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How far has college basketball regressed? Weekend Big Ten Basketball Open Thread

Time, TV, odds, line, and previews for Big Ten men’s basketball: Northwestern-Michigan State, Rutgers-Maryland, Penn State-Ohio State, Iowa-Minnesota, and a marquee women’s basketball matchup of Michigan-Maryland.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t have anything witty for you today (not that I do most days). There’s basketball on today—I’ve been told we’re taking down the Christmas tree, so I doubt I’ll be watching the Northwestern-Michigan State game. Damn.

Saturday, January 15

Men’s Basketball

Northwestern Wildcats at #10 Michigan State Spartans

11am | BTN | MSU -7.5 | O/U 144.5

It’s a lot of fun to watch the son—Max Christie—of a Northwestern women’s basketball alumna star for another Big Ten team. I’m sure that fact will only be brought up about 30 times during this game, and knowing that Christie stayed away from Evanston AND that Patrick Baldwin Jr. consciously decided not to come to Northwestern... would almost think people don’t want to play for Chris Collins.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Maryland Terrapins

1pm | BTN | Maryland -4 | O/U 134

First to 60 wins.

Oh, and Larry recapped the Northwestern-Maryland debacle from whatever night that was, so here you go (so I don’t waste his thoughts):

Larry: I remember a few years back casually watching the end of a National Championship game involving UNC against some team I don’t remember. Roy Williams was fielding one of those teams with multiple uber-talented 1-and-dones. What I remember most vividly is the multiple fundamental mistakes made by UNC. In the final two minutes of the game. And this was a team playing for the national championship. I concluded that the NBA’s 1-and-done rule had horrifically changed college basketball. The current quality of college basketball is significantly lower than it used to be. Imagine the 2009-2010 Kentucky team that had freshmen Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall playing for 3-4 years at Kentucky as opposed to leaving after their freshmen years. It would have been a team that could have plausibly competed with a low-tier NBA team.

Watching last night’s MD-NW game only reinforced how far college basketball has fallen. I turned this game off about 5 times because it was so painful to watch. Technically, MD won the game in the 2nd overtime 94-87. What really happened is the NW was more successful at giving the game away by doing lots of fouls.

From the MD perspective, there are only 3 good things I was able to observe: 1) Ayala is a good and efficient scorer, 2) Fatts Russell is very entertaining, and most importantly, 3) Danny Manning is coaching himself out of the head coaching position at MD.

I like Nance, also. Good solid player. Smart and good fundamentals. I feel sorry for him. He deserves a better roster than what NW is currently offering.

Women’s Basketball

Ohio State Buckeyes at Minnesota Gophers

5pm | BTN+

Sunday, January 16

Men’s Basketball

Penn State Nittany Lions at #16 Ohio State Buckeyes

11am | BTN | Line, Total TBD

MaximumSam: A suddenly interesting game. The Buckeyes beat the Nits at their place by 12 earlier this season. But since then, the Buckeyes got the COVID curse, and since coming back they have been just terrible on defense. If you just slice the Torvik rankings from this month, the Buckeyes rank 186th on defensive efficiency. Conversely, Penn State is playing well, ranked 32nd overall for the month. If the Buckeyes continue to play D.O.A. defense, this will be a good game that could go either way.

misdreavus79: Playing without Seth Lundy in this game is only going to make things harder, but if Northwestern taught us anything, all you need is a really terrible day from the other team, and an amazing day from whoever takes over at that spot, to pull the upset.

Penn State has played well at Ohio State as of late, with the exception of 2020, in which the Buckeyes could miss from anywhere (Penn State payed it back by having their own blowout win at home). So even without Lundy, the possibility that this game is close throughout is not necessarily out of the question.

Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Gophers

1pm | BTN | Line, Total TBD

WSR: Well I’m not exactly feeling great about this one after Eric Curry hurt his ankle in the game we lost at Sparty because the ref ignored a travel right in front of him before they hit the game-winning shot, but that’s not important.

Injuries will always be a conern when you’ve got short bench and a collection of big men that runs two deep most of the time. Iowa’s a strongly mediocre team with one outstanding player, and that should be enough to get by an even more mediocre team, but I hope I’m wrong here.

Women’s Basketball

#6 Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers

1pm | BTN+

Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan State Spartans

1pm | BTN+

Wisconsin Badgers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

1pm | BTN+

Illinois Fighting Illini at Penn State Nittany Lions

1pm | BTN+

#11 Michigan Wolverines at #8 Maryland Terrapins

4pm | ESPN

Naz Hillmon and the Wolverines at Ashley Owusu, Angel Reese, and the 30 other weapons Maryland has, despite rosters being 15 or whatever. It’ll be fun!

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes

5pm | BTN+

Open thread. Usual rules. Perhaps a schedule below if I feel like it. Go nuts.