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Weekend Big Ten Basketball Previews and Open Thread: Wisconsin-Rutgers, Ohio State-Illinois, Iowa-Northwestern headline

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Recapping just how good Michigan’s been, Ohio State quietly winning, and Purdue makes it 8 straight on Indiana...but DID THEY CHEAT?!?!?

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Well. Certainly was a week of Big Ten basketball.

Big Ten Basketball Midweek Recaps

#7 Michigan Wolverines 77, #9 Wisconsin Badgers 54

This...well, we might have to start taking back what we said about the Wolverines. (I already did—this Michigan team is damn good.)

What’s been most impressive for me is how quickly Michigan gets the ball around the arc in its offense—the ball doesn’t just stick on Hunter Dickinson or Isaiah Livers, it’s cycled through Franz Wagner and shooters like Eli Brooks, and it all starts with Columbia Lions transfer Mike Smith. Brian Gillis has more on the Michigan resurgence, and you should check it out:

#21 Ohio State Buckeyes 81, Northwestern Wildcats 71

The ‘Cats have gone ice cold from deep, and despite Chase Audige pouring in 25 and Boo Buie scoring his first points in three games (yeah, not great), Northwestern had no answer for the shooting of Duane Washington and, somehow, Meechie Johnson Jr. For a Buckeyes squad down guard CJ Walker, Justin Ahrens and Justice Sueing answered the call.

Not great for the ‘Cats, and a nice lift for the Buckeyes, who already choked one away against NU this year.

Purdue Boilermakers 81, Indiana Hoosiers 69

I hope Archie Miller rents.

BoilerBetter: /yawns

Another win over Archie.

Candystripes for Breakfast: I can’t figure out if Archie’s just bad at in-game decisions, or if he’s bad at recruiting. I feel like he’s doing something right, but I can’t put my finger on exactly what, and that may get him fired if the Hoosiers don’t go dancing this season.

Cancellations

Games between Penn State and Rutgers (Tues), Illinois and Nebraska (Wed), and Michigan State and Iowa (Thurs) were all canceled because of COVID. The Nittany Lions will hit the court this weekend; the Huskers have suspended basketball operations and Michigan State is similarly struggling with an outbreak and contact tracing.

The Weekend Big Ten Basketball Schedule

Friday, January 15

Maryland Terrapins (7-6) vs. Wingate Bulldogs

11am | BTN+ | Maryland was losing, 6-2

Per Testudo Times, Turgeon wanted to avoid having 9 days off but avoid a game—like a Howard or something—that would hurt their resume.

D-II Wingate fills that void. This game is already going, it’s on BTN+, and you’re not watching it.

#9 wisconsin at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

8pm | FS1 | wisc -2.5 | O/U 133.5
uw: 10-3 (4-2 B1G), KP 11
RU: 7-4 (3-4), KP 39

My grandma loved this commercial when I was growing up and would always recite it when we were having a cheese tray at our parties:

That’s it. That’s all I have for you.

Poll

cheese or sword

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    cheese
    (22 votes)
  • 35%
    sword
    (12 votes)
34 votes total Vote Now

Anything else on Friday?

Sure!

Soccer

{Bundesliga} Union Berlin vs. Bayer Leverkusen [1:30pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Lazio vs. Roma [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Scottish Cup} Greenock Morton vs. Dunfermline Athletic [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Liga MX} Necaxa vs. Atletico San Luis [7:30pm, TUDN]
{Liga MX} Juarez vs. Xolos [9:30pm, TUDN]

I’ve also recently started watching the New Zealand Premiership on YouTube because I have a problem, and it’s every bit the bad soccer you’d think it is. Auckland City-Hamilton Wanderers at 7pm, Canterbury United-Eastern Suburbs at 8pm. Go to YouTube, search something like “New Zealand Premiership” and the team names.

College Basketball

Bryant Bulldogs at St. Francis-PA Red Flash

3pm | NEC on the Run | Bryant -6 | O/U 163.5

Marshall Thundering Herd at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

4pm | CBSSN | WKU -2.5 | O/U 150

I’m a sucker for Dan D’Antoni, the t-shirt-under-blazer look, and Hillbilly Ball:

It’s not often that someone captures my academic conference oeuvre (shut up, BRT) on a basketball court, but when they do, I’ll watch.

Purdue-Fort Wayne Mastodons at Milwaukee Panthers

6pm | ESPN+ | UWM -4 | O/U 145

Bowling Green Falcons at Buffalo Bulls

6pm | CBSSN | UB -4.5 | O/U 159.5

Pretty nice little double-header CBSSN has on today. Definitely worth a peek.

Tarleton State Texans at California Baptist Lancers

8pm | WAC Digital Network | CBU -5 | O/U 143

These are two real D-1 teams. Just wanted to call that to your attention.

Fresno State Bulldogs at Nevada Wolf Pack

10pm | FS1 | Nevada -6.5 | O/U 136

Yes, yes, fuck Steve Alford, but it’s the latest nationally-televised game, so if you’re up late, this is your option. Unless...

CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners at Hawaii Warriors

10:59pm | Big West Digital | Hawaii -2 | O/U 135.5

I promise to come here and live-thread at least some of that. Join me, won’t you?

It’s Late and I’m Drunk...

WELCOME, FELLOW TRAVELER:

Sydney FC vs. Western Sydney Wanderers

12:05am | ESPN+

Perth Glory vs. Adelaide United

2:10am | ESPN+

Melbourne City vs. Western United

2:10am | ESPN+

A-LEAGUE SOCCER TIME HELL YEAH LET’S GET WEIRD.

Saturday, January 16

#21 Ohio State at #14 Illinois Fighting Illini

11am | FOX
OSU: 10-3 (4-3), KP 18
ILL: 9-4 (5-2), KP 8

They should play this one for Illibuck, since Ohio State was too chicken to play Illinois for it during the football season.

I don’t think Zed Key can hold up against Kofi Cockburn and the cavalry of Giorgi Bezhanishvili, but maybe the Buckeyes’ hot outside shooting will continue.

Poll

pick

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    illi
    (43 votes)
  • 14%
    buck
    (7 votes)
50 votes total Vote Now

#7 Michigan at #23 Minnesota Golden Gophers

1pm | ESPN2
UM: 11-0 (6-0), KP 4
UM: 10-4 (3-4), KP 34

The Wolverines held Marcus Carr to just 14 points and allowed Hunter Dickinson to go to work on Liam Robbins when these two sides met just 10 days ago. It should be different at the Barn...right?

Poll

pick your yellow

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    maize
    (36 votes)
  • 37%
    electric gold, anything but vegas gold
    (22 votes)
58 votes total Vote Now

Anything else on Saturday?

Of course there is! I’ll fill it in later, maybe...I’ve got a 12pm call.

Sunday, January 17

#5 Iowa Hawkeyes at Northwestern

11am | CBS
IA: 11-2 (5-1), KP 3
NU: 6-5 (3-4), KP 61

I don’t want to, and you can’t make me.

(Seriously...I’m currently enjoying a bachelor weekend because my wife is taking a well-deserved vacation at her folks’ cabin, leaving me to get work done and write and grade for my classes, and they saddle me with Northwestern losing by 30 as Luka Garza literally eats Pete Nance and Ryan Young in real time? That sucks.)

Last time these two met we took a moral victory out of Northwestern keeping it within 20 as Nance—and well-timed double-teams from Robbie Beran or Anthony Gaines—frustrated Garza in the post and ended his streak of games with 20 points or more. Only problem was, Jordan Bohannon went unconscious from three and despite a great game from Nance, the ‘Cats didn’t have the firepower to keep up.

Without a raucous Welsh-Ryan full of Iowans fleeing their shitty, sad state for jobs and a chance at a real life in Chicago, maybe Northwestern will actually enjoy a home court advantage?

Just kidding, I’m just this will be the Joe Wieskamp Show or something shitty.

Poll

who cares what the line is, vote anyway

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    iowa by a lot
    (57 votes)
  • 15%
    iowa wins, does not cover
    (12 votes)
  • 12%
    ‘cats straight up, baby
    (10 votes)
79 votes total Vote Now

Penn State Nittany Lions at Purdue

12pm | BTN
PSU: 3-4 (0-3), KP 47
PU: 9-5 (4-3), KP 28

It was called to my attention—maybe in an InsideNU gamethread, maybe at OTE...who cares—the other week that when Trevion Williams dribbles while backing down in the post, he carries the ball on almost every dribble:

I would be curious to hear from basketball friends (and, indeed, basketball refereeing friends)—is this A Thing?

I’m sure Williams is not remotely the only offender; he just happened to be the center playing last night in the Purdue-Indiana game—this is not meant as a “PURDUE ALWAYS CHEATS!” thing, because I’m sure you could find a clip of almost any center in the Big Ten doing it.

But given that the post defender has next to no rights—particularly now that referees can call a flop if the post player does not drop his shoulder too much—I would think forcing the offensive player in the post to actually dribble the ball appropriately would be good.

This is Penn State’s first game of 2021. They are still ranked above Northwestern in Kenpom. I hate everything.

Anyway, welcome, Nittany Lions. It’s just as shitty here as it was in 2020.

Poll

pick

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    boiler
    (77 votes)
  • 13%
    lion
    (12 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your open thread for the weekend of basketball. Want to read more about wrestling? You can do that here thanks to WSR:

Want to read more about hockey? I can’t help you.

Either way, talk about it here! Usual rules apply, behave.