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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Previews, Open Thread

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Illinois held off Iowa. Are there any sparks left as three ranked teams take the court this weekend?

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t an instant classic, but the Iowa Hawkeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini scrapped to an 80-75 thriller where no team ever led by more than 7 points and the best players on the court—last night Luke Garza and Joe Wieskamp with 19 points each and Ayo Dosunmu dropped 25—showed out.

The Hawkeyes did get some production from Keegan Murray and Joe Toussaint with gunner C.J. Frederick out and succeeded at holding Illini big Kofi Cockburn to 9 points and 10 boards—Jack Nunge swatted four shots in limited minutes while Garza had foul trouble—but Cockburn’s late offensive rebound after a missed free throw is a moment the Iowa faithful will rue.

Of course, that’s if they’re not citing foul statistics or raising a grievance that a (correct) late goaltending call denied Wieskamp a follow-up bucket. I’m sure this’ll be the last we talk of that.


Moving on! There’s other Big Ten basketball in action this weekend, and here’s your place to talk about it.

Big Ten Basketball Schedule

Saturday, January 30

#14 Wisconsin Badgers at Penn State Nittany Lions

2pm | BTN | wisc -4 | O/U 139

As I type this, my wife is off getting round 2 of the Moderna vaccine. Pretty exciting, though her parents have decided that they wanted to cook a turkey dinner and, in true Midwestern fashion, “bring it over but not stay for dinner.”

Which, bullshit. You’re going to invite yourselves in—still masked, thankfully; they’ve been very careful throughout!—and guilt your only child daughter into dinner.

Oops, I think she’s feeling the effects of the vaccine. Shame. We’ll reschedule for next month.

Poll

This is a basketball game that will happen.

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    wisconsin
    (8 votes)
  • 27%
    Penn State
    (3 votes)
11 votes total Vote Now

#21 Minnesota Golden Gophers at Purdue Boilermakers

6:30pm | BTN | Purdue -2 | O/U 141.5

Another team that, on paper, I’d think could give the Gophers a bad time just like Maryland did. Liam Robbins up against both Zach Edey and Trevion Williams inside should be a fun watch, as should Marcus Carr trying to beat the wrestleball Boiler defense in Mackey.

Poll

choose

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    gopher
    (11 votes)
  • 57%
    train
    (15 votes)
26 votes total Vote Now

Sunday, January 31

Michigan State Spartans at #13 Ohio State Buckeyes

12pm | CBS

The Spartans’ NCAA Tournament hopes should be dead in the water—though our midweek bracketology reminded us how powerful that name is.

The Spartans’ offense should have a slightly easier go of it against the Buckeyes than they did at the RAC, but it’s increasingly apparently that Aaron Henry and Joey Hauser aren’t taking over games in the way you’d expect Spartans forwards to do. Could that with pedestrian-to-putrid shooting from Rocket Watts and Joshua Langford, an overreliance on Foster Loyes, and ugly inside presence...and it’s just not good in East Lansing.

This is the second of three straight road games, and unless Izzo can pull out the national television magic for a friendly CBS crew, there’s trouble in River City.

Poll

man, remember thad matta and that chair

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    michigan state
    (8 votes)
  • 77%
    ohio state
    (28 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

{WBB} Michigan State at #16 Indiana

3:30pm | BTN

The Hoosier women fell in their ranked tussle with postseason-ineligible Ohio State, though there’s no shame in that (outside it coming at home).

I have nothing else interesting to say about this game, save for: Remember how fucking tall Allyssa DeHaan was?

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Northwestern Wildcats

6:30pm | BTN

I’m actually morbidly curious to see how Northwestern big men Pete Nance and Ryan Young handle Myles Johnson in the ol’ clang-and-bang. I don’t expect it’ll go well for the second-worst defensive rebounding team in the Big Ten against Steve Pikiell’s two-taking, board-crashing Knights, but there you go.

Name of the game for NU is slowing up Ron Harper, Jr., packing the paint, and hoping Rutgers can’t beat them from deep, then getting out and pushing the pace of the game like Northwestern did so well at the start of the Big Ten season. With the way Rutgers defends, though, I expect a lot of forced mid-range jumpers as the Knights run Miller Kopp and Chase Audige off the three-point line, leaving Boo Buie to hopefully go 8/11 from deep or some shit.

Cool.

Poll

wannabe ivies

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    purple one
    (12 votes)
  • 70%
    scarlet one
    (29 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now

Other B1G Things

Just copied and pasted from the last one:

No wrestling preview today; RIP WSR. See BRT’s volleyball recap for an idea of what’s going on in the setty spikes! Here’s some nationally-televised action; you’ll have to look for your own team if they’re not on here.

Wrestling

  • 1/31: Illinois at #1 Iowa [11am, BTN]
  • 1/31: #7 Ohio State at Maryland [1pm, BTN]

Volleyball

  • 1/30: Wisconsin at Illinois [11am, BTN]

Men’s Hockey

  • 1/30: Michigan State at wisconsin [3pm: BTN+, FS Wisconsin, FS Detroit+]
  • 1/30: Minnesota at Ohio State [4pm: BTN, FOX Sports App]

Other College Basketball

Update, 12:30pm: Not a ton today I’m too jazzed about. The SEC and Big XII are playing their usual bracket-buster challenge on the ESPN suite of networks, but most of the ranked teams have avoided one another—Florida heading to Press Virginia (1pm, ESPN) could be fun, and if you want ranked-on-ranked you’ve got Kansas at Tennessee (5pm, ESPN).

Outside the mainstream, there’s some good A-10 action, with the Rhode Island taking on Dayton (3pm, CBSSN), and a clash of two of the OVC’s best tonight as Belmont heads to Murray State (7:30pm, ESPN+). I’ll also put in my weekly plug for NEC Front Row/NEC on the Run, the Roku app that will allow you to watch Bryant and Fairleigh Dickinson run-and-gun their way to a line of 165 (6pm, NECFR).

Enjoy, behave, etc.