I wasn’t going to have real-life recaps of the week’s Big Ten basketball action coming (mostly because I didn’t ask the “writers” for them), but here are some thoughts they had that they foolishly posted in Slack.
Big Ten Mid-Week Recaps?
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 78, #9 Maryland Terrapins 67
zuzu 7:46 PM
Maryland AT Rutgers as in at the RAC :smiling_imp:
MNW: Any venue where you allow Northwestern to have a 15-point lead is not a venue I am scared to go play.
Stew: This is far more about Maryland choking away the conference. But I guess congrats to rutger for being at the right place at the right time.
Zu: Sorry mnw I can’t hear you over our stomping of #9 Maryland. 18-1 at the RAC sooooo... Still unsure about comment in the preview.
[She’s right! I erroneously believed Rutgers had lost twice at home this season. My bad! However, I stick to official OTE policy: I do not regret the error, and I won’t correct it. Also it’s a very very good thing the entire NCAA Tournament is played in New Jersey! What a break for the 2020 Scarlet Knights.]
Andrew K: Thoroughly irrelevant except insofar as lots of other teams, excluding Ruggstir, can now win the title
Boilerman31: 1-10 away from the RAC. That’s, that’s not good when you consider no team with less than three wins has ever received an at-large bid to the Dance.
Zu: Did I talk about our road record? Naw
IM FUCKING HYPE RIGHT NOW GUYS
anyway love you all, goodnight
Because I don’t feel good and think I’m dying
We sincerely hope Zu’s not dead. Also a day later...
BrianB2: I ended up boycotting sports last night and played Black Ops 1 on my old PS3 for like three hours, good times, how did we do?
#16 Michigan State Spartans 79, #20 Penn State Nittany Lions 71
Andrew K: There was a point quite a ways into the first half where I was like ‘welllll MSU has to score about 60 points the rest of the way to realistically close this gap, which is certainly not realistic’.
Then Xavier Tillman done gave it to ‘em.
Purdue Boilermakers 77, Iowa Hawkeyes 68
Andrew K: Maybe it’s just been in the games I’ve seen lately but something really seems to be up with Joe Wieskamp. It’s one thing to have a shooting slump, but he looks like Iowa’s 4th option a lot of the time.
[The rest of it was mostly Stew complaining that Luka Garza was getting shoved around with arm bars, and that’s why he uses his elbows to clear space in the post. It was met with nothing but understanding nods and sympathetic pats on the back as poor Iowa got screwed again. Also what the fuck, how Evan Boudreaux a real thing that is happening.]
Andrew K: When Minnesota fires Yung Ricky, Izzo is just going to be torn up about it.
[When reached for comment, WSR gave two middle fingers and then threw a Grain Belt at me.]
#24 wisconsin badgers 63, Northwestern Wildcats 48
MNW: I... Fine. Pete Nance had a good game. Can this be over yet?
MC Clap: Wisconsin is in line for a conference championship in March. Me like.
Stew: Fuck wisconsin devil magic.
Gonna look up their conference schedule and see single plays of MSU, Maryland, PSU, and Iowa, and double games against UNL, MN, jNW.
beez: Just as we all predicted preseason, post-noncon, and post Kobe King leaving.
”After taking down Northwestern, the Badgers are now guaranteed to finish with at least a top-four finish in the conference standings for the second consecutive year, and the 19 season in the last 20 years.” [citation not provided but let’s be honest, I don’t give a fuck.]
Everyone’s favorite hashtag stat is back!
[For more on wisconsin possibly winning the fucking Big Ten Conference, see fucking below. Fuck this season so fucking hard.]
#25 Michigan Wolverines 82, Nebraska Cornhuskers 58
BRT: Nebraska has 12 turnovers at halftime. Haha, Harbaugh is there.
He was! So was John Beilein! Congrats to Jeff Jackson Simpson on graduating, and we wish Jon Teske the best in his starring role in the 2024 remake of Young Frankenstein.
Special shout-out to our Nebraska contingent for being game sports the entire year when asked to talk about a team that went 0-2 against Northwestern. BRT and Jesse were unfailingly gracious and you should appreciate them as much as I do.
#19 Ohio State Buckeyes 71, #23 Illinois Fighting Illini 63
MC Clap: Illinois won’t accept that it’s low percentage 3 time. Illinois almost certainly out of the weird title race.
- Downstate Illinois recruits fucking hate the University of Illinois for some reason
- We have no three point shooters
- Underwood kneecapped us by sitting Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu inside of 10 minutes to go
- Given all that shit, Ohio State should be embarrassed to not have won this game in a blowout considering how they were calling fouls
How they didn’t run us out of the gym in the last 9 minutes of the first half I’ll never know. Basically all Ayo.
AK: First point seems easy: why the balls would you want to stay in downstate Illinois, especially if you’ve spent your whole life there?
Thump: For the same reason anyone wants to stay in Michigan.
Stew: Because you hate yourself? I say, from Cedar Rapids.
MNW: What was the scent du jour?
Stew: I make it a point to stay more than a mile north of the river. It can get bad around downtown on a hot day when Mt Trashmore mixes with ADM and it happens to be crunchberry day.
Which shitty place would you least want to be from?
This poll is closed
beez: Wait. If Wisconsin beat Indiana they get a share of the conference title? Holy god the conference mediocrity. Good year for mid majors I guess.
MC Clap: This conference is not mediocre.
It’s a weirdly high number of very good teams that don’t distinguish themselves from each other. Your national champion isn’t in here, but there’s a reason they all beat each other up and still have twice as many Top 25 teams as any other conference.
Andrew K: First time since I think 1996? That the conference champ will have at least 6 losses.
Stew: This conference is incredibly mediocre. It’s essentially as good as the Pac12 and behind the Big East and Big 12.
AK: The Big 12 has exactly 2 good teams. They’re very good, but that’s not a good conference.
Stew: So I have Maryland at 13 and then I have 9 Big Ten teams between 20 and 60ish. But I also have jNW and UNL below 250. Which really weighs down the conference. None of the other power conferences have any team as bad as either of those teams.
So the B1G is a lot of mediocre. One good team, a bunch of mediocre, no great team, and 2 just absolutely terrible teams.
BrianB2: Maryland’s good? Nice!
MC Clap: Teams in the 20s being mediocre feels like a pretty hot take.
AK: The list of teams I would rather see in the Sweet Sixteen less than any Big Ten team in the field is really short. Kansas, Duke, Gonzaga—that might be it.
Stew: I’m just saying, my own system has the B1G not nearly as valued as other systems.
AK: You gotta stop penalizing all of us for playing Wisconsin
beez: *losing to
AK: Yes as we know Wisconsin went undefeated in the conference this year.
beez: I mean, complain all you want but Wisconsin is in first so I feel like maybe it’s less their fault than usual. But then again, my main point for the conference being mediocre is that Wisconsin might win it.
But then again then again, fuck the NCAA making Micah Potter sit out first semester for no fucking reason.
Is the Big Ten good?
This poll is closed
10 teams in the Dance and 8 in the Top 25? I’d say that’s good.
No conference that wisconsin wins can be good.
What if the Big Ten Tournament started today?
Well good thing it doesn’t! Here’s what it’d look like...
You guys can sort out the tiebreakers in the comments; this article is already 2200 words.
What’s on today?
No Big Ten men’s hoops today, as the conference gears up for the final weekend. But there’s lots of other hoops! Here are my suggestions:
Arch Madness (Missouri Valley Tournament Quarterfinals)
The Missouri Valley Conference! Parity in St. Louis! Arch Madness is a conference tournament institution, with Bradley making its run last season en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance. We’ve got some excellent matchups:
-  Northern Iowa Panthers vs.  Drake Bulldogs (12pm, ESPN+, UNI -9): My Bulldogs have had a down year, and the in-state rival Panthers pasted them in Des Moines last weekend. UNI should be a trendy upset pick (especially matched up against shitty ol’ wisconsin or in-state chickens Iowa), so why not watch this one at your desk and get a leg up on your coworkers!
-  Bradley Braves vs.  Southern Illinois Salukis (2:30pm, ESPN+, Brad -5.5): Northwestern definitely did not need SIU transfer C Barret Benson, no sir. They did not.
-  Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs.  Valparaiso Crusaders (6pm, ESPN+, L-IL -5.5): I’m not saying this would be your chance to acquaint yourself with future Northwestern HC Porter Moser, but...
-  Indiana State Sycamores vs.  Missouri State Bears (8:30pm, ESPN+, MOSt -2): I got nothing. But did you know Larry Bird went to Indiana State?
Mountain West Tournament (Semifinals)
Really in this one, give it a wait until tonight, when you have the chance to watch #11 seed Wyoming continue their Cinderella run. The ‘Pokes went 9-23 (2-16) this season, but have matured quickly in the MWC Tourney at the Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center, along with the return of talented C Hunter Thompson from a bout with mononucleosis.
That also led to my favorite call ever, from CBSSN: “You know it’s gonna be a good time when you road trip to Vegas with Hunter Thompson.” Sheer fucking brilliance. Anywho, the games:
-  San Diego State Aztecs vs.  Boise State Broncos (8pm, CBSSN, SDSU -9): The Aztecs are fighting to hold onto a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament but got quite a scare from Air Force yesterday. Who knows...
-  Utah State Aggies vs.  Wyoming Cowboys (10:30pm, CBSSN, USU -16): The Aggies have been overshadowed and tumbled from the rankings this season and should’ve lost to New Mexico yesterday before G Sam Merrill returned to the game and led CBSSN to make up stats like “Aggies on a 7-3 run since Mullins re-entered the game.” YOU CAN’T HAVE A RUN WITH A 4-POINT DIFFERENTIAL. THAT’S BULLSHIT. Go Ragtime Cowboy Joe.
Utah State C Neemias Queta is pretty fun to watch, though.
Ohio Valley Tournament (Semifinals)
I love Arch Madness being in St. Louis and all, and the MWC taking place in Vegas is sensible, but there’s something about tertiary mid-major conferences choosing a random Rust Belt city and hosting their tournament there. Take the Ohio Valley Conference—they could go to St. Louis and play second banana in the Enterprise Center, or head to Louisville and play in the KFC Yum! Hut, or even hop a steamship and play this in one of the Cincinnati-area arenas. But NO. They play this in Evansville-fucking-Indiana. Good for them.
-  Belmont Bruins vs.  Eastern Kentucky Colonels (7pm, ESPNU, Bel -13)
-  Murray State Racers vs.  Austin Peay Governors (9pm, ESPNU, Murray -1.5)
You also will not find a better collection of four nicknames anywhere else on tonight’s slate of games. Good for you, Ohio Valley Conference. Good for you.
(Also that Murray State-Austin Peay game is seriously gonna be a banger; if you are looking for some good hoops to watch, you should for sure start here.)
Other Tournaments and Where to Find Them:
SoCon Tournament 1st Round
-  VMI Keydets vs.  Samford Bulldogs (4pm, ESPN+—bad, but lots of points likely)
-  The Citadel Bulldogs vs.  Wofford Terriers (6:30pm, ESPN+, Citadel is 0-18 in conference)
So Wofford went 8-10 and got stuck on the first day of the Southern Conference. The other three teams are 4-14, 3-15, and 0-18. Woof. (Get it? They’re the Terriers. Thank you.)
Big South Tournament Semifinals
-  Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs vs.  Winthrop Eagles (5pm, ESPN+, could be good)
-  Hampton Pirates vs.  Radford Highlanders (7pm, ESPN+, Radford beat a Big Ten team this year so they must be good; please, no follow-up questions)
West Coast Conference Tournament Bullshit Rounds
-  San Francisco Dons vs.  Loyola Marymount Lions (8pm, BYUtv)
-  Pepperdine Waves vs.  Santa Clara Broncos (10pm, BYUtv)
This is your yearly reminder that the West Coast Conference tournament is a bullshit tournament designed exclusively to give their money-maker schools, Gonzaga and BYU (and occasionally Saint Marys-CA Gaels) a pass to the semifinals—why yes, they’re on ESPN, why do you ask?—and preserve their better seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Here’s what that looks like:
Fuck you, WCC. Go Dons.
Women’s Basketball Tournament and Open Thread
By the way, did we mention there’s women’s basketball happening in Indianapolis right now? As I write this, Maryland is holding off a game Purdue squad. Go watch that!
Regardless of what you decide to do, here’s your open thread for the night’s basketball. Bracketology forthcoming, too. I’m out for the weekend—no idea if there’ll be previews or a thread for that. Maybe, though! Have a good one.