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Basketball Midweek Previews, Open Thread: Nebraska-Michigan, Illinois-Ohio State

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Everyone’s jockeying for seeding, even Northwestern and Nebraska. Previewing the week ahead in Big Ten hoops!

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Man, we are finally returning to the interesting part of college basketball (after, of course, Feast Week and various similar celebrations), and dropping these previews at 5:30 hardly does this week justice! So look for, in the coming days:

  • Bracketology
  • Women's Big Ten Tournament (tipping off tomorrow!)
  • An Ode to Mid-Major Tourneys (Atlantic Sun, Big South, and Horizon tip off tonight on ESPN+, Patriot League on their app!)

And we’ve also written and said stuff about the less-interesting basketball that’s already been played:

I say the interesting part because unless you find which of two usually-good basketball teams (Michigan State or Maryland) will win the conference interesting (and, as a fan of a 2-16 team, I do not), the beauty of it almost being tournament time is found in the daily bracketology updates, the calculus of seeding tiebreakers, in court storming conference championships and upsets and buzzer beaters what you make up a steady IV drip of good, clean college sports for the next month of our lives.

Here are some Big Ten games happening, too, and the standings they affect:

STRAIT BULLSHIT, GOOGLE, WE HAVE THE TIEBREAKER

Tuesday, March 3

#9 Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

6pm | BTN | RU -1

Boilerman31: Is Thump actually a Rutgers person? He predicted Rutgers to finish 10-10 in conference before the season started and I laughed at him. Karma will continue to get the best of me as Rutgers mops the floor with a dejected Maryland team this evening.

[Narrator: and then a conversation broke out]

BrianB2: Wouldn’t Rutgers winning tonight greatly improve their chances to make the NCAAt?

beezer07: Yeah I guess so. But after years of blowing it, seeing Turdgeon fully live up to the Turdg nickname would be glorious.

BrianB2: Well, even a share would do something to do away with that narrative, not that it would satiate the needs of many Maryland fans...assuming they don’t get blown out against Michigan on senior night, yet again.

beez: If Maryland fans had to go from “lol all you people who’ve been saying put up or shut up to Turgeon can suck it” to “technically they still won the conference” would be great and embarrassing.

ZuzuRU: Maryland AT Rutgers as in at the RAC :smiling_imp: [that was her contribution, I believe Rutgers has now lost a few games in the RAC relatively recently...]

BrianB2: I feel like a majority of Maryland basketball fans have been pretty cautiously pessimistic, but if that would make you feel better, I won’t stop you.

beez: it’s not about what the majority do

Andrew K: There is no caution in DJ’s pessimism.

DJ: Yeah pretty cautious in this one. Dropped two of the last three and Rutgers needs the win to keep tournament hopes alive.

BrianB2: You definitely fall under the umbrella of “wanting to tell Turge detractors to ‘suck it’”....right?

DJ: I think he’s had a great season and has shown a change in approach to games. I also think people still have a legit claim that he doesn’t show up in the post season.

Poll

More East Coast bullshit

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    RAC
    (4 votes)
  • 33%
    non-RAC
    (2 votes)
6 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How do you spell the nickname of the Maryland coach

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Turge
    (26 votes)
  • 30%
    Turdg
    (38 votes)
  • 23%
    Turdge
    (29 votes)
  • 6%
    Turdj
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    Turj
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Trj
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Scooter--we shared a foxhole in :'Nam, and Ol' Scooter and I have been through some things, let me tell you
    (14 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now

Poll

However you spell it, should he be fired?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    If he doesn't make the elite eight, yes
    (7 votes)
  • 10%
    If he doesn't make the sweet sixteen, yes
    (12 votes)
  • 22%
    If he doesn't make the sweet 16 and doesn't win the Big Ten, yes
    (26 votes)
  • 25%
    No, he's proven enough
    (29 votes)
  • 35%
    You kidding me? Ol' Scoot? We've been through thick and thin, me and that guy. I could never.
    (40 votes)
114 votes total Vote Now

#16 Michigan State Spartans at #20 Penn State Nittany Lions

8pm | ESPN | MSU -1.5

Now that you've heard about 500 words on Maryland, can we interest you in about a hundred words on everyone else?

A-A-Ron called attention earlier to Penn State's struggles when opponents double team Lamar Stevens. Will MSU go that route? If they do, will Myles Dread and Seth Lundy shoot well enough to keep the Lions in it?

I honestly just still don't understand how Penn State is ranked 20th.

Poll

BASKETBALL LAZERZ

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Man bowling
    (9 votes)
  • 35%
    Random cat
    (5 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers at #18 Iowa Hawkeyes

8pm | ESPN | Iowa -5

Stew: Iowa has a chance to avenge the bludgeoning they took at Mackey a month ago. And since this time we’re getting road Purdue, I’m kinda expecting Iowa to pull out the senior night win, and secure what appears to be a 5 seed. Which, woah.

Wednesday, March 4

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Indiana Hoosiers

6pm | BTN

WhiteSpeedReceiver: It is time yet again to go forth and play good basketball for large stretches of a game and then lose in heartbreaking fashion. I look forward to it ending soon.

Poll

Who gets the higher NIT seed?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Minnesota
    (34 votes)
  • 62%
    Indiana
    (57 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern Wildcats at #24 wisconsin badgers

8pm | BTN

Now that Northwestern’s gotten off the slide with an extremely fortuitous win at Nebraska—climbing onto the coveted 13-seed in the Big Ten Tournament!—is it the start of something new, or just a blip on the radar?

I’m most curious in this one to see if Ryan Young and Jared Jones can salvage a little of their season against a real test in Nathan Reuvers. The ‘Cats allowed a disgusting number of rebounds to UNL big man Yvan Ouedraogo, and that just has to change.

Against the badgers at the Clearance Rack, though...will it? All signs would point to no, but Northwestern has pulled off some improbably ones there in the past, I guess. It’s a house money thing, now, unless Nebraska pulls off a surprising win, so hopefully we can just sit back and laugh at this one.

Poll

By how much does wisconsin win

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    15+
    (31 votes)
  • 33%
    10-14
    (34 votes)
  • 20%
    5-9
    (21 votes)
  • 2%
    1-4
    (3 votes)
  • 11%
    <0
    (12 votes)
101 votes total Vote Now

Thursday, March 5

Nebraska Cornhuskers at #25 Michigan Wolverines

5:30pm | FS1

BRT: Wait, we’re still playing? I definitely thought we were done.

Well, there’s not a lot of chance the Huskers will win, as the same factors that have made the last 14(?) games Ls will still be in play. However, I expect they’ll occasionally challenge Michigan and put forth a sometimes-entertaining effort on their way to another L.

Poll

By how much does Michigan win?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    15+
    (28 votes)
  • 31%
    10-14
    (23 votes)
  • 18%
    5-9
    (14 votes)
  • 12%
    1-4
    (9 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

#23 Illinois Fighting Illini at #19 Ohio State Buckeyes

6pm | ESPN

Nope.


Here’s your open thread for the week’s basketball. Usual rules apply, schedule and other stuff will be up later tonight. Behave, watch bad basketball, enjoy!