Oh god, it's time.
This is March.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 1, 2021
What the hell.
Lots to process from this weekend, including what appears to be the end of the Pitino Era in Minneapolis, the apparent continuation of the Turgeon Era in College Park, and somehow, another Matt Painter masterpiece.
Big Ten Recaps
Friday, February 26
Purdue Boilermakers 73, Penn State Nittany Lions 52
BoilerBettor: There’s just so damn much to like about this team. Consider this time around, 4 of 5 starters scored in double digits and for the first time I can think of this season (I’m sure it happened in non-con play but 2020 did a number of my brain and liver), THE WALK-ONS GOT TO PLAY.
Everything about this game screamed a grind it out grit-fest and when it came down to it, it was a blowout. This stat still blows my mind: Purdue had at least four separate runs of 7 unanswered points and did with a combination of defense and timely shooting.
And one more little tidbit I picked up while watching the game: this is the last time Purdue leaves the state of Indiana this season. I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy the ride because damn, this is turning into a fun team to watch.
Are you a brave Penn State basketball fan? Do you have Thoughts? minnesota wildcat [at] gmail [dot] com.
Saturday, February 27
#3 Michigan Wolverines 73, Indiana Hoosiers 57
Candystripes: Yeah, losing to Michigan was expected. Failing to break 60, though? That’s, uh.....that’s what we around these parts call not good. I can’t believe I’m about to ask this next question seriously, but here we are: is it almost football season yet?
#5 Illinois Fighting Illini 74, #23 Wisconsin Badgers 69
Nebraska Cornhuskers 78, Minnesota Golden Gophers 74
I have now been told via a different source that Coach Pitino will NOT return to Dinkytown and will coach out the rest of this season. #Gophers— Henry Lake (@lakeshow73) February 28, 2021
Jesse: [breathes] Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
But seriously, I’m happy for Thor Thorbjarnarson, I’m happy for Kobe Webster, and I’m happy for Dalano Banton. For Thor, he’s been here grinding and I couldn’t be more excited to see him continue to cement his place in the pantheon of “guys who are better than there talent level”. He iced the game down the stretch. For Webster, he came in as a Senior Transfer and while this is NOT what he expected, he’s still showing up and hit double digits.
And, for Banton? He’s everywhere on the court and has been obviously exhausted. For a moment, we’ll ignore the part where Nebraska didn’t have an answer for Marcus Carr, and instead just appreciate that while this game is still a sign of the stupidity of this year’s season, it’s nice to see another check in the win column. This nightmare is almost over...
Update: Teddy Allen gone. Someday there’ll be a helluva (probably very sad) story about his time in Lincoln and college basketball in general.
Nebraska basketball announces the departure of Teddy Allen from the Husker program. Six days after he scored 41 points, he's gone. #huskers— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) March 1, 2021
Sunday, February 28
Maryland Terrapins 73, Michigan State Spartans 55
DJ Carver: Maryland opened up with a 5 out lineup that emphasized denying the post with quick double teams to great success. It helped that they also went 4/5 from deep to open the game up and kept up a sustained offense to keep a healthy lead the majority of the game.
Donta Scott was unusually quiet from the field until late in the game but made his impact everywhere else on the stat sheet. Aaron Wiggins hasn’t been the lights out shooter from 3 but has filled it up from everywhere else on the court, especially tonight when he capped it off with a 360 dunk with under a minute to go. All in all, the defense led to offense and it was a well played game by Maryland.
I’ll enjoy the late season surge while it lasts!
Green Akers: You can give Maryland credit if you want; one team in that game was on its 4th game in the last week, one was on its 1st, and the difference was obvious.
I’ve never seen so many shots left short from the opening whistle, and Izzo got right back to making all the wrong lineup choices by giving Marcus Bingham 4 minutes in the first game of the conference slate where he would’ve been the best big on the court.
Indiana’s an absolute must-win now, because this team isn’t cracking 50 in either game against Michigan.
Congratulations to Maryland, who are now stuck with Turgeon for another year.
DJ: Yeah, oddly enough, Turgeon is coaching his best year with his worst roster he’s had since he started. He’s all but thrown the towel in on recruiting, though. Still no serviceable big coming next year and rumor is we will see 2-3 transfers, although none are getting minutes this year.
#9 Iowa Hawkeyes 73, #4 Ohio State Buckeyes 57
Stew: I did not see this coming. Iowa went on the road and beat Ohio State after just completely giving up against Michigan and losing Jack Nunge for the season. Luka Garza was a beast, Joe Wieskamp stepped up big, as did Keegan Murray.
Most importantly, Iowa did a really good job distributing the ball, something that just didn’t happen against Michigan. Maybe they won’t fold up shop, maybe Ohio State is skidding, whatever it is, I’ll take the win.
MaximumSam: Sigh...I should have gone to church.
The Buckeye skid hits three games, and a noticeable change is the lack of options outside of Washington, Liddell, and C.J. Walker. In that timeframe, they’ve had one other guy hit double figures in scoring, which was Justice Sueing getting 10 against Michigan State. They aren’t moving the ball into good shots for any of their many role players, resulting in a mighty struggle. They do get a week off to get healthy and figure some things out. Hope springs eternal.
Big Ten Tournament Projected Seeds
Michigan State wins the tiebreak on Indiana based on one head-to-head win; the two teams play this week, though Indiana does not hold any relevant tiebreaks (H2H, then vs. Mich, then vs. Illinois) on the Spartans.
The MD-RU Tiebreak: Both are .000* against Michigan, 1.000 against Illinois, .000 against OSU, and .000 against Iowa, meaning it’s Rutgers’ 1-0 record against Purdue that trumps Maryland’s .500 record. And no, Rutgers won’t play Purdue again—both squads are done against those listed teams, so who do you like of Rutgers (@UNL, @Minn) or Maryland (@NU, PSU)?
*Win percentage, not total games, matters. (2-0 > 3-1, but 2-0 = 1-0 and 0-1 = 0-2)
More bracketology and, perhaps, a preview of Nebraska and Rutgers to come? Talk soon...
This poll is closed
Iowa with a Top 5 win
Terps win bubble battle
Illinois wins in madison
Huskers win, period
This poll is closed
Poor, poor Michigan State