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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Recaps: Illinois, Michigan avoid embarrassment

Plus, have you ever watched a 7’ pair of sentient eyebrows destroy an entire team? You should stop and do that.

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

No Big Ten teams went down in flames this weekend, but a couple of ranked squads really tried their best—here’s what happened, and we’ll tell you what to look for this week in just a little bit.

Illinois Fighting Illini 77, Ohio University Bobcats 75

Thump: SHEESH.

Illinois nearly joined the Big Ten’s elite by establishing a routine whereby they lose a head-scratcher non-con game and everyone goes “LOL so much for that” and then they go on to just smash the Big Ten anyway.

Buuuuuuut then Ayo Dosunmu happened.

Iowa Hawkeyes 103, Southern Jaguars 76

Stew: Luka Garza outscored southern by hilarious in the first half, and notched 41 points on an efg% of >100%. He’s pretty good.

Joe’s Wieskamp looked good, too, ale to knock down 3s and also driving to the rim. He’s going to need to be more consistent this year. Otherwise Keegan Murray and Patrick McCaffery are really promising newcomers and will contribute to the team this year.

Still haven’t seen Jack Nunge yet, as he’s been with family after his dad suddenly passed away.

Maryland Terrapins 79, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers 61

DJ Carver: Riding that struggle bus today. Well, struggle for 34min then pull away and play defense. Missed the first half. Friendsgiving today. Glad it was the phantom “team can’t miss from 3” game at least.

Andrew K: MSM was hitting 3s at an unsustainable rate early, so you weren’t in serious danger, but roll out that zone all the time and that’s going to happen against teams with better defense.

You gave them plenty of good looks, I don’t want to make this sound like a fluke.

Michigan Wolverines 81, Oakland Golden Grizzlies 71 (OT)

MNW: Despite having 7’1” frosh C Hunter Dickinson running the “Be tall” play inside to great effect, Michigan struggled to actually shoot the ball—turns out Chaundee Brown going 1/10 from outside isn’t a GREAT idea.

Thankfully—if you’re a Michigan fan—Isaiah Livers banged home 5 of 7 from deep, including one in OT, and the hot streak of Golden Grizz guard Jalen Moore finally wore out in overtime. But eventually Michigan’s gonna have to get some turnover and defensive shit figured out, because they sure looked indifferent from broad stretches of this game.

Oh, and this happened, according to Thump:

Michigan State Spartans 80, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 70

Andrew K: The final margin MSU settled for against Notre Dame—a 10-point win—suggests the game was competitive, but as we all know, science is a liar sometimes. MSU’s defense froze Notre Dame at 26 points for roughly 9 minutes of game time, overlapping with a 28-2 MSU run that made the last quarter of the game garbage time.

When Aaron Henry and Marcus Bingham are out there simultaneously, good luck scoring. Yes, I’m talking to you, about your team, regardless of who you think you have that won’t struggle against MSU.

Now, off to crash back to earth against Dook, as is tradition.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 88, Loyola Marymount Lions 73

WSR: Marcus Carr is good. 28 points and 8 assists paced the Gophers, while the two transfers (Liam Robbins and the wonderfully named Both Gach) chipped in 27 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Loyola Marymount.

I have no idea what to say other than “2-0 is a good start.” I hope I’ll have a better idea after the Gophers play Loyola Marymount tonight, but I doubt it.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 79, North Dakota State Bison 57

Jesse Collins: Dalano Banton is good.

Ohio State Buckeyes 74, UMass Lowell River Hawks 64

MNW: This one was tied with just six minutes after, and only a Duane Washington Jr. three—one of his three on 11 attempts—with a minute left put this one out of reach for the Buckeyes.

A Lowell zone slowed down the Ohio State offense, which struggled to sink outside looks and, for some reason, could not impose their will despite the size advantages offered by C Zed Key against an undersized River Hawks front line.

I don’t have anything else here. I did research in the papers of Paul Tsongas at UMass-Lowell once. That’s something? They just left me alone in the upstairs stacks of all their papers. Old swords and random shit on the shelves. That was cool.

Penn State Nittany Lions 86, VMI Keydets 65

The Lions’ tempo and defensive pressure forced 25 VMI turnovers and got Jim Ferry his first win as head coach at Penn State. It was a pretty inefficient bombs-away afternoon for State, which shot 11/36 from deep, but Jamari Wheeler had a career-high 18.

Seems like a good win. We’ll learn more when they play VCU tomorrow.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 70, Hofstra Pride 56

MNW: Knights kept the Pride at arm’s length for most of this one. Shooting remains a concern, and Rutgers didn’t actually clean up the offensive glass like the clang-and-bang is usually good for, but Ron Harper Jr. (15 pts), Montez Mathis (14), and Jacob Young (17) were just straight better than Hofstra, while Paul Mulcahy—who, my word, is a thiccboi—made the hustle plays and exciting frosh C Cliff Omoruyi rose for a dunk that said yeah, this Rutgers team has some athletes.

It’s the same Rutgers equation you’re used to, but the quality of the player at the back end—even if the Knights only really ran about 7 deep—is better. I don’t know if I’m seeing Top 25 for the whole season, but this is a squad that should be on the right side of the bubble; a Cincinnati-under-Cronin-esque club that is 40 minutes of tackle basketball.

wisconsin badgers 92, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions 58

MC ClapYoHandz: Wisconsin went into the 12-minute TV timeout with a 25-0 lead on Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and I think that’s about all the detail we need for this one. With all the chaos of this year and no non-conference football games, it’s been nice to see some normalcy in basketball’s cupcake season. After another tuneup with Green Bay, the Badgers get Marquette on Friday. That one will start differently.


Who had the best weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Sparty beats Notre Dame
    (57 votes)
  • 42%
    Luka Garza eats Jaguar
    (71 votes)
  • 12%
    Penn State gets win #1
    (21 votes)
  • 10%
    (17 votes)
166 votes total Vote Now


The more fun question: Who had the WORST weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Illinois nearly drops one to Ohio
    (31 votes)
  • 72%
    Michigan goes to OT with Oakland, Juwan Howard screams at players
    (129 votes)
  • 2%
    OSU scuffles with the Fightin’ Tsongas
    (4 votes)
  • 8%
    wisconsin fails to win by 40.
    (15 votes)
179 votes total Vote Now

Schedule, previews, and a hoops open thread to come by later in the day. Let us know what you saw in the weekend of Big Ten basketball.