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Big Ten Basketball Weekend Recaps: You’ll always remember #1, Purdue

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Plus, a look ahead to some walkovers in Big Ten men’s hoops and a slate of winnable WBB games.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at N.C. State Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Well it’s the middle of the week, and even though it’s Finals Week across most of the empire, there’s still basketball to be played.

But, just as amusingly, there was some basketball played last weekend! Some of it was good, some of it, uh...well, Nebraska, you tried. So let’s tell you what happened!

Here’s your reminder and request, too: Vote in our OTE Basketball Power Poll!

Not sure you can do that accurately yet? Here, let us help:

Saturday, December 11

#18 Auburn Tigers 99, Nebraska Cornhuskers 68

#21 Ohio State Buckeyes 73, #22 Wisconsin Badgers 55

MaximumSam: A spry performance from E.J. Liddell led the way for the Buckeyes, who predictably couldn’t do much with Johnny Davis but otherwise nailed down the Badgers into a terrible offensive performance. The Buckeyes have been strong offensively (7th on KenPom) while the defense has been soft, if not as soft as last year (50th).

The Badgers started strong, but they simply need one of their big guys to make shots. Tyler Wahl came into the game 0-10 from three. The Bucks refused to guard him out there, and he left 0-13.

#19 Michigan State Spartans 80, Penn State Nittany Lions 64

misdreavus79: I will readily admit to being wrong about Penn State competing for the first 10 minutes of the game. They actually competed for most of the first half! I expected a turnover sloppiest, but instead both teams stayed well under their season average (possibly a factor of neither team being good at turning over opponents much), with the Nittany Lions logging 7 turnovers to Michigan State’s 11.

What doomed them was their inability to be set on defense by the time the Spartans were ready to make an easy layup. Michigan State had 31 fast break points to Penn State’s 1. That’s right. One point as a direct result of a transition opportunity. That, and the fact that they wouldn’t make their first three point shot until five minutes into the second half means the hole they had to dig themselves out of was too hard to overcome.

All things considered, it could have been much worse. Silver lining is Greg Lee played in this game, and now gets three more non-conference opponents to shake off any more rust before the gauntlet begins. We’ll see if the Lions can keep the turnovers down as the season unfolds.

#11 Arizona Wildcats 83, Illinois Fighting Illini 79

MNW: Come March, the Illini will be making a lot of lists as “the most dangerous #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament”.

HWAHSQB: Illinois is 7-3. Last year after 10 games, they were 7-3 and won the B1G Tournament and got a 1 seed. Two years ago after 10 games, they were 7-3 and still got a double bye for the B1G tournament and would’ve been probably a 4 seed. Underwood teams start slow and 10/13 scholarship players have missed games this year, which doesn’t help a slow start.

If we aren’t better by around January 20th, I’ll be worried. For now, meh.

Minnesota Gophers 75, Michigan Wolverines 65

WSR: Holy shit!

I’ve said all along (other than following the exhibition against Concordia-St. Paul, which...come on!) that I absolutely love this flawed, weird, goofy team. And I think it might be time to start accepting that while we’re weird and goofy, we may not be as flawed as everyone originally thought. The defense we play is absolutely wonderful, and the offense is...fun? Unlike the Sparty game where every time we’d get within arm’s reach they’d pull 2-3 stupid shots out of their ass, we went into Crisler and just dominated the 2nd half.

I still can’t believe what I saw. Jamison Battle continues to be one of the wildest Gophers I’ve seen in a long time on offense, Eric Curry is a machine for the defense (please don’t break down again, machine), and Payton Willis and Luke Loewe just steadily grind on at the guard spots on both ends of the court.

As nervous as I was about Ben Johnson being a first-time head coach and putting together an entire team using the portal, it’s been a rousing success. If dude is this good with bubble gum and bailing wire, I can’t wait to see what he can do over the next 2-3 years as he can build the program. As long as local legend Dave Thorson keeps putting together the defense, it’ll be fun.

One other special shout-out: D2 All-American and recovering ACL injury victim Parker Fox. This guy is going from being expected to fill big minutes to being the greatest bench mob goof ever. We all need a hype man like him in life, and I just hope playing basketball next season doesn’t take away from his personality.

Sunday, December 12

Indiana Hoosiers 81, Merrimack Warriors 49

#1 Purdue Boilermakers 82, NC State Wolfpack 72 (OT)

BoilerUp89: Just like I predicted, Purdue bounced back from their buzzing beating loss at Rutgers with a comfortable 10 point win against NC State. Sure it was tight at times, but this one was never really in doubt.

Trevion Williams and Ethan Morton carried the team on their collective backs. Which seems super odd to say about Morton considering he had next to no stats in the box score - hint: he plays defense, but his +/- for the game was a team leading +24 (next highest was +14).

Northwestern Wildcats 70, NJIT Highlanders 52

MNW: The ‘Cats are gonna have to figure out these CLANG issues from deep—if Robbie Beran can’t be a three-and-D dude, he’s going to be wasted space come Big Ten play; same is looking more likely for Boo Buie (1/6 for 5 pts, 7 assists). Thank goodness Ty Berry (3/4 from deep) had his stroke today, and nice to see Chase Audige starting to get back in the swing.

Not much to glean from this, though—Northwestern played decent D but reverted to the “we’ll just be bigger than you” approach, with C Ryan Young bullying the undersized Highlanders for 13 and 9. When that happens, while you tip your cap to Young, you realize this is one where it was on autopilot.

Next up: RECLAIM THE MAYOR’S KEY, BOYS

Maryland Terrapins 70, #20 Florida Gators 68

Want to write about Maryland basketball regularly? Drop me a line at minnesotawildcat at gmail dot com.

#23 Seton Hall Pirates 77, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 63

MNW: One telling stat here—Rutgers is 0-4 away from the RAC.

misdreavus79: Rutgers is a menace at home and a wet paper towel away from home. In other news, the sky is blue, water wets, and dogs bark. More at 11.


NOW do you feel educated about the worst and slightly less-worst teams across the conference? Go vote in the Power Poll!

Be sure to vote, too, on who had the best and worst weekends across the conference. Previews of this week’s action below!

Poll

Best weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Minnesota
    (54 votes)
  • 16%
    Ohio State
    (12 votes)
  • 7%
    Someone else
    (5 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now

Poll

More amusingly: Worst weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Michigan
    (37 votes)
  • 7%
    wisconsin
    (6 votes)
  • 25%
    Nebraska
    (20 votes)
  • 18%
    Purdue
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Illinois
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else
    (0 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

Games Happening Today or Tomorrow or Something

Tuesday, December 14

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at Minnesota Golden Gophers

{MBB} 7pm | BTN | Minn -16 | O/U 134

WSR: Deep down as a broken Minnesota fan, everything screams “TRAP GAME!!!!” tonight. I know that I should probably relax and just enjoy the game tonight.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi is actually a smaller team than the Gophers, so the things I’ll be paying attention to will be if we can win the rebounding battle and if we can get some bench players some minutes tonight. Let’s get Treyton Thompson and his godawful above-the-knees tattoos and Abdoulaye Thiam some minutes.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Central Connecticut Blue Devils

{WBB} 6pm | BTN+

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Milwaukee Panthers

{WBB} 7pm | BTN+

MNW: Excited to watch this one while the Bachelorette is on—the Panthers handled the badgers comfortably a month ago but have dropped a number of contests that suggest they’re nothing special: Ball State, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, and Youngstown State all add to the UWM loss column.

For the ‘Cats, we’d love to see continued production out of a troika of freshmen—G Jordan Brown finding her shooting touch would be good, Melannie Daley taking care of the ball would be ideal, and 6’3” Caileigh Walsh staying out of foul trouble is needed. Hopefully the Blizzard D can turn this into a laugher.

Wednesday, December 15

Nicholls Colonels at wisconsin badgers

{MBB} 7pm | BTN | line, total TBA

Kind of...: Gonna work on the volleyball piece this week. Sorry Nicholls State, but yes, I’m saying you’re not worth it.

#20 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Alabama State Hornets

{WBB} 6pm | BTN+

Minnesota vs. Ohio Bobcats

{WBB} | 7pm | BTN+

Thursday, December 16

wisconsin vs. Illinois State Redbirds

{WBB} 6:30pm | BTN+


Here’s your thread for the week’s basketball Go vote in the Power Poll. Schedule below.

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