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Big Ten Tournament: Two-Day Retrospective, Day 3 Preview

Iowa nuked Northwestern from orbit, Michigan went from punching to choking, and DOWN GOES OHIO STATE!

Penn State Nittany Lions guard Sam Sessoms (12) and forward John Harrar (21) and guard Jalen Pickett (22) celebrate in the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.  Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of watching Northwestern-Iowa, I obstructed my office door’s glass and took a nap. Turns out I made the right decision.

Here, writers, are your first two rounds’ worth of games:

Loser Round

[12] Northwestern Wildcats 71, [13] Nebraska Cornhuskers 69
[11] Penn State Nittany Lions 60, [14] Minnesota Golden Gophers 51

Less-Loser Round

[9] Indiana Hoosiers 74, [8] Michigan Wolverines 69
[5] Iowa Hawkeyes 112, [12] Northwestern lol
[7] Michigan State Spartans 76, [10] Maryland Terrapins 72
[11] Penn State Nittany Lions 71, [6] Ohio State Buckeyes 68

And so we ask you:

1. Any surprises in the first two rounds?

MNW: Mostly just that Chris Collins is still employed.

Buffkomodo: For the first time in my life, Indiana flipped the script and roared to a comeback win vs Michigan in the B1G tournament. It’s still depressing when you realize you still have to win 3 games to be the champion. Oh well. Also, my Iowa pick looked good today, thanks Northwestern!

HWAHSQB: I keep forgetting that there are games before Friday.

BoilerUp89: The B1G tournament starts before Friday? Huh, could have fooled me. Since we went to the double bye format, Purdue hasn’t played on Wednesday or Thursday. As for surprises, I agree with MNW—although there is still time for them to fire him. Maybe the AD wants to do it in person. In a year where all the coaches are voluntarily stepping away (Mack, Turgeon, Crean, Weber...), Collins seems to be holding on for dear life.

And of course, Indiana winning a tournament game is always surprising.

misdreavus79: I guess Iowa scoring 112 points while their managers played the last 10 minutes of the game is surprising. I have a better one: Every game except that aforementioned Iowa/Northwestern contest has been pretty good. Crazy comebacks on Friday by Indiana, Maryland, and Penn State, all of which were by at least 13 points, and two fo those teams actually won!

Now, I expect my Nittany Lions to run out of gas in the quarterfinals, but that’s a topic for tomorrow!

RU in VA: Man, something was off that whole Ohio State game. I don’t know if it was just the dead shock of realizing how incredibly big John Harrar’s nose is in person, or that it looked like OSU’s gameplan was “EJ will save us”. I look forward to seeing Liddell’s sweet turn around fadeaway in the league, but other than that, burn the tape for both teams.

Oh, and uhhh, Iowa is out for blood. More below.

Beez: Iowa giving up 80 and winning by almost 40 or whatever was surprising.

2. Given the same prompt we’re going to keep beating to death—Rutgers, Michigan, Indiana. NOW who’s in, who’s out?

Buffkomodo: I get that Michigan had a good conference run, but I still don’t understand those who put them in above Rutgers. I think they’re all in still.

BoilerUp89: Rutgers - in without going to Dayton. Michigan - in at the moment but at Dayton and if Indiana finds a way to beat Illinois, could be out. Indiana is probably my first team out at the moment. If the committee is kinder than me they may even be in. Either way they are likely rooting hard for Davidson and Houston.

misdreavus79: Well, I think Rutgers just has to avoid getting blasted to the moon and they’ll be fine. Michigan might have to sweat a bit, but their numbers are good, and they’re in that unwritten “three games above .500” threshold that should keep them in. And, of course, Indiana actually beating Michigan cemented their place in the dance.

MNW: Indiana’s in, Rutgers is in the first four, Michigan gets to host a regional in the NIT. That seems fair, right?

RU in VA: Rutgers and Indiana in as 11 and 14 seeds respectively. it would not surprise me if Michigan gets a first four game and gets hamblasted by a Wyoming or a Xavier.

NCAA wants those Walmart Wolverine eyeballs...

Beez: I think Rutgers needs to win to feel safe. Indiana and Michigan are in.

3. Weigh in on today’s games:

[9] Indiana vs. [1] Illinois Fighting Illini

10:30am | BTN | Illinois -5 | O/U 136.5

Buffkomodo: Take Illinois and the points. It’s going to be a massacre. Lightning never strikes twice for this squad.

HWAHSQB: Kofi has TJD’s number and the odds of Indiana out-shooting Illinois are not zero, but pretty low.

RU in VA: I think Indiana covers here. Michigan is a good team. Indy is confident, and they have a game changer on the floor.


pick your I

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    large and orange
    (15 votes)
  • 11%
    middle tine of the fork
    (2 votes)
17 votes total Vote Now

[5] Iowa vs. [4] Rutgers Scarlet Knights

~1pm | BTN | Iowa -6.5 | O/U 144.5

beez: That Iowa run last night was insane

Also somewhat insane: The Athletic article today that asks if you can trust “Buzz Saw Iowa” the rest of the way. That’s not the cray part, the cray part is that the answer to the question is maybe.

So I’m just going to say it. If Iowa shoots 50% from 3, they’re not losing again this year.

RU in VA: No idea. Rutgers has proven that they can take really anyone to the woodshed, but fold like hospital corners on a Marine Corps recruit’s bunk to anyone.

Iowa reportedly is “not happy” about their loss earlier in the year, according to Keegan Murray. Fortunately, when I picture an Iowan mad, it’s someone with their hands in their pockets of their overalls kicking the dirt saying “I’m so fricking hopping mad right now!”. And the fear subsides.

Iowa wins, doesn’t cover.



This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (31 votes)
  • 36%
    trapezoid terrorists
    (18 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now

[7] Michigan State vs. [2] wisconsin badgers

5:30pm | BTN | wisc -2.5 | O/U 138

Yeah this is a sure no-watcher. Think I’ll make myself a nice fish fry.

RU in VA: who cares. rutgers beat em both.

Beez: Despite knowing that MSU and Wisconsin are 2000s Rivals to their cores, I’m just like not at all interested in this game. I’m interested to see if Wisconsin plays any better than against Nebraska, in particular Steven Crowl, and I’m interested to see how Davis’s ankle is, but I’ve seen this game twice this year.

And for seeding interest? Lose and Wisconsin’s a 3 (I think). Win and Wisconsin loses to Purdue because no depth at all on back to back games, and Wisconsin’s a 3. I guess winning this game “guarantees” a 3, but I think it’s meaningless. And it’s not even during work! What a bummer.


tHiS iS a RiVaLrY

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    (25 votes)
  • 59%
    (36 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now

[11] Penn State vs. [3] Purdue Boilermakers

8pm | BTN | Purdue -9 | O/U 134

BoilerUp89: Okay, Shrewsberry, I thought you liked Purdue? Why would you take away our opportunity to tie up the all time series with Ohio State and have a .500+ record against all B1G teams?

I assume PSU will be tired playing their third game in three days, but Purdue will probably try to sleepwalk thru the game too—so who knows. It’s also really weird to be the last (or 2nd to last depending on whether our game or Memphis’s tips first) team to start postseason play. Hopefully the Boilers have been watching tournament games from across the country and seeing what defensive intensity looks like.

misdreavus79: Purdue has ended Penn State’s last two deep runs in the Big Ten Tournament. In 2015, the Nittany Lions beat Nebraska and Iowa, only to lose a close one to the Boilers. In 2018, the Nittany Lions made it to the semifinals by beating Northwestern and Ohio State, and Purdue was, yet again, ready to stymie the Lions run. Can the third time be the charm? I don’t think it will, but I sure hope so!


pick your p

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    (22 votes)
  • 71%
    really weird and stretched out and gold
    (55 votes)
77 votes total Vote Now

4. Any other, better conference tournaments you’ve been watching? Tell us something different to watch today when Rutgers-Iowa is 21-18 at halftime.

Buffkomodo: I saw the Florida State, Miami finish. Then I looked at the ACC seeds…and saw number 2 in the ACC Notre Dame as a Last 4 Bye team….I’d be sad if it were anyone but the ACC.

BoilerUp89: I was really rooting for St. John’s as the cofounder of the Aaron Wheeler fan club. He played a heck of a game against Villanova, but the Johnnies fell just short when Villanova hit two FTs with 2 seconds left to take a 1 point lead.

misdreavus79: Shamefully, I’ve been working this week, so I’ve had the Big Ten games on my second monitor. That’s about all I can handle at the moment.

RU in VA: Well, their conference tournament is over - but Bryant and Peter Kiss have been a welcome story. Rutgers is already an INCREDIBLY unlikable team. Could you imagine if they still had this kid making three glasses down the court? Peter Kiss

I’m pretty sure Izzo would have a stroke with him and Mulcahy on the same court.

MNW: Few good games I’ve got my eye on that are non-B1G events:

  • C-USA quarterfinals: LaTech vs. North Texas (11:30am, CBSSN)
  • A10 quarterfinals: St. Louis vs. St. Bonaventure’s (1:30pm, USA)
  • Big East Tournament semifinals: Creighton vs. Providence (5:30pm, FS1)
  • MAC semifinals: Ohio vs. Kent State (6:30pm, CBSSN)
  • Southland semifinals: New Orleans vs. SE Louisiana (7:30pm, ESPN+, O/U 158.5)
  • MWC semifinals: Wyoming vs. Boise State (8:30pm, CBSSN)
  • Pac-12 Tournament semifinals: USC vs. UCLA (10:30pm, FS1)
  • Big West semifinals: Hawai’i vs. CSU Fullerton (10:30pm, ESPNU)
  • MWC semifinals: San Diego State vs. Colorado State (10:59pm, CBSSN)

Here’s your open thread for the day’s hoops. Enjoy. Behave.