- ‘Cats by 10. Why the fuck not.

Poll

Who wins the latest race to the bottom?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Huskers at home should be good enough
    (20 votes)
  • 15%
    ‘Cats win this slapfight
    (9 votes)
  • 51%
    I dunno who wins, but MNW loses
    (31 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now

Sunday, January 12

#8 Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers

11am | CBS

BMan: Before I sip some more Woodford and head into Oblivion. Much of this game will depend on whether or not Matt Haarms can play. Coming off a double OT game and playing Sunday afternoon is not ideal. Thompson and Stefanovic have to have good games with Jahaad Proctor chipping in.

If Matt Painter can continue to get this team moving in the right direction, good things will happen. I fear the fatigue factor. Sparty wins but Purdue makes it interesting.

Andrew: MSU now begins to pay the price for its extended homestand to open the Big Ten slate with a road trip to Purdue. This Boilermaker team doesn’t quite have the edge of other recent vintages, and as I write this it’s not clear if Matt Haarms will be able to go after a hip injury sidelined him for much of the Michigan game.

Whether he can play or not, Purdue will presumably look to go through Trevion Williams after his career day against Michigan. The Wolverines refused to send doubles at Williams and he made them pay, consistently beating even good defense from Jon Teske. MSU can throw more bodies at him, and should probably consider digging as well, though they just had good success against Minnesota by staying home on shooters and letting Daniel Oturu get his numbers.

MSU can probably count on something like 40 points from Winston and Tillman. Winning in this building will require someone else to get in double figures, probably Aaron Henry. MSU often has a multi-game stumble in the middle of conference play, and it just sort of feels like it either starts here or the next roadie @Indiana. Color me hesitant.

Poll

Now that Sparty has to head on the road, do they still win?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Nah. Mackey Magic is real.
    (24 votes)
  • 67%
    Unfortunately, they DO win.
    (49 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now

#19 Michigan Wolverines at Minnesota Golden Gophers

12pm | BTN


Here’s your open thread for the weekend’s basketball! Behave.