MaximumSam saw Ohio State lose to Minnesota and had to walk away from college basketball for the weekend. That or he’s taking a vacation over the long holiday weekend. Believe what you will but you are stuck with me either way and I’ll have to put together these previews without his help.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that the Big Ten offices decided to murder the innocent B1G basketball conference tournament logo and replace it with a monstrosity. Gone is the color wheel, taken from us too soon. Instead we get this thing:
Ladies and gentlemen, it's here #B1GMBBT #B1GMBBall— Big Ten Men's Basketball (@B1GMBBall) January 13, 2023
On to the recaps and then the previews.
Thursday, January 12th
Minnesota Gophers 70, Ohio State Buckeyes 67
Do you agree with this call?— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 13, 2023
Minnesota and Ohio State are tied 67-67 with 1.7 to go pic.twitter.com/MXXB5ORyZ9
Oh no. Ohio State has infected the rest of the B1G with Minnesota. It’s a Minnesota team with losses to DePaul and UNLV. Close wins over Cal Baptist and Chicago State. But now, the Gophers have a transitive win over each and every Big Ten team thanks to the Buckeyes. In semi-related news, the B1G circle of suck has already been completed.
Ohio State only ever led by as much as 2 points and the Gophers spent most of this game in the lead. The Gophers held an 11 point lead with 5 minutes to play but it disappeared and Ohio State tied it up at 67 all with 8 seconds to go on the clock. Then the play in the video happened. What do you think? Did the refs get this one right?
Despite the ending, how was Minnesota leading most of the game? Ohio State outrebounded the Gophers by 7 (including 10 more offensive boards), shot 14.4% better from three, and had the advantage at the free throw line by shooting 13/15 instead of 9/16. The one thing Ohio State didn’t do: contest two point attempts. The Gophers were 20 of 32 inside the arc compared to the Buckeyes 18 of 51. The Gophers did a much better job sharing the ball than Ohio State which lead to a lot of their looks.
Five Buckeyes scored in double figures with Sensabaugh leading the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Zed Key saw his return to action and played 30 minutes despite coming off the bench. For the Gophers, Dawson Garcia was the star of the show with 28 points in 38 minutes. Ta’lon Cooper played all forty minutes to get 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists and most importantly the game winning free throw.
Iowa Hawkeyes 93, Michigan Wolverines 84 OT
Iowa was down 7 with just two minutes to go, but a furious rally highlighted by some Michigan turnovers and a pair of Payton Sandfort threes - including an and 1 three - allowed Iowa to tie it back up. Michigan then decided they had only showed up for 40 minutes of play, allowed Iowa to score the first 8 points of overtime, and the game was over.
Kyler Murray and Jett Howard traded shot for shot with Howard putting up 34 points compared to Murray’s 27. The story of the night for me though was Filip Rebraca slightly outplaying Hunter Dickinson. Rebraca has 13 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and zero turnovers. Dickinson meanwhile had 12 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and 4 turnovers. It’s been a tremendous leap in improvement for Rebraca this year who has gone from a guy you hope can hold his own against the dominant centers in the conference to one that you can count on.
Friday, January 13th
Happy Friday the 13th. Oh, and happy 15th birthday to my nephew.
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ 3 Purdue Boilermakers - 6 CT, BTN
These two teams already played in Lincoln before a raucous Cornhusker crowd celebrating their new football coach and the children of the corn gave the trains everything they could handle. Quite frankly, Nebraska had plenty of opportunities to win the game in regulation before losing in overtime.
Their defensive strategy for this one will be much the same. Pack the paint against Edey and hope Purdue misses threes. On the other side, Purdue won’t be overlooking Nebraska after the last game and it offers the Paint Crew student section their first home game in over a month. Turnovers were an issue last time for Purdue. Will they take better care of the ball? Will Nebraska find a way to score some points on the road?
MaximumSam would want me to tell you that Torvik says Purdue 71-57.
Who you got?
This poll is closed
Michigan State Spartans @ Illinois Fighting Illini - 8 CT, FS1
Michigan State will try to continue their winning ways on the road against a resurgent Illini team that has been playing better of late. This feels weird to say, but the Illini will want this game to be on the physical side while Michigan State will not. Illinois has been very effective at scoring in the paint and stopping opponents from doing the same. Michigan State has relied more on the three point ball and crowding opponents at the three point line. Whomever can establish their preferred style of play on the other seems likely to win.
Torvik says Illini 71-66.
For the nightcap game?
This poll is closed
Previews coming soon... probably
Saturday, January 14th
18 Wisconsin Badgers @ Indiana Hoosiers - noon CT, CBS
Indiana is reeling having lost three in a row and five games against power conference opponents in a row. The defense has been awful and the offense isn’t good enough without Xavier Johnson and Race Thompson to make up for that fact. They will face a Wisconsin program also looking for a get right game as the Badgers have lost two in a row. No word on whether Tyler Wahl will be back for this one or not.
Indiana once won 31 straight games against the Badgers. The Hoosiers are currently 1-9 in their last 10 against the Badgers. The good news for the Hoosiers is that this is a home game - they haven’t won in Madison since the 90s.
Torvik says Indiana 69-65 but like most computer rankings can’t accurately account for the injuries to both sides.
Sunday, January 15th
Northwestern Wildcats @ Michigan Wolverines - 11 AM CT, BTN
Ohio State Buckeyes @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights - 1:15 PM CT, BTN
Maryland Terrapins @ Iowa Hawkeyes - 330 CT, BTN
Monday, January 16th
Purdue Boilermakers @ Michigan State Spartans - 130 CT, FOX
Illinois Fighting Illini @ Minnesota Gophers - 5 CT, BTN
Have fun and let’s try not to burn the house down while MaxSam is on vacation.