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Big Ten Basketball Open Thread: Midweek

A big game? In December? On campus? What the hell?

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Louisville
I’m sure Louisville was good at basketball this year.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, December 14th

#334 Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (3-8) at #199 Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-6), 7 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Golden Lions against the Golden Gophers? Minny has a few games here to get right before Big Ten season, as right now they are the get right team for everyone else.

BoilerUp89: Just win Gophers.

#5 UCLA Bruins (8-2) at #19 Maryland Terrapins (8-2), 8 pm, FS1

MaximumSam: When we last checked in with UCLA, they were getting worked by Terrence Shannon and Illinois to the tune of a 79-70 loss. Illinois then lost to Maryland. Now Maryland plays UCLA. This is easy, right? Whatever happens, props to everyone for having a game on campus and not Florida or Hawaii or the moon.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. once again leads the way, averaging 17 points and shooting 63% from two, while Jaylen Clark is leading the teams in boards at only 6’5’’. They are a bit odd in their statistical profile - they do not hunt threes and are among the lowest in the country at taking them. They are very efficient from two and have plenty of guys who can get to the basket, but they are also among the lowest in the country at getting to the line. For Maryland’s part, they are in the fourth leg of a very tough four game stretch. One of their biggest issues coming into the season has remained - they have four good players, but they have to play five. And a bench. Torvik gives this one to Maryland by a sliver, 71-70.

BoilerUp89: The lone B1G game of interest during finals week (I guess Maryland doesn’t have finals?), this one is rather interesting. UCLA has more experience and probably a little more talent. Their biggest issue is that they don’t get to the foul line which has cost them the ability to get some easy points in close games.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell are still the leaders of this team but Jaylen Clark and Adem Bona have been playing at a very high level as well. To make up for their lack of free throw attempts and lower points/possession because of their three-point aversion, UCLA gets extra possessions by limiting turnovers and generating turnovers on defense. Maryland will need to keep the pressure on UCLA and take care of the ball if they want to pull off the victory.

Thursday, December 15th

#306 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (4-4) at #32 Wisconsin Badgers (8-2), 6 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: THURSDAY NIGHT BADGER MANIA. Though I’ll probably be finishing up Andor, which has been a surprisingly great series. I was about to give up on those Marvel/Star Wars shows. They were starting to feel pretty samey (like Badger basketball amirite). But this one...this one is good.

BoilerUp89: No, I won’t be watching Lehigh vs. Wisconsin. Lehigh has a bottom 25 offense struggling to make shots or take care of the basketball. They do play at a high pace but I doubt they will be able to get the Badgers sped up.

Lehigh has a victory over Misericordia. What state is Misericordia located in? I’ll give you a hint - Dallas is the name of the city they are in. Answer in the comments.