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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Open Thread

Maryland plays breakfast basketball, Penn State tries to redeem its trip to the Emerald Coast, and and Indiana hosts some Hillbilly Basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Conference USA Tournament Final-Marshall vs Western Kentucky Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple times this week, I said “Yeah, sure, we can keep getting basketball posted.”

How about you just get a thread for the weekend instead?

We’ll try to update games, but we need to calibrate what we’re able to do as a writing staff for recaps, previews, etc. In the meantime, here’s a list of the hoops action today, me scraping together 150 words, and not much else:

Men’s Basketball Schedule

Saturday, November 27

Maryland vs. Louisville Cardinals

9am | CBSSN | Baha Mar Championship Final

Breakfast basketball! The Terps rallied to beat Richmond yesterday, and they’re in a good one with the Cards now on CBSSN. More non-conference basketball tourneys in weird locations should embrace these odd start times—play to the local time and spread your TV audience out! The SoCal Challenge in San Juan Capistrano has been great for this, too—12am CT start times.

South Dakota Coyotes at Nebraska Cornhuskers

1pm | BTN+ | UNL -12 | O/U 144.5

There shouldn’t actually be enough here to trouble the Huskers—the ‘Yotes rely on a trio of scoring guards and F Hunter Goodrick, giving UNL a size and athleticism advantage—but their one common opponent, Tennessee State, managed to cause more trouble in Lincoln than in Vermillion.

One thing I respect about the UNL—and, never tell them I told you this, but wisconsin—schedulers: they’re willing to play local teams (looking at you, Iowa). South Dakota (and, before then, South Dakota State) is not an easy out, and it’s a local rivalry game the mid-major gets up for. But they play those games. More Big Ten teams should be doing this.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at UMass Minutemen

1pm | UMass feed | Rutgers -2 | O/U 138

Like this! The Knights become the second Big Ten team to head up to Amherst for non-conference basketball, and they’ll hope it goes better than Penn State’s trip did.

The Minutemen have been all over the map—thumping wins over UMBC and Penn State, double-digit losses to Yale and Weber State, along with a 3-point loss at Ball State and an overtime win vs. UNC Greensboro.

What to make of that? Well, that if the UMass offense gets in their high-tempo rhythm and shots are falling, the Kenpom 59th-ranked offense can make it a long day for anyone. But UMass is correspondingly bad on defense (226th in KP), and players like G Noah Fernandes and former Penn State F Trent Buttrick are chuckers of the highest order. This could turn into a clangfest just by dint of Rutgers being involved—if the under hits, I like the Knights’ chances.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Oregon State Beavers

3pm | FloHoops ($) | PSU -1 | O/U 132.5

Last night’s PSU-LSU game was excellent for drama and terrible for basketball. Penn State shot OK but turned it over 16 times and got beat on the glass, while LSU couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the field.

The Lions did manage to force overtime by closing a 5-point deficit in the last 3 minutes, taking the lead with :55 to go, relinquishing it seconds later, then getting a Seth Lundy tip-in under a second remaining to force overtime. Form there, missed shots and front ends of one-and-ones doomed Penn State, who mounted a rally to close a six-point gap but went cold—including a missed Lundy dunk—inside 2 minutes.

Today they’ll get Oregon State, who has been unlucky: the Beavers are 1-5 (though just KP 104, Nebraska-levels of bad), losing five straight games: 60-50 to Iowa State, 64-58 to Tulsa, 78-77 to Samford, 81-80 to Princeton, and 80-77 to Wake Forest in OT at the Emerald Coast Classic. Forwards Warith Alatishe (12.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Maurice Calloo (10.2 ppg) should be a good test for the Lions’ undersized frontcourt.

Marshall Thundering Herd at Indiana Hoosiers

6pm | BTN | IU -11 | O/U 148.5

I love Hillbilly Basketball. Dan D’Antoni’s club should get run out of Assembly Hall by the Hoosiers’ size and athleticism, but damn will the Herd run—Marshall plays at a blinding pace and jack up a ton of shots. This year they’re actually hitting at a decent clip (90th KP), but not one of their four leading scorers shoots the three better than 20%—and each have shot at least double-digit numbers.

Watch F Obinna Anochili-Killen—he’s got 30 blocks on the year and pulls down almost 9 boards per contest. Should be fun to watch him work inside if he can stay out of foul troule.

Friday, November 26

#6 Baylor Bears vs. Michigan State Spartans

10am | ESPN | Baylor -6 | O/U 135.5
Battle 4 Atlantis Championship

A quiet bounce-back for Michigan State? They’ll get a preseason national title contender in the Bears in the finals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, just like we all predicted.

Omaha Mavericks at #3 Purdue Boilermakers

1pm | BTN+ | Purdue -35 | O/U 144

Bad on defense, bad on offense, and their two tallest players at 6’9”, 200 pounds. Yeah, I’m sure it’ll go well against Purdue for the Mavs.

Portland State Vikings at Iowa Hawkeyes

6pm | BTN+ | Iowa -23.5 | O/U 150

I admire Iowa’s commitment to going a whole non-conference without playing anyone. The Vikings like to run—take the over.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. LSU Tigers

6pm | CBSSN | LSU -9.5 | O/U 141
Emerald Coast Classic Semifinals

Finally, some actually intriguing basketball.

LSU might be pretty decent, having only beating the Fightin’ Falwells by under 20 points—though a 30-point win over Belmont is an impressive as the rest get.

The Tigers will pose a real test for the Nittany Lions with their size and athleticism at the forward position—Cincinnati transfer F Tari Eason (13.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and F Darius Days (19.2, 7.4), along with C Efton Reid (10.2, 6.0) offer a front line of height that throw it back a little bit but also will stretch Penn State: Days is 18/33 from deep already this year.

The Lions will need to win this one in the backcourt, harassing the Tigers’ guards into turnovers that Eric Gaines will absolutely commit. It’ll be uphill, though.

Women’s Basketball

Friday, November 26

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

12pm | ESPN3 | Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, USVI) Consolation Semis

Like Northwestern, the Knights lost to DePaul by 3 yesterday. They’ll face a like-minded defensive team in the Commodores, who took #9 Arizona to the wire before falling, 48-46, on a buzzer-beating layup. Look for the buzzing Rutgers defense to be alive and well against an error-prone Vandy squad, and check out Rutgers grad transfer F Osh Brown, who had a 20-20 game against DePaul.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Dayton Flyers

1:15pm | Flo ($) | Daytona Beach Invitational

LOT of women’s games stuck behind these paywalls. Sucks.

Michigan State Spartans at Oakland Golden Grizzlies

2pm | ESPN+

Bradley Braves at Minnesota Gophers

3pm | BTN+

The Braves already have a win over a fellow Big Ten club in wisconsin, though Minnesota is at least what we would describe as “competent”, so...

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

4:45pm | ESPN3 | Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, USVI) Round 2

Different pool from Rutgers-DePaul—I believe Paradise Jam is just two four-team round-robins—but another intriguing game for the ‘Cats. Behind some timely threes from Lauryn Satterwhite and Caileigh Walsh, along with a double-double from Courtney Shaw, Northwestern saw off Summit front-runner South Dakota in the first game, and they get a decently similar profile in Pitt for Game #2.

The Panthers shoot very poorly from the field (30% FG and 0/6 from three against Texas A&M), are awful from the line, and turn it over a ton, but they play smothering D that will give the error-prone ‘Cats a lot of trouble. Take the under, whatever it may be.

#12 Michigan Wolverines vs. #16 Oregon State Beavers

5:45pm | Flo ($) | Daytona Beach Invitational

This is the first real test for Michigan, who still have Naz Hillmon dominating inside but may struggle with a Beavers squad that can match—and really far outstrip—the Wolverines’ height.

Shame no one will be able to watch this one, either.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Drexel Dragons

6pm | no TV | San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament


Penn State Nittany Lions vs. St. John’s Red Storm

6:30pm | Flo ($) | Gulf Coast Showcase

Here’s your thread for the day’s basketball action, if you so choose. Enjoy.