Thursday, December 22nd
MaximumSam: The Wheel ‘O’ Embarrassments spins round and round, and when it stops who should appear? This time it’s Illinois, who were down by 26 in the first half and 35 in the second half before making it a respectable 22 point beatdown. The complete lack of defense is probably the concern here. Or the goose egg from Skyy Clark. Or the one from R.J. Melendez. Terrence Shannon had 22, but went 0-5 from three. Overall, it was a miserable performance, and I’m told Illinois will not have braggin’ rights this year.
BoilerUp89: Illinois caps off a disappointing non-conference for the conference. There were the occasional good wins, but a lot of blown opportunities and more than a handful of what just happened games. I really don’t understand how you beat Texas and 16 days later you are getting blown out by Missouri.
Minnesota Gophers 58, Chicago State 55
MaximumSam: Getting in a dogfight with Chicago State doesn’t give Minny a lot of hope in the conference. Of course, looking at how the rest of the conference is playing, maybe they are right on target.
BoilerUp89: I’ll note that Minnesota won by exactly three pointers and then show you the below clip:
That is all that separates Minnesota and Chicago State this season.
Penn State Nittany Lions 77, Quinnipiac 68
BoilerUp89: Penn State did not have a great shooting night (6 of 29 from three) and were outrebounded by 8, but they pulled out the victory anyway. Job well done.
Maryland Terrapins 75, St. Peter’s 45
Friday, December 23rd
#234 Bucknell Bison (7-5) at #26 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-4), 4 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Bucknell is a good shooting team that doesn’t play much defense and has major turnover issues. Rutgers active defense should get them some extra looks in transition and help put this one away.
#187 Kennesaw State Owls (8-4) at #28 Indiana Hoosiers (9-3), 6 pm BTN
MaximumSam: Xavier Johnson had surgery on his foot and is “out indefinitely.” Losing a veteran guard is never good, and the Hoosiers will really have to lean into Hood-Schifino for conference play. As an avowed freshman hater, it is something that we currently have a third of the conference playing a freshman at point guard.
BoilerUp89: The Hoosiers are hoping to have Johnson back by the end of the year. That’s not good. Heal up Xavier, so that Purdue can beat Indiana at full strength.
As for this game, it shouldn’t matter. If you are looking for an upset, Kennesaw is going to have to rely on making lots of three pointers - something they are actually good at. The Owls have shot 39.5% from behind the arc this season.
#191 Grambling Tigers (6-5) at #41 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2) CANCELLED
BoilerUp89: This game was cancelled because of weather being extremely shitty across the Midwest. But we should note that it was cancelled one day after Iowa lost to Eastern Illinois and that Grambling already has a transitive win over Wisconsin. Grambling > Colorado > Tennessee > Kansas > Wisconsin. I completely understand why the game was cancelled, but the optics remain super funny to me.