Recorded a couple podcasts last night with Thumpasaurus, misdreavus, and the inimitable He was a high school quarterback, and man—are we a better-looking writing staff than most of you yakkity-yaks give us credit for.
...is Rutgers a lock?
Big Ten Bracketology
A really, really interesting Big Ten Tournament for the top three seeds in the conference:
- I’d guess a Wisconsin Badgers or Purdue Boilermakers win bumps them back up to a 2-line, since it likely involves them beating the other, along with teams NET really likes in MSU or OSU. BUT!
- Illinois Fighting Illini obviously has the easiest route, with the winner of Rutgers-Iowa in the semifinals—either a not-at-all-good Rutgers team away from the RAC or, more likely, an Iowa team on its third game in three days. But then how high can the Illini rise? Palm seems to already be setting them up for a claim at a high 3- or the last 2-seed, with the Illini at the #10 overall spot (and Purdue at the #7 overall). Three Big Ten teams on the three line would really seem to capture the “who the fuck knows?” of this season.
And now for the main body of the Tourney:
- One First Round matchup I really want to highlight: Palm’s proposed 4-13 matchup in the West of Arkansas-South Dakota State. The Runnin’ Hogs can fill it up, obviously, but the Jacks are one of the most efficient and pure-shooting offenses in the country. If they survive NDSU in the Summit League final, watch out.
- LOT of discussion on the podcast about Iowa Hawkeyes and whether they’re a 5-, 6-, or 7-seed. If the Hawks do wind up drawing Davidson, though, get really for an offense treat—Wildcats HC Bob McKillop runs a really cool 5-out motion offense that should give Iowa’s...questionable...defense some fits while forcing the game to their tempo. Could be a fun matchup in styles and coaching.
- Curious to see how the late swoon of Ohio State hurts them on Selection Sunday.
- Tough BTT draw for Michigan State Spartans—Sparty looks pretty glued to an 8-seed, meaning it’s over by the end of the first weekend unless they pull off some magic, and opportunities to break onto a 7-line mean a meaningless win against Maryland, then desperately needing to upset wisconsin in the quarterfinals. And with a loss to the Terps? Slap Sparty as a 10-seed and let’s be done with it.
Aaaaaand the Bubble:
- Michigan Wolverines: That 8-9 game with Indiana Hoosiers looks an awful lot like a “win and you’re in” game. But the Hoosiers? Probably need two...
- For what it’s worth, the good-looking gentlemen over at The Barking Crow gave Indiana their own region in the NIT. Which is nice, because they didn’t even afford that luxury to...
- “#4-seed in the Big Ten Tournament” Rutgers! Stop and appreciate for a moment the absurdity of a team with a double-bye in the BTT being on the bubble. And you know what? Go remind yourself of the Knights’ non-conference schedule. Not just Lafayette (lol), but all of it. Good God, they had a half-vision and completely fell on their face.
- Worth noting we talk a LOT more about this in the podcast Thump will have posted tomorrow, so please do check that out: it includes us charting a (realistic?!?!?!?) path to the NIT for Maryland Terrapins and, I swear, Penn State Nittany Lions and Northwestern Wildcats.
Hey, where are you going? Come back!
What to Watch Today
Lot of hoops on today tipping off as early as 1pm with Boston College-Pitt in the ACC Tournament play-ins, but with some really great finals out there:
ASUN Championship Game
Jacksonville Dolphins at Bellarmine Knights
4pm | ESPN2 | Bell -2.5 | O/U 122.5
Dolphins got an auto-bid when Bellarmine upset the Fuckin’ Falwells, because the Knights are still transitioning to D-1. But hey, it’s basketball!
Northeast Conference Championship Game
Wagner Seahawks at Bryant Bulldogs
6pm | ESPN2 | Bryant -4 | O/U 149.5
Now this should be a game. We previewed this for you, too, and this one will prove which of Kind of... and me is smarter:
He’s got the Seahawks, but I’ve got Never Made the Tourney Club Bryant to get it done and join fellow first-timer Longwood in the Dance.
Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game
Delaware Fighting Blue Hens vs. UNC Wilmington Seahawks
6pm | CBSSN | Delaware -2 | O/U 134.5
Entertainment & Sports Arena (Washington, DC)
Well well well, you get the upset you wanted, and now Kind of... and I both look silly with our CAA picks; though, to be fair, 1-seed Towson—upset last night by Delaware—really was the best team in the conference.
The W takes the air outta it and grinds it out, but the Hens are soaring (?) at the right now. Fly, chickens, fly.
Horizon League Championship Game
Wright State Raiders vs. Northern Kentucky Norse
6pm | ESPN | NKU -1 | O/U 135
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis, IN)
Goldamn, you sit there and just look at this beautiful example of New Deal architecture:
Gets me all tingly in the nether regions.
...and picked Cleveland State anyway.
With the Vikings in their rearview, the Raiders now take aim at Kind of...’s pick, the 2-seed Norse in what should be a raucous atmosphere in Indianapolis.
West Coast Conference Tournament Championship
#17 Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs
8pm | ESPN | Zaga -13.5 | O/U 142
Orleans Arena (Las Vegas, NV)
oh wow who could’ve picked this okay everyone moving on
Summit League Championship
Fargo High School Grade 13 Satellite Campus (Tires Fixed Also) Bizon vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
8pm | ESPN2 | SDSU -5 | O/U 152
Denny Sanford Premier Center (Sioux Falls, SD)
Both Kind of... and I thought it’d be Oral Bob’s House of Learning taking on the Jacks, but the Bizon are a fine substitute—and South Dakota State is so good it likely doesn’t matter. (Yet only one of us picked the Jacks...)
This is probably the most fun game of the evening, in my book, though Wagner-Bryant is a close second.
Here is, perhaps, an open thread for the day’s basketball? We should have a podcast recapping the Big Ten season for you shortly, too. In the meantime, check out Atinat’s latest in wrestling coverage, take a peek at how we made sense of the last weekend of Big Ten play, and thanks for making OTE one of the many open tabs in your browser, you beauty.