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.
Friday, November 25th
Wisconsin Badgers (4-1) v. USC Trojans (4-2), Noon, ESPN2
MaximumSam: No rest for the heartbroken Badgers, as they get the Trojans today to finish up the Battle 4 Atlantis. USC hasn’t been that impressive this year - they have a loss to Florida Gulf Coast and single digit wins over Vermont and Mount St. Mary’s. Guard Boogie Ellis leads the team in points on pretty efficient shooting, but everyone else struggles away from the basket. This team is a prime target to get Wisconsified. Torvik says Badgers 63-62.
Feast Rating: When you go for the leftovers but all the turkey and gravy is gone and all that’s left is stuffing and potatoes. Still good, but not what you were hoping for.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2) v. Memphis Tigers (2-2), 4:30, ESPNN
MaximumSam: The Huskers get another shot for a win against a decent team. Memphis’ record is lackluster, but they have played all top 100 teams. Their point guard, Kendric Davis, is legit - he’s averaging 20 points and 6 assists on 51/33/93 shooting. This version of Memphis features 9 seniors and one freshman, so a bit unusual for Penny Hardaway. Torvik says Memphis, 74-66.
Feast Rating: Leftover Brussels sprouts.
Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) v. Clemson Tigers (4-1), 6 pm, CBSSN
MaximumSam: Iowa gets another reasonable test against the 63rd ranked Tigers. Clemson is a small team that plays three guards quite a bit, and so far this season they have been torching the nets from deep (39% as a team). Chase Hunter is shooting 68% from three himself. Still, they lost against the only decent team they faced in South Carolina, so hard to know exactly what they are. Torvik says Iowa wins, 77-71.
Feast Rating: Leftover cold turkey and cranberry sauce on white bread over the sink.
Purdue Boilermakers (4-0) v. Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-1), 10:30 pm, ESPN
MaximumSam: You want middle of the night basketball? You got it, and Purdue faces the this obscure school from Washington. The Zags have their own big guys in Drew Timme and Efton Reid, which should make for an interesting matchup with Zach Edey. Gonzaga has shown a bit of problems with the slog - Sparty almost got them and they got whipped by Texas. Purdue is one of the few teams that should be able to guard them, though whether they can score is another question. Torvik says Zags, 78-73.
BoilerUp89: I do not want a middle of the night game. Purdue is playing with house money in this one but have a chance to show they belong with the contenders of the conference. For the record, I don't think they do but they've handled Marquette and West Virginia better than I thought they would so I guess we will see. Zaga offers unique matchup issues that won't be repeated until we play Michigan.
Feast Rating: When you wake up for a midnight snack, open the fridge, and remember yesterday was Thanksgiving and there are all sorts of goodies to eat.
Michigan State Spartans (3-2) v. Oregon Ducks (2-3), 10:59 pm, ESPN
MaximumSam: Sparty will be shorthanded without Malik Hall and Jaden Akins again, though Oregon doesn’t present as tough a challenge as Alabama. They’ve been bad, with double digit losses to UConn and UC Irvine. Big man N’Faly Dante leads the team in points and rebounds, though only shoots 61% from the line. I fully expect Izzo to deploy some walk ons just to foul. Torvik says MSU 71-67.
Feast Rating: Leftover pumpkin pie but all the whip cream is gone.
Jackson State Tigers (0-4) at Indiana Hoosiers (5-0), 11:30 am, BTN
Coppin State Eagles (3-4) at Maryland Terrapins (5-0), 3 pm
Lafayette Leopards (1-5) at Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1), 6 pm
Lindenwood (3-4) Lions at Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1), 8 pm
BoilerUp89: Illinois played their secret scrimmage against Kansas at Lindenwood's campus. I'm assuming that was part of the deal for this game.
Kansas 69, Wisconsin 68
MaximumSam: We all heard a collective yerg from the state of Wisconsin at the end of this game. Wiscy was up one and played stifling defense, forcing a desperation heave from Kansas that should have been it. Unfortunately, a tipped ball landed in the arms of Bobby Pettiford who laid it in with .2 seconds left, and that’s all she wrote for the Badgers. No crimes against basketball committed though, and Tyler Wahl looked like a Dude attacking the basket. Connor Essegian remains a good freshman. Guard play remains a concern - Jordan Davis put up a goose egg and Chucky Hepburn was pretty rough - 2/9 shooting and 1 assist is not the point guard line you want.
Oklahoma 69, Nebraska 56
MaximumSam: Unlike Northwestern, Nebraska isn’t showing much fight in their games against real teams.
Alabama 81, Michigan State 70
MaximumSam: Sparty came into this one pretty shorthanded. Malik Hall and Jaden Akins are out with foot injuries, leaving Izzo with just eight scholarship players, three of whom are freshmen. This went how you might expect - Sparty was competitive for a half before giving way. They did not stuff Brandon Miller into a locker, and he had 24 and 9.
Purdue 80, West Virginia 68
MaximumSam: Purdue collects another scalp for the conference in the way you might expect. They played great defense - WVU shot 5-22 from deep. On offense, they got the ball to the big man, as Zach Edey has 24 points and went 10-12 from the line.
BoilerUp89: The Boilers won this one by getting to the line a lot more than the Mountaineers and shooting 24 of 28 once there. Another double double for Edey. Another good defensive performance by the team. Although they had too many turnovers, they played composed and calm even when West Virginia made their 2nd half push. Last time Purdue was that calm (and Painter trusted the team to respond without him calling a timeout) in two consecutive games against P6 competition, Carsen Edwards was running the show.