And now for the more important previews.
We start off with the 214th occurrence of the greatest basketball rivalry this conference has.
Thursday, January 20
All times Eastern time zone because they let BoilerUp89 put together this article.
FS1, 7PM, Purdue -3.5
BoilerUp89: Purdue will try to run their winning streak against the Hoosiers to 10 games for what would be the second time ever and the first time since 1914. But they have to do so in Bloomington which remains a very difficult place for the Boilers to pick up a win as despite winning their last 5 there, they have been close, hard fought games.
The battle of the big men will get the media attention, but I personally think it’s the guards that will decide this game. Whichever team’s guards can limit turnovers, maintain composure, and make some threes will pick up the win.
Buffkomodo: It’s always the guards that determine the game. In this case, I’m just hoping for some good ol’ homecookin’ and an out of his mind shooting night by Parker. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long night regardless of what Race and TJD do.
Friday, January 21
HWAHSQB: It appears that Turdge was Brad Underwood’s Kryptonite rather than Maryland. Illinois is still a team capable of going on five minute stretches of not scoring, so I’m not counting my chickens just yet, but if they play anywhere close to the level they played against PU, they’ll roll.
#14 Michigan State Spartans @ #8 Wisconsin Badgers
Kind of...: As everybody expected, MSU and UW will be playing for first place on Friday night. Advanced metrics suggest this is more like the 5th and 6th best teams going at it, but here we are. Honestly, Sparty has yet to notch any sort of signature win in league play, but, really, but they have some impressive non-conference wins and 5-1 in league play isn’t an accident. Wisconsin continues to build on a surprising start. Besides the breakthrough season Johnny Davis is having, Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl are both clearly improved from last year, and Chucky Hepburn looks pretty good for a true frosh PG. With the game at the Kohl Center, UW has be considered a slight favorite, but both of these teams have played plenty of close games already. Might as well expect this one to be close late too.
Green Akers: We’ll see if Izzo’s usual string of insane lineup decisions result in merely the one indefensible loss, or if it’s the more typical skid of 4 losses in 5 games we usually see this time of year. The key to a bounce back (aside from this finally being the time Izzo accepts that he cannot play Joey Hauser at the 5 against literally anyone in this league) is for Max Christie to rebound from the worst game of his young career against Northwestern, on both ends as he figures to be the primary draw to try and slow Johnny Davis. Good luck, kid.
Saturday, January 22
Previews for Saturday and Sunday will get added later. Probably. If MNW takes us to Culvers.
MNW: No Culvers for you—shouldn’t have gone with this Eastern time bullshit.
In slightly more seriousness: the best Culvers in the world is the Michigan City, Indiana location, because they open at 9am CT. I don’t get how time zones work and don’t know who in the Eastern time zone needs Culvers at 10am their time, but when you’re hungover as shit and driving to/from a conference in Grand Rapids, that Culvers is a glimmering oasis. Only four months until I get to go back.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Minnesota Golden Gophers
seems unlikely to happen
If it happens BTN, NOON
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ #19 The Ohio State Buckeyes
BTN, 2:15 PM
MaximumSam: The Buckeyes went to overtime the last time they saw the Huskers. They have been in a bit of a funk since the COVID return, looking just terrible on defense and matching that with some poor shooting. Another struggle with Nebraska doesn’t make the rest of the conference slate look very appealing.
BTN, 4:30 PM
misdreavus79: Silver lining from missing Minnesota on Wednesday is that Seth Lundy would have had over a week to deal with whatever it was that kept him out on Sunday against Ohio State.
The bad side of that, of course, is that Penn State is now playing three road games in a row. To add insult to injury, Iowa just got done wetting themselves against Rutgers, so now that they’ve had their horrible shooting night out of the way, they’re going to shoot lights out in this one. Bank it.
Sunday, January 23
#4 Purdue Boilermakers 87, Northwestern Wildcats 59
MNW: Oh good, Ryan Young and Pete Nance take on Lurch and Stretch. I’m sure this’ll go well.
(In reality it’s because Whitey Baldonovich is going to go 6/7 from three or something and THEN the Monstars will do their thing inside once our will is broken. Whatever. I’ll be isolating and drinking in the basement, soooooo...)
misdreavus79: I’m not sure why, but I thoroughly enjoy the fact that we already have a score up for a game that tips off on Sunday.
BoilerUp89: MNW put the score up there not me. Hopefully Northwestern is facing an angry, pissed off Boilermakers squad. I think they will be.
Michigan Wolverines @ Indiana Hoosiers
BoilerUp89: The Hoosiers took a big step towards their first tournament bid in living memory - okay so it hasn’t been that long - and now they need to follow it up by winning a game they absolutely should be able to. A struggling Michigan team, a home game, and Hoosiers should have plenty of confidence right now. Everything says Indiana should win. But overconfidence can be dangerous so Mike Woodson will have to keep his team focused to continue their march to meaningful basketball in March.
Here’s your thread for the weekend’s basketball. Behave, go nuts, whatever—just remember to save those Scoopie coupons.