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Big Ten Basketball: Monday Open Thread

COVID was defeated to bring you Northwestern-Wisconsin basketball

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Wisconsin
The patented Wisconsin forearm shiver
Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday, January 22nd

Indiana Hoosiers 82, Michigan State Spartans 69

MaximumSam: Someone break up the Hoosiers. Indiana is on a certified heater with their third straight double digit win in the conference. TJD has jammed himself into the POTY conversation, this time with 31 points and 15 rebounds while holding Jaxon Kohler and Mady Sissoko to a combined 13 and and 10. They also got 17 on 5/6 from three from Tamar Bates. This team certainly looks like the monster that was envisioned in the preseason.

BoilerUp89: If Trey Galloway and Tamar Bates have learned how to shoot, the Hoosiers can still be a dangerous team this season. If this was a one off - well no shame in losing to a team that goes 60% from three.

Purdue Boilermakers 58, Maryland Terrapins 55

MaximumSam: Speaking of monsters, Purdue figures to be in the conversation for #1 after Houston and Kansas lost over the weekend. They jumped out to a big lead in the first half which slowly, so slowly dwindled over the second half. This game was close because of Purdue’s complete inability to make threes, going 3/21. They won because of Maryland’s inability to make threes - they went 2/13. That’s a lot of bricks.

BoilerUp89: Purdue built a lead, then stopped being physically strong with the ball. Bad passes led to turnovers which led to Maryland fast breaks and all of a sudden it was a game again. Combined with a poor shooting game for Purdue and Maryland had some opportunities to win this one. Fortunately for Purdue, Maryland struggled just as much when it came to shooting the ball and the half court defense for the Boilers was good.

The Turtles ability to switch defenses - sometimes even mid possession - was impressive and contributed to some of Purdue’s offensive miscues.

Michigan Wolverines 60, Minnesota Gophers 56

BoilerUp89: This photo is going to be less funny to me after Michigan knocks off #1 ranked Purdue this week.

The big takeaway from this game is injuries. Dawson Garcia got hurt. Jett Howard got hurt.

Garcia’s injury appeared to be an ankle injury but he returned to the game. Missing 14 minutes due to foul trouble and the ankle injury sunk the Gophers chances in this game however.

Jett’s injury was also an ankle and he was seen in a walking boot after the game. No word on how long he will be out.

Monday, January 23rd

#71 Wisconsin Badgers (12-5, 4-3) at #52 Northwestern Wildcats (12-5, 3-3), 5:30 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: COVID tried to save us from this game, but the vaccine got its way and now will try to infect our brains through the television (tell ‘em Silk!). Both these teams have been rough on offense and strong on defense while playing pretty slowly. Don’t expect fireworks. I bagged on Chucky Hepburn at the beginning of the season, but he is shooting 48% from three, while Connor Essegian is shooting 46%. Forget running offense, just go bombs away. Torvik goes Wildcats, 61-57.

BoilerUp89: Northwestern’s attempts to avoid playing basketball have been foiled by Big Ten officials who have ordered them to resume play. As we all expected before the season, this is a much watch game where the winner will be tied for 2nd in the loss column in the B1G standings. The loser will be just barely above 11th place.

Got to wonder if Northwestern comes out rusty after a long layoff. We’ve typically seen teams struggle post COVID delays the last few years. Of course Northwestern’s shooting has been so rough up to this point, would we even notice?