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Big Ten Friday Hoopstravaganza: Recaps, Bracketology, Open Thread

Basically: What do we do with Rutgers NOW?

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Are you, like us, trying to make sense of the Big Ten?

Perhaps, like me, you want to know if there’s an outside chance your basketball team could make a postseason appearance or, god forbid, a run?

Or are you a Maryland or Nebraska fan looking to talk SERIOUS BASKETBALL like your game tonight?

Well, welcome to the Friday Big Ten Hoopstravaganza, where we’ve got it all:

  • Recaps, including how the hell Rutgers stomped Illinois
  • NCAA Tournament projections
  • Bad basketball previews

Won’t you join us?

Men’s Basketball Recaps

Penn State Nittany Lions 62, #19 Michigan State Spartans 58

Green Akers: There was some chatter in the off-season that Izzo made some inquiries while John Harrar was in the portal. Looks like he should’ve tried a little harder, as Harrar had the biggest disruptive impact MSU has seen from an opposing big since UConn’s Sanogo. Average teams lose on the road, so this shouldn’t have been surprising.

misdreavus79: As Harrar pointed out in the post game, Penn State has had a win over a ranked team every season he’s been with the program. [un]Fortunately for Michigan State, they’ve been the victims of two such wins.

The Nittany Lions had been excruciatingly close in their previous three games, losing by two to Wisconsin, one to Michigan, and six to Minnesota. The breaks finally went in Penn State’s favor in this one, and it was they who came up with the plays down the stretch to come away with the victory.

The win keeps the Nittany Lions one step away from the dreaded Wednesday slot in the Big Ten Tournament, and, with only Illinois left at the top of the Big Ten (no, I’m not overlooking Rutgers), the schedule should ease up considerably to end the regular season.

#15 Wisconsin Badgers 74, Indiana Hoosiers 69

Kind of...: For about 38 minutes, Indiana did an excellent job of showing urgency. They were winning almost every 50/50 ball, finishing plays with extra nudges/shoves, and dominating Wisconsin in the critical category of mean-mugging. However, in winning time there was no answer for Johnny Davis, and Parker Stewart was so pre-occupied with Brad Davison that he couldn’t figure out how to get a decent shot off against true frosh Chucky Hepburn.

BuffKomodo: Indiana once again blew a golden opportunity to steal a win against one of the best teams in the B1G. It was there. They had to go take it, and they failed miserably down the stretch. Now, instead of fighting for a decent tournament seed, Indiana seems to be fighting for its life in an all too familiar February death spiral.

In other words, things are fairly normal in Bloomington.

#18 Ohio State Buckeyes 70, Minnesota Gophers 45

MNW: wait what this was a two-point game at halftime, what happened

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 70, #12 Illinois Fighting Illini 59

RU in VA:

Will Rutgers ever lose again?

Thump: Pretty sure you guys lost to Lafayette on purpose to fuck with us. Congrats to Purdue on the banner.

We’ll always have the 2021 Big Ten Tournament. And likely nothing else—lol how much more talent can Brad Underwood bring through here without actually winning anything. Cuonzo on steroids.

He was a high school quarterback: It could be worse. Fran had Garza/Weiskamp/Frederick and didn’t even get a B1G (tourney) title.

And to be fair, he had a B1G tourney and NCAA tourney stolen by COVID.

Thump: I just refuse to believe we can be good without Kofi Cockburn. I haven’t seen it.

Hwahsqb: Our last two recruiting classes are six guys who are all shooters between 6-4 and 6-7 ranked 50-100. Maryland won games with teams like that.

Kind of...: I just checked the box score of Rutgers/Lafayette. Rutgers attempted 10 more FG and 12 more FT and lost. That must have been one huge turd.

Oh, and for the record, Lafayette is 8th in the Patriot League, and their second-best victory on the year is a home win over Army, who is 286 in KP.

MNW: I keep getting emails from some random Rutgers fan saying “how do you like them apples” and similar things when Rutgers wins a game. I’m not sure if I’d said something particularly negative about the Scarlet Knights, but apparently he really wants me to know that Rutgers won this game, since I’m the name on most of the articles that aggregate takes on Rutgers playing basketball games.

You see, Guido Sardouchebag, the bold headings mean it’s actually that writer offering an opinion on Rutgers, not me.

So I’m excited to see how long his fraudulent-ass team can keep it up! Try not losing to a horrifically bad Northwestern team and making I’ll consider giving Rutgers an iota of respect that they still absolutely do not deserve.

#5 Purdue Boilermakers 70, Northwestern Wildcats 64

MNW: Teams playing Northwestern who haven’t yet seen the ‘Cats will enjoy that their usual offensive swoon has moved from “a random five-minute stretch” to “the first five minutes of the game.” The ‘Cats have struggled to get out of the blocks, and did so against Purdue, digging a hole that they just can’t get out of.

We saw the predictable struggles from Pete Nance and Ryan Young against Purdue’s twin towers, but it was the horrorshow that was Chase Audige and Boo Buie against the Boiler backcourt...just awful. Should’ve come with a Surgeon General warning. But these were losses we knew Northwestern was going to take — they just did the predictable Northwestern thing and gave us a little glimmer of hope anyway. As a treat.

Remains NIT or bust in my book after two losses that we knew were coming. Now begins the winnable stretch of the schedule.

BoilerUp89: I missed the majority of this game as I was heading the Aaron Wheeler fan appreciation club at the Xavier-St. John’s game that night. Yes, Wheeler played well with 11 points and 7 rebounds and the Johnnies beat Xavier.

I did get back home for the final 6 minutes of play during which Purdue seemed to not really care to do much other than just kill clock and let Northwestern make the final score closer than the game had been. Ivey did not play during the time I watched and from the accounts I see elsewhere this was because he played very poorly. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of him needing a rest and he will be ready to go Sunday for RED HOT RUTGERS.

Penn State 67, Minnesota 46

misdreavus79: Penn State, with the exception of Indiana, has actually played the second leg of each of its double plays a lot better than the first leg. Unsurprisingly enough, after barely losing to Minnesota just a few days prior to the second meeting, they went ahead and blew the doors off the Gophers in the second leg.

Penn State shot 53% from the field, and tacked another 50% from three, as they took an early lead and never looked back. Before clearing the bench, there was a point in the game where every Nittany Lion but one had scored (nine of the 10 players who played non-garbage time minutes). The big key in this one was the Lions consistently attacking the rim, which opened up the perimeter, but also played right into the strength of the matchup.

...and, as I mentioned on the previous recap, Payton Willis and Eric Curry didn’t get the combined 50 points that it took to win the first one. They combined for six points instead, five of which came from Willis.

Michigan Wolverines 84, Iowa Hawkeyes 79

65% from the free throw line and 4/18 from deep ain’t gonna cut it, Hawks.

Michigan moves the ball well, gets some timely shooting, and now has freshmen like Moussa Diabate rounding into form down the stretch, dropping 28 on the Hawkeyes, who squandered a pedestrian 23 and 7 from Keegan Murray.

I believe we were just talking about Iowa, Fran McCaffery, and talent.


Big Ten Bracketology

B1G Thoughts

  • Utmost congratulations must first and foremost go to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who have finally become a Quad 1 win thanks to their takedown of Illinois. Big moment for Steve Pikiell and the gang!
  • (Lunardi has moved the Knights fully into the field, with Michigan holding onto a First Four spot despite its Quad 1 road win over Iowa. Oh, by the way, Zuzu’s gotta be pumped about their matchu—
  • Looking like Purdue has settled into a 2-seed unless they do something horrific like losing to Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament or whatever. That seems fair—they look like a 2-seed, even though we all know they’re a lot more fun as a 3-seed.
  • wisconsin and Ohio State give us hope that SOMEONE will lose to Rick Pitino’s Iona in the NCAA Tournament. Me, I’m hoping it’s the badgers.


Who would you rather see Rick Pitino’s Iona beat in the NCAA Tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    (45 votes)
  • 34%
    Ohio State
    (43 votes)
  • 29%
    I’m no fun and would want to see them lose.
    (37 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now
  • Illinois is also present.
  • I think it would be massively harsh to slide Michigan State all the way down to a 6-seed, but Green Akers’s negativity toward Tom Izzo has been so bad—and I didn’t see the Penn State loss but I assume it, like all games in The Blue Tomb, was horrific—that maybe it happens. And Sparty did lose to Northwestern...
  • The gap in Iowa’s highest and lowest seedings among Basketball Knowers remains 4. Just stick the Hawkeyes onto an 8-9 line so I can assume they’ll win maybe a game and go right back to not making the Sweet Sixteen.
  • Indiana, our favorite yo-yo team, has two likely road losses (OSU next, closing the year at Purdue) but three winnable games in between: Maryland, @Minnesota, Rutgers. It’s starting to look like 3-2 (finishing 10-10 in the Big Ten) and at least the first round of the BTT is a necessity for the Hoosiers...
  • Smack dab on the bubble feels right for Michigan, but at this point I’d buy that stock if I were a Wolverines fan. Thank God I’m not.
  • I’m starting the Northwestern-to-NIT campaign. Hell, Northwestern-to-CBI! GIVE ME A HOME-AND-HOME WITH DRAKE FOR THE TITLE. WHO SAYS NO!

Big Ten Friday Open Thread

Men’s Basketball Schedule

Maryland Terrapins at Nebraska Cornhuskers

8pm | BTN | Maryland -2 | O/U 145.5

I mean, if you watch’re single or not speaking to your significant other at the moment.

Here’s your open thread for the night’s basketball—we’ll have more basketball previews of the weekend coming tomorrow. Thanks for reading OTE.