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Midweek Big Ten Basketball Previews: Illinois-Baylor caps off B1G start to week

It’s been a mixed bag for Indiana in “Maui”, Northwestern finally gets around to starting its season, and with three teams in the Top 5, can Illinois cement the conference’s reputation with a win over Baylor?

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

Finals Weeks are...approaching? Already here? Not happening?

Regardless, a first week of Big Ten basketball is in the book, and we’ve got your recaps and more here:

The Big Ten leads the way in the latest AP Top 25 poll, going straight 3-4-5 to round out the best of the best, with #3 Iowa, #4 wisconsin (wait, what), and #5 Illinois bringing the conference muscle:

But we’re going to start up on the week’s action in hoops in the meantime. We’ll have rolling previews as your favorite OTE writers can make them available, so feel free to hop to the bottom for a schedule and open thread of the midweek Big Ten hoops games.

Big Ten Games

All times CT.

Monday, November 30

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Providence Friars

1:30pm | ESPN2 | IU -1.5 | O/U 137
Maui Invitational, Asheville, NC


Oh yeah, also Indiana basketball or whatever. The Hoosiers blew out Tennessee Tech last week, with sophomore phenom Trayce Jackson-Davis grabbing a double-double. In Masheville, as I’m now calling it, they’ll run up against Ed Cooley’s squad, where the unfortunately-named but very good David Duke is an All-Big East-caliber guard. Despite losing Alpha Diallo, the Friars bring an inside threat with C Nate Watson adding an inside threat that should test the Hoosiers.

Just a solid, good-to-watch midday Big Ten-Big East showdown. Fire up that second monitor and enjoy some non-Maui hoops.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Loyola Marymount Lions

7pm | BTN | Minn -14 | O/U 152


WSR: “Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota, the Gophers are only allowed to play one opponent during a three-day span at home. LMU will replace North Dakota State.”

Tuesday, December 1

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies

2pm | BTN

Here’s a pro tip, Boilers: Don’t chuck contested threes and allow Jalen Moore to try and single-handedly win this game.

But seriously, if you thought the Golden Grizz struggled with Hunter Dickinson, you should watch what Zach Edey and Trevion Williams are going to do to them on the inside. It’s gonna be a damn massacre.

#4 wsconsin badgers vs. Green Bay Phoenix

4pm | BTN

Greg Gard vs. the coach who will, in three years’ time, replace him.

Fuck Bo.

Maryland Terrapins vs. Towson Tigers

6pm | BTN

Maryland has reportedly weathered its “almost lose to a hot-shooting team” non-conference game, so I see no reason to (1) learn about Towson or (2) learn about Maryland, for that matter.

#8 Michigan State Spartans at #6 Duke Blue Devils

6:30pm | ESPN

Andrew K: Wouldn’t be a non-conference slate without MSU challenging the MonStars with like 2 games of warmup. And oh, look at that, of Duke’s four top-30 incoming freshmen, we have Milwaukee, Chicagoland, and DMV products. This would be why our conference doesn’t win championships, btw, but that’s neither here nor there.

MSU at least has the bodies to throw at Jalen Johnson and the Bloodevull front court, but I’m nervous about the PG situation.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. South Dakota Coyotes

8pm | BTN

The ‘Yotes aren’t exactly undersized, with 6’11” stiffs in Montenegrin forward Nikola Zizic and Nebraskan Brady Heiman, but successive blowouts in Manhattan by Colorado and Drake really don’t inspire much confidence in USD here.

Wednesday, December 2

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Stanford Cardinal

12:30pm | ESPN | Stan -1.5 | O/U 137
Third-Place Game, Maui Invitational

After a creditable start against Providence on Monday, the wheels fell off for the Hoosiers against #17 Texas yesterday. Four field goals by halftime, eleven total for the game.


The tough talk on this being Archie Miller’s last season in Bloomington is back in full gear, as another good day at the office from Trayce Jackson-Davis couldn’t cover up an abysmal shooting day for the Hoosiers, who managed just 10 threes and only buried two. Against the Shaka Smart Chia Pet Press, Indiana...yeah. ‘Nuff said.

Things get a little easier today, but Stanford is playing good basketball under former Kansas assistant Jerod Haase. Senior F Oscar Da Silva—whose impressive academic credentials Bill Walton sure enjoyed gushing about—presents a dynamic stretch forward who can step outside and shoot, and the Cardinal will trot out a lineup nine deep where all but two guards are over 6’6”. SIX FOOT SIX.

[Insert Redwood joke here.]

Cardinal by 10.

#23 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Morehead State Eagles

4pm | BTN | OSU -24.5 | O/U 137.5

The Eagles are bad, though they have a win over Arkansas State—but they’ve been noncompetitive in losses to Kentucky and Richmond. Forward Johni Broome—who’s quite a body at 6’10”—will present an interesting defensive matchup for Justice Sueing and the Buckeye front-court, but this one should be a breeze.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. VCU Rams

4pm | FS1 | PSU -4.5 | O/U 143

Holy shit, VCU turned over its entire starting lineup—all five graduated or moved on.

A backcourt of Nah’Shon Hyland, Keshawn Curry, and Adrian Baldwin Jr., with off Jimmy Clark III off the bench, will harass the Nittany Lions backcourt, and Vince Williams Jr. is an exciting senior forward who can score from a sixth man role.

It’s Nittany Lions basketball. That’s more than enough for the day.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Balls Tate Cardinals

6pm | BTN | Mich -15 | O/U 143

Buddy, if I don’t give a shit about Nittany Lions basketball, what makes you think I have thoughts on Balls Tate-Michigan?

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions

8pm | BTN | NU -27.5 | O/U 131

Oh fine, I’ll do this one.

UAPB lost by 30+ to both wisconsin and Marquette. Northwestern is a big step down in quality from those two, but if the ‘Cats don’t manage this one by 20+, it’s cause for concern.

Look for Northwestern to both try to get Ryan Young some confidence inside and to see what they can get from newcomers like Ty Berry and Chase Audige. I wouldn’t say no to a few Miller Kopp triples, too, but really I’d love to see a laugher in which the ‘Cats can empty the bench and just work their way into the season.

#5 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. #2 Baylor Bears

9pm | ESPN | Baylor -5.5 | O/U 144.5
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Other Games of Interest:

Wednesday, December 2

Army Black Knights vs. Florida Gators

1:30pm | ESPN2
Bubbleville, Uncasville, CT

#17 Texas vs. #14 North Carolina

3pm | ESPN | Tex -1 | O/U 139.5
Championship, Maui Invitational

I know. Me neither. But it will be decent basketball, and Bill Walton has lost zero steps, despite whatever bad opinions you people have in the comments.

St. John’s Red Storm vs. BYU Cougars

4pm | ESPN2 | BYU -1 | O/U 155.5
Legends Classic, Uncasville, CT

This game will be fast and it will be dumb.

#11 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

6pm | ESPN | Gonzaga -8.5 | O/U 154.5
Jimmy V Classic, Indianapolis

I’ve convinced myself that Mark Few has fifteen different plans for countering the Huggybear Press, but there’s still the obvious intrigue here.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits at Iowa St. Cyclones

6pm | ESPN+ | ISU -3 | O/U 150.5

Go Jacks.

Seton Hall Pirates at Rhode Island Rams

6pm | CBSSN | SHU -2.5 | O/U 149

Rhode Island’s one of those quietly-good mid-majors, and they play a fun, up-tempo style under former Rutgers interim and then Danny Hurley assistant David Cox. Seton Hall should be able to walk out with the win, but I love these major-conference road trips.

Tarleton State Texans at Texas A&M Aggies

6pm | SECN | A&M -25.5 | O/U 137

Dixie State Trailblazers at North Dakota Fighting Hawks

8pm | WAC Digital | EVEN | O/U 145

These ones have me intrigued, with two of the D-1 newcomers getting their first real exposure—and, for the Trailblazers, their first game entirely. I’ll give ‘em each a look, just to see how the transition’s going.

San Francisco Dons at Nevada Wolf Pack

8pm | MW Network | Nevada -2.5 | O/U 140.5

Go Dons.

Davidson Wildcats vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

8:30pm | ESPN2 | Dav -7.5 | O/U 143
Maui Invitational 7th Place Game

Oregon State Beavers vs. Washington State Cougars

9pm | Pac-12 Network | ORSt -1 | O/U 138.5

Always give ‘em the last games on.

Old previews below, a full schedule at the bottom. Enjoy the games!

Monday, November 30

#19 Texas Longhorns vs. Davidson Wildcats

11am | ESPN2 | Tex -7.5 | O/U 135
Maui Invitational, Asheville, NC


If you dislike this man you are wrong and should sit there and be wrong.

Little Rock Trojans vs. Duquesne Dukes

3pm | ESPN3 | Duq -5.5 | O/U 144.5
Wade Houston Tip-Off, Louisville, KY

Kansas City Roos at Kansas State Wildcats

7pm | ESPNU | KSU -10 | O/U 130

Not quite “in-state”, but the Purplecats have already lost to MY Drake Bulldogs, and seeing them lose to a second Summit League school would be hilarious.

Also, speaking of how Kansas City (not UMKC, and definitely not the “Kangaroos” anymore, lest you want this angry guy to fuck you up) is now in the Summit League and not the WAC, I spent an embarrassing amount of time last night reading WAC message boards speculating on how the WAC is trying to add Southern Utah and a couple more football schools to go with Tarleton State and Dixie State.

I should be more ashamed than I am.

Iona Gaels at Seton Hall Pirates

8pm | FS1 | SHU -19.5 | O/U 143.5


Stanford Cardinal vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

8:30pm | ESPN2 | Ala -2.5 | O/U 149
Maui Invitational, Asheville, NC

With social distancing and controlled access and everything, does this mean we get four straight games of Bill Walton on the call? Because I am incredibly here for that. He’s gonna just straight up eat some edibles on camera, and I’m ready.

Pacific Tigers at Nevada Wolf Pack

9pm | MWN | Nev -5 | O/U 136

Always gotta give you the late game. Alford sucks, tho.

Here’s a place to talk hoops for the mid-week. It’ll be updated as we go. Behave yourselves.