Thursday, December 29th
Central Michigan Chippewas 63, Michigan Wolverines 61
Welp. Michigan had been flirting with a terrible loss for a while, and they finally got bitten by the Chippewas. This game got sent to Siberia, er...BTN+, so I can only tell you about the box score, where it appears CMU crushed them on the glass and Hunter Dickinson may have checked out. He had 13 points and 6 rebounds against a team whose best win was over Cal State Northridge. Juwan Howard is officially on the Hot Seat, and this team has been on a straight down arrow the last three seasons.
BoilerUp89: I wouldn’t say Juwan is on the hot seat yet (during his tenure he has the best NCAA tournament resume in the B1G), but optimism for him running the program is disappearing quickly. Credit goes to Reggie Bass for hitting the game winning shot with 11 seconds to go.
Michigan shot just 35% from the field and was outrebounded by 12! Losing to a MAC team that gets hot from the perimeter and has a good game is one thing. That’s not what happened here. Getting outrebounded that badly by a MAC team is embarrassing.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 66, Iowa Hawkeyes 50
MaximumSam: Iowa is down bad. Both Kris Murray and Connor McCaffery returned for their trip to Nebraska, and the team responded by going 7/28 from three and 12/45(!) from 2. This is far from a one off, too, and an Iowa that can’t shoot straight is just a straight up bad team. Nebraska has rounded into a Not Bad team, mostly because they are playing with a lot of energy and defense. You can get far in basketball just on effort, and they are displaying it.
BoilerUp89: Nebraska has shown they can hang with just about anybody in the conference. I’m still not sure how many wins that will get them, but its a promising improvement for Hoiberg and a welcome sight for those of us who watch Big Ten basketball.
Iowa has fallen off a cliff since winning their Super Bowl against the Cyclones. Not sure where they go from here, but they’ve got to get right in a hurry as they are already 0-2 in B1G play.
Northwestern Wildcats 63, Brown Bears 58
BoilerUp89: The Wildcats held on for the win despite a 19% shooting performance from three while the Brown Bears went off at over 40%. Northwestern’s 19 of 21 performance at the free throw line, including 10 of 10 by Audige, gave them the victory over Brown’s 11 of 22 on free throw attempts.
Penn State Nittany Lions 60, Delaware State 46
Ohio State Buckeyes 90, Alabama A&M 59
MaximumSam: This was close for a half before the Bucks pulled away. The big news was Gene Brown finally returned to the lineup and got a few minutes. Plus, Ice Likekele returned after a lot of mysterious comments on his time away for the team. That means this is the first game the Buckeyes had all their players available, which is nice.
Purdue Boilermakers 82, Florida A&M Rattlers 49
BoilerUp89: Another double-double for Zach Edey. Brandon Newman had a big night with 18 points and 5 blocks. The three point shooting for the team remained cold, but Purdue’s defense continues to impress.
Maryland Terrapins 80, UMBC Retrievers 64
Illinois Fighting Illini 85, Bethune-Cookman 52
Minnesota Golden Gophers, Alcorn State CANCELLED
MaximumSam: That’s just bad luck. Alcorn State had some sort of travel issues that caused the game to be cancelled, which means Minny may not see another win this season.
Friday, December 30th
#190 Buffalo Bulls (6-6) at #59 Michigan State Spartans (8-4), 5 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: Sparty getting some much needed backup today, as Malik Hall is likely to return to the lineup. Further, football receiver Keon Coleman is practicing with the team. He played in garbage time last year, and should be a welcome body to MSU’s thin roster. Thank God they didn’t make the Little Caesar Bowl.
#322 Western Michigan Broncos (4-8) at #39 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2), 7 pm, BTN+
BoilerUp89: WMU’s head coach Dwayne Stephens is familiar with Wisconsin after spending 19 years as an assistant under Tom Izzo. This is not a talented Broncos roster though. They have just one win over a D1 team: Houston Christian.
#300 Coppin State Eagles (5-11) at #21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-4), 7 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Coppin State has held just one team under 70 points all year. For a Rutgers team that has had offensive troubles this season, this game offers an opportunity to get right going into B1G play.