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Big Ten Tournament: Previews, Open Thread

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Day 1 of the Big Ten Basketball Men’s Tournament, Day 2 for the Women. Previews, odds, line, open thread:

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Minnesota
Both teams’ seasons, summarized.
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Oofda. I’m way behind. Here are your previews for Day 1 of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, along with a schedule for Day 2 of the Women’s Tourney.

You can see our Big Ten Tournament coverage here:

Be sure to join the Pick’em Challenge by 5:30pm tonight!

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Schedule

You can see our full preview of the Big Ten Women’s Tourney here:

All games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, all times CT.

[8] Nebraska 72, [9] Minnesota 61

10am | BTN

A 22-10 second quarter in favor of the Huskers, plus a strong performance from Nebraska F Sam Haiby (19 pts, 8 boards) put the undermanned Gophers away early.

[12] Illinois vs. [5] Northwestern

12:15pm | BTN | NU -17.5 | O/U 114.5

Northwestern’s Blizzard defense—with conference DPOTY Veronica Burton—brings out the worst in an Illinois offense that’s struggled to take care of the ball under D-III WBB coaching legend Nancy Fahey, but the Wildcats offense, led by Lindsey Pulliam, has been in the doldrums for a month now.

[10] Penn State vs. [7] Michigan State

5:30pm | BTN | MSU -7.5 | O/U 147.5

[11] Purdue vs. [6] Iowa

7:45pm | BTN | Iowa -11.5 | O/U 157.5

Welcome to the Caitlin Clark show! If you like offense and need a palate-cleanser after the Northwestern-Minnesota men’s game murders offensive basketball (see below), tune in and watch the Hawks’ freshman phenom pull up from the center court logo for at least one long-range three.


Big Ten Tournament (Men’s) Schedule

[12] Northwestern Wildcats vs. [13] Minnesota Golden Gophers

5:30pm CT | BTN | NU -1 | O/U 139.5

WSR: Not really feeling good about this game without Robbins or Kalscheur. Hopefully we can save some face by beating Northwestern, but if not I’ll be glad to have this season end with a whimper and with the least amount of eyeballs possible.

MNW: Northwestern is on perhaps the least-convincing three-game winning streak in history, but it’s enough that we’re talking “momentum” for the Big Ten Tournament. The reemergence of Boo Buie has been huge for the ‘Cats, who are still struggling to get production out of expected contributors like F Miller Kopp and Robbie Beran.

If you haven’t given former NU guard Jordan Ash a follow on Twitter, do so, if just because of his continued advocacy for C Ryan Young as the engine driving the Wildcats’ bus:

If the ‘Cats can clamp down on Marcus Carr, I like Pete Nance and Young to give the Gophers trouble inside. But these are two bad teams playing bad basketball in a bad city. So we’ll see.

Death, taxes, Ryan Young.

Poll

Pick’em:

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    ‘Cats
    (30 votes)
  • 33%
    Gophers
    (15 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

[11] Penn State Nittany Lions vs. [14] Nebraska Cornhuskers

8pm | BTN | PSU -6.5 | O/U 145.5

BRT: I really don’t know what to expect from this one. I think the Huskers are certainly capable of winning it, but after another heartbreaker in their last game, will they fight for it, or are they just ready to be done? I’m hoping for the former, and that they can pull off the rare feat (for them) of closing out a game.

Jesse: I’m with BRT. I don’t know what to expect, and while they’ve fought about as hard as a team can fight with nothing to play for, a grueling - literally hypocritical - schedule, and team strife after almost everyone got COVID and cohesion died. This - as noted - continues to be a sham of a season that the Big Ten should answer for, especially as they continue to pretend they care about player welfare and not piles of cash, but it is the end. Do I hope for a win for Hoiberg and Company? Of course. Do I expect it? Not really. Will it be a win if this isn’t the last NCAA basketball game of the 2021 season? Sure, but not really because this is all very dumb.

Poll

This, too, is a basketball game:

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Penn State
    (41 votes)
  • 24%
    Nebraska
    (13 votes)
54 votes total Vote Now

Full schedule below. Here’s your open thread for the day’s basketball. Behave.