Wednesday, December 21st
Eastern Illinois 92, Iowa Hawkeyes 83
MaximumSam: Welp. I didn’t even preview this game because Eastern Illinois was ranked 353rd in the land on Torvik, and what is the point of previewing the sacrificial lambs? This is a team that had one win over a Division 1 team, fellow horrid team IUPUI. Iowa was missing Kris Murray and Connor McCaffery, so you might expect some clunkiness. You would not expect Iowa to allow this team to shoot an EFG of 65% and repeatedly get to the basket and dunk on their face. This game wasn’t even particularly close - Iowa was down 14 with a couple minutes left. Shame, Iowa, shame.
North Carolina Tar Heels 80, Michigan Wolverines 76
MaximumSam: Armando Bacot is on a roll. He stuffed Zed Key into a trash can on Saturday, and he stuffed Hunter Dickinson into the same trash can last night. Bacot went for 26, held Dickinson to 9, and everyone else did just enough to hold off the Wolverines. Michigan did get some other contributions, most notably from Kobe Bufkin going for 22 on 10 shots. If he can be a reliable third guy, then Michigan may be able to turn this ship around in conference play. As it is, their best win is still over Pitt.
Michigan State Spartans 67, Oakland 54
Purdue Boilermakers 74, New Orleans 53
BoilerUp89: No Zach Edey in this one as he was out sick. Must be something going around the midwest as I am also sick today.
Trey Kaufman-Renn had 22 points off the bench and continues to look like a young Trayce Jackson-Davis. Able to bully physically smaller guys in the paint with excellent footwork. This one was over after the Boilers used a 24-2 run to pull away at the end of the first half.
Ohio State Buckeyes 95, Maine 61
Thursday, December 22nd
#301 Chicago State Cougars (3-11) at #211 Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-6), 12 pm, BTN+
#186 Quinnipiac Bobcats (9-3) at #35 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-3), 3:30 pm, BTN
#280 Saint Peter’s (6-5) at #30 Maryland Terrapins (8-3), 5:30 pm, BTN
#20 Illinois Fighting Illini (8-3) v. #66 Missouri Tigers (10-1), 8 pm, SECN
MaximumSam: Mizzou rolls in with a good looking record, but closer inspection they have two wins over teams with a pulse, a tight win over UCF and an OT win over Wichita State. They got boat raced by Kansas, and the rest of their wins aren’t worth mentioning. They haven’t played much defense, but they have shot the ball well and generally try to play an fast game and force some turnovers. This feels like a game where Terrence Shannon can get back into gear after a no show against Penn State. There will be lots of open looks and open lanes. Torvik goes Illinois, 75-69.