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.
Thursday, November 24th
Game of the day?
OU - Nebrasketball
Purdue v. the Press
Bama - Sparty
Badgers pecked to death by Kansas
I passed out hours ago (turkey makes me sleepy)
Whatever the bar has on? Hey spend some time with your friends and family! It’s Thanksgiving.
Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) v. Kansas Jayhawks (5-0), 10 am, ESPN
MaximumSam: After Wisconsifying Dayton into a pile of goo, the Badgers turn their sights on a bigger target, the defending champion Jayhawks. Kansas once again has some great players - Jalen Wilson leads the team in points and rebounds, while five star freshman Gradey Dick has a sweet stroke - he’s shooting 53/50/80. But it must be said, Kansas has been a bit underwhelming. While they have a win over Duke, they have pretty tight wins over NC State and Southern Utah. Torvik says Kansas wins 66-62.
Oklahoma Sooners (3-1) v. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1), 4 pm, ESPN
MaximumSam: Welcome to the ESPN Events Invitational, created when ESPN wanted to have their own tournament but were frankly tired of trying to come up with some stupid name for it. You would think they could have made it the Battle For Donald Duck or have the Chip and Dale divisions, but they decided to go classy.
Anyways, the Big Ten is not sending our best and brightest to Disney World, but we are sending Nebraska. They are taking on the Sooners, who have been fairly lackluster this season with close wins over Arkansas Pine-Bluff and South Alabama while losing to Sam Houston St. They do have a sparky point guard in Grant Sherfield, who’s leading the team in points and assists while shooting 41% from three. Torvik says Sooners, 69-64.
BoilerUp89: Friend of the Illini Porter Moser is the coach of the Sooners in case you’ve forgotten. True to Moser’s MO, the Sooners are a defensive first team that focus on getting you to take tough shots and eliminate your second chances. They forgo the opportunity for offensive rebounds to make sure they get back in transition. They also don’t go for steals so they can make sure they maintain good defensive positioning. For a Nebraska team that probably prefers more of a free flowing game with less half court offensive sets it’s not a good matchup.
Feast Rating: Injecting tryptophan right into your veins.
Purdue Boilermakers (3-0) v. West Virginia Mountaineers (4-0), 9 pm, ESPN2
BoilerUp89: Important game for Purdue in PK85 since if they lose it they are unlikely to face any other quality opponents in the consolation bracket. With Florida State tanking, that would make Purdue’s non-conference resume be the Marquette win and maybe Davidson if they can make a run in the A10.
The Mountaineers are back to being Press Virginia, which would normally worry me but Purdue is coming off a low turnover game against a Shaka Smart defense. West Virginia has stabilized from last season by bringing in a handful of transfer. Erik Stevenson from South Carolina leads the team in scoring, Tre Mitchell from Texas gives them a solid post option, and Joe Toussaint from Iowa has improved his shooting from his Iowa days. The Mountaineers also have a deep roster of big men to throw at Edey. I still expect Edey to get his points, but he’s going to have to work for them and stay out of foul trouble.
Feast Rating: That wonderful post meal feeling of drinking a glass of wine, or maybe a scotch, and feeling pleasantly buzzed while watching your cousins get in a fist fight in the garage.
Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0) v. Michigan State Spartans (3-1), 9:30, ESPN
MaximumSam: More ESPN tournaments, this time in Oregon as they cobbled together the Phil Knight Invitational tourney, which is different from the Phil Knight Legacy tourney that Purdue is playing in. It does seem like ESPN’s marketing department is helmed by a wild ferret. Instead of confetti they drop old Jordans all over the players at the end.
Sparty draws yet another tough opponent in Alabama, who rank 20th on Torvik. As an avowed freshman hater, I regret to inform you that Bama’s five star freshman Brandon Miller has been the Truth and the Way. He’s 6’9’’, is averaging 21 points and 9 boards while shooting 52% from three. Michigan State must stuff this man in a locker. Torvik has Bama, 73-72.
BoilerUp89: Alabama has played fast on offense while making opponents work for their shots. They’ve yet to play anyone of note, but had an interesting road game against South Alabama. Mark Sears and Brandon Miller are both shooting very well from three but that’s been counterbalanced by freshman Noah Clowney’s 1/12 and freshman Rylan Griffen’s 4/24 performances so far.
Feast Rating: That perfect bite when you get a some stuffing, potatoes, and turkey along with some gravy that makes you love Thanksgiving.
Wisconsin 43, Dayton 42
MaximumSam: Crimes against basketball have been committed. The Hague has been notified.
Kind of...: Wisconsin’s starting lineup shot 7-41 (17%) from the floor, and the Badgers still beat the A-10 favorites on a neutral court. What else is there really to say? Everybody knows what UW hoops is and has been. It’s not changing this year. The victory will probably look pretty good come March and they’re playing with house money tomorrow against Kansas. Steven Crowl is not appreciably stronger, and Chucky Hepburn does not look like an appreciably better shooter, so there’s probably a hard ceiling this year, but a 4-0 start with a couple of quality wins is more than most were expecting.
Ohio State 80, Texas Tech 73
MaximumSam: Finally! I have been banging on the Justice Sueing drum all offseason, only to see him mostly watch while everyone else played basketball. No longer. He dropped 33 points on 19 shots while adding 8 tough rebounds and 5 assists. He was the best player on the court, and there were some good players out there. The other story was Ice Likekele and Bruce Thornton. Thornton played 39 solid minutes as a freshman, and he and Likekele really handled the Texas Tech pressure well and combined for just two turnovers. The Buckeye backcourt appears to have two solid point guards.
Michigan 78, Jackson State 68
MaximumSam: Well, at least it wasn’t a nailbiter.
Auburn 43, Northwestern 42
MaximumSam: That’s disappointing, but man Northwestern looks like they might be a tough out this year.
MNW: I want to die.
Why would I let myself believe
You KNOW what happens, you goddamn fucking oaf
Indiana 87, Little Rock 68
BuffKomodo: Don’t look too much into this. TJD did not dress. Galloway didn’t dress. Thompson left for a few with a shiner. On a Wednesday before Thanksgiving and after an emotional weekend the Hoosiers let their foot off the gas a bit. However, several key underclassmen got a lot of quality minutes in this due to injuries and circumstances. Indiana needs to survive one more po-dunk game Friday and it’s on to UNC. I expect a cleaner performance Friday and also TJD to not play and rest that thumb.
UNLV 71, Minnesota 62
MaximumSam: Jamison Battle continues to knock the rust off, he had 17 points, but on 17 shots. Ta’Lon Cooper had a rough go, with as many turnovers as points. They were never really in this game - UNLV was up 17 with five minutes left.