I honestly don't know why I keep showing up to do this "job".
Today we're talking Wisconsin playing up tempo, Indiana just three wins from the NCAA tournament, and a Purdue escape that's cause for concern? Michigan State beat Michigan. Nebraska's heart got broken again; Northwestern continues to rip mine out and stomp on it.
Saturday, January 29
#10 Michigan State Spartans 83, Michigan Wolverines 67
Green Akers: My favorite part of this game had to be the postgame, when Juwan Howard, posed a question about Marcus Bingham’s progression on defense over the years, sneered out a question of his own about how many points Dickinson had scored, impliedly destroying Bingham. If Howard thinks 25 points on 18 shots from his center is the way he wins games in 2022, I hope Michigan gives him a lifetime contract.
Max Christie is miles better than any of Michigan’s overhyped freshmen, AJ Hoggard had his best game in a Spartan uniform, and if the refs hadn’t felt bad for Juwan it would’ve been a 25-point margin.
BuffKomodo: Boy oh boy. Indiana attempting to vanquish demons this year. Indiana gets their first win at Maryland since the Terps joined the B1G. Also, moving to 3 games over .500 in the second half of the B1G schedule for the first time since 2016. This win puts Indiana, by my count, 3 wins from being in the tournament with some pretty good chances to make that happen.
The guard play has been dramatically improved since the Penn State loss. XJ is evolving into a run-making PG finally. Not that he scores amazingly or anything, but he’s being a steady, playmaking hand at point and that’s what Indiana has missed greatly in recent memory. The interior has been as good as it has been all year.
Truthfully, Indiana has a great opportunity to make a run here. You get Illinois, Rutgers, Maryland, and Wisconsin at home. You should be in or win 3 of those 4 games. Then you have to go to Northwestern, Sparty, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Purdue. You’re really only expecting to win 2 of those. That puts Indiana at 12-8 in conference play and should net a 7-8 seed pending what you do in the B1G tourney. Overall, a ton to look forward to here for Hoosier fans.
#24 Illinois Fighting Illini 59, Northwestern Wildcats 56
MNW: Same as it ever was.
Decent night from Pete Nance, wildly inefficient from the rest of the 'Cats gang, and a stellar showing from the Northwestern students who showed up and got the best of Trent Frazier in the second half.
Eventually they gotta win one of these.
BRT: I cannot. It's too painful.
I really thought last football season had prepared me for anything, that I was immune to disappointment. It turns out, I am not quite there yet. The Huskers led Rutgers for this entire game, but never truly pulled away in spite of chances to do so— a circumstance that came back to bite with a vengeance. Rutgers took the lead with 1:30 to go, and hung on to steal the game in Lincoln— dealing the Huskers yet another gut punch.
Sunday, January 30
#6 Purdue Boilermakers 81, #16 Ohio State Buckeyes 78
BoilerUp89: Purdue played some really good defense for the first 26 minutes of the game, built up a 20 point lead, and then promptly fell apart on the defensive end.
The good news for Purdue fans is that they are seeing flashes of defensive competence. The bad news is that they haven’t been able to do it for a full game yet this season. Hopefully that gets pulled together sometime in the next month.
Credit to E.J. Liddell for getting hot down the stretch and helping the Buckeyes battle back to tie the game with just over 30 seconds. But Purdue had the ball with a timeout left and a chance to take the last shot. Naturally, Matt Painter drew up a play for his 7’4” center which Jaden Ivey blew up when he went the wrong direction on the court. Fortunately for Boilermaker fans, the team found a way to improvise and Jaden Ivey found himself with the ball behind the arc with time winding down. He rose, faded away from the defender, and sunk the three pointer to win the game.
I’ve heard of making your opponent pay for their mistakes, but this may have been the first time I’ve heard of making your opponent pay for your own mistakes. Boilermakers stay in the hunt for the Big Ten (barely) and now travel to the sinister Barn to battle the demons that lurk there. Stay healthy boys.
MaximumSam: Ohio State had some truly awful shooting followed by some truly great shooting. I’m surprised college coaches even have hair, as their careers are often defined by how well their 18-22 year old guys hit jump shots. In any event, glad to see Ohio State show some life on the road against a good team after getting waxed by Indiana and Wisconsin.
They are limited, though. They are really missing Justice Sueing, and from the sound of it he may not come back this season. That’s just brutal - another guy who can cause mismatch problems and manufacture his own shots would really, and I mean really, help this team. Outside of Liddell, (and increasingly Branham) they don’t have guys who can create their own looks, which makes the offense bog down. Combined with a limited defense, you are going to have some rough nights.
#11 Wisconsin Badgers 66, Minnesota Golden Gophers 60
Beez: Wisconsin has entered the top 200 of KP tempo ratings. Red Alert!!!
MC ClapYoHandz: It was so weird watching their Minnesota game and the Gophers being the ones to try to slow the game down.
BoilerUp89: I get why the Gophers are slow this year. If you aren't good, slow the game down and limit possessions. The Badgers being middle of the pack tempo is the real surprise.
Beez: I think it's mostly that Davis is gonna go score when he feels like it, plus he and Bowman/whoever like to run more than past teams…because Davis can pull it off.
MC: Davison is good in transition, Gard is also slowly adapting to the game. They'll get slower when Davis leaves, but will be faster than we all are lovingly familiar with.
WSR: Minnesota just doesn't have the talent this year to compete with what Greg Gard has put together in his 6 years running the wisconsin program of Johnny Davis and…yeah, that's about it.
Beez: Another game, another Wisconsin win over a vastly inferior opponent that makes me worry about Wisconsin’s ability to lose to (or beat!) anyone in the country. This team could go sub-0.500 the rest of the way and get a 4 seed and lose in the first round, or it could notch wins over...searching for a team without dominant big men...well, somebody! and end up with a 2 seed! No idea.
Johnny Davis remains the most important player on the team and the focal point of other team’s defense, and Brad Davison continues to take advantage of the more open looks to rain 3s and continue to make everyone else in the conference mad. Minnesota is awful and has been awful all season, but, according to the BTN announces, Minnesota’s new coach is exciting and well positioned to finally stop other programs from taking all of Minnesota’s best players or something.
It’s all very
1. Hire new coach
3. Actually win games.
Monday, February 0
misdreavus79: Well, that sure was a game! It looked like Penn State was going to run away with it early, going up 10 at multiple points in the first half. Iowa would need a full five minutes before making their first field goal of the game! Then, Connor McCaffrey made as many threes in one half has he had all season, which put Iowa up two at half.
Then we got a seesaw of a second half, trading blows back and forth, until Keegan Murray did his thing to close out the half. More blows were thrown in the overtimes, and, a crazy Myles Dread three point make later, the Nittany Lions finally pulled it off in double overtime.
It was good to see Penn State’s defensive effort in this game, and while yes, playing a home makes things a lot easier than playing on the road (Penn State hadn’t played a home game since January 11th due to the Minnesota postponement), the Lions had been playing terrible defense as of late, so getting back to what has made them successful was good to see.
He was a high school QB: I watched every goddamn minute of the iowa-psu game because my life is sad and lonely. Watching that game made it worse.
misdreavus: Thank you for your patronage!
Hwahsqb: At least I got to see iowa lose, which brings some small nugget of joy to my cold heart.
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anyone involved with Illinois-Northwestern