It’s officially Feast Week in college basketball, where ESPN uses Thanksgiving as an excuse to air a constant parade of college basketball tournaments. As you might expect, the B1G is involved in some of these, and we will bravely try to keep track of where your teams are going and who they are playing.
Monday, November 21st
Emerald Coast Classic, Omaha Mavericks (1-3) at 25 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0), 7 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Emerald Coast Classic is not played in Ireland, and this game won’t be played on any coast, except maybe the coast of a sewer drain near Iowa’s arena. Instead, they play this game here, then play the “second round” against Clemson in Niceville, Florida on Friday, then either TCU or Cal on Saturday. In any event, Omaha isn’t any good and have a 14 point loss to Nebraska on their resume. They are ranked 328th on Torvik.
BoilerUp89: Since Purdue played in this one a few years ago I can tell you that it is the Emerald Coast of Florida - or panhandle Florida. It’s officially an 8 team tournament, but the top 4 brand names are given an auto-bye to the semifinals (which along with the finals take place in Niceville, Florida) even if they lose to one of the non-brand programs in an on-campus game. Hence Iowa will be hosting Omaha for a “first round” game but is guaranteed to move on to their semifinal against Clemson. Cal has already played their first round game against Southern and lost. As for Omaha, they have very little experience on their roster. Among the nine guys who have played this season: 5 sophomores, 3 freshman, and 2 juniors.
Feast Rating: Cold green bean casserole where all the crunchy onions have turned to paste.
Maui Jim Maui Invitational, Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) v. 17 San Diego State Aztecs (3-0), 8 pm, ESPN
MaximumSam: It took me a while to figure out who Jim Maui is. After some research I have discovered it is “Maui Jim,” not “Jim Maui,” and Maui Jim makes sunglasses in Illinois. They are sponsoring the event, so that’s why it’s the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. This year’s edition features lots of good teams and Louisville and will be played Monday through Wednesday.
Ohio State kicks off with very tough test in the Aztecs, who rate 13th on Torvik and already have double digit wins over BYU and Stanford. Their leading scorer is, amazingly, former Buckeye Jaedon LeDee, who originally played for OSU in 2018 before transferring to TCU and then transferring again to SDSU. The transfer portal!
This will be an uphill battle all the way - SDSU hangs their hat on stifling defense, and OSU still looks pretty rough on the offensive end as they incorporate all their freshmen and transfers, which is why Torvik predicts a 69-64 SDSU win.
BoilerUp89: In addition to Louisville, Cincinnati is the other competition for 8th place in Maui. The top 6 teams however are pretty good and should all be tournament teams at the end of the season. That being said, Ohio State would probably be wise to pick up a victory against a team not named Louisville/Cincinnati in this tournament just in case they end up on the bubble. Because the rest of their non-conference consists of just two other quality opponents: Duke & North Carolina. And you wouldn’t want to leave yourself with work to do against them.
San Diego St.’s Darrion Trammel is shooting 7 of 12 from three point range this season while 6’9” center Jaedon LeDee takes a lot of their shots and is drawing fouls at an extremely high rate. It will be interesting to watch Zed Key and LeDee battle down low.
Feast Rating: Mashed potatoes, that are made from scratch and really pretty good, but someone stole all the gravy.
SoCal Challenge, California Baptist Lancers v. Minnesota Golden Gophers, 9:30 pm, CBSSN
MaximumSam: Hey, it’s a tourney in California! But instead of just having a tournament, some really creative guy who got an A+ in his marketing class put together two little tournaments and named them the Sand and the Surf. Minnesota lands in the Surf against California Baptiste, then plays either Southern Illinois or UNLV Wednesday.
This should be a pretty even matchup. Torvik rates Baptist 174th, compared to 179th for Minny. They already have a win over Washington, and their one loss came when they were missing leading scorer Joe Quintana. Danger Man is guard Taran Armstrong, who excels at attacking and either dishing or getting to the free throw line. Torvik predicts a 65-64 Lancer win.
MNW: I’m amazed Torvik’s got it as that high a final—these are two of the slowest teams in college basketball, and the Lancers have a bigboi center who could trouble Garcia on the inside. Unless Jamison Battle’s had that miraculous a recovery, I’m falling asleep to this like I’ve eaten a whole turkey myself.
BoilerUp89: As MNW mentioned, Cal Baptist is going to slow this one down and try to rely on their defense. They aren’t a good shooting team, but their defense is okay and will force you to work for an open shot. Joe Quintana wasn’t the only one to miss their loss against Long Beach State. 6’7” wing Hunter Goodrick also missed that game. With those two back as well as 7 footer Ighoefe, the Lancers have some pieces to trouble the Gophers.
Feast Rating: Stovestop stuffing. It’s, you know, fine. It’s Thanksgiving, have to eat some stuffing, but then you sit and wonder why you ate boxed stuffing instead of another slice of pie.