The Big Ten finally had a night to remember. Two wins against top 25 opponents and a convincing win against basketball powerhouse Louisville.
BoilerUp89: The Hoosiers found themselves in a game with Louisville, but midway through the 2nd half Mike Woodson changed the defense and switched to a 2-3 zone. Louisville head coach Kenny Payne is many things: a renaissance man, an entertaining post game interviewee, and a multi-millionaire. One thing he is not is a good head coach. The zone bamboozled him and helped Indiana pull out the victory. I haven’t seen a head coach that confused about a 2-3 zone since Indiana v. Syracuse in the NCAA tournament.
Kenny Payne says they didn't discuss the possibility of #iubb going to a zone. Said he never thought Mike Woodson would go to a zone defense.— Seth Tow (@SethTow) November 21, 2023
"He tricked me."
The Hoosiers went on a 13-2 run over the final four minutes to steal a win against Louisville despite shooting 1 of 11 from three. Five star freshman Mgbako started the game but played just 9 minutes and had only 4 points. I’m officially concerned about how he’s going to perform this season. If he’s not going to be a guy, I don’t know that Indiana has the weapons to compete in the Big Ten.
BoilerUp89: Can Purdue beat good teams when they don’t make three pointers? Put a maybe next to that question. The Boilers went just 4 of 17 but scrapped together a victory against a solid Gonzaga team. This is the first top 25 victory for the Big Ten this season but not the last!
Gonzaga took a 35 to 30 lead into the half while Zach Edey was not shooting the ball well and other Boilermakers not named Braden Smith were struggling to score. Purdue came out in the second half though with a better defensive mindset. TKR was replaced by Gillis as the main PF alongside Edey (which not only improves the defensive rotations with Edey in the game, but gives the 2nd unit a low post option on offense to dump the ball to). Lance Jones made his presence known on the defensive end and on fast breaks. Purdue was helped by the Bulldogs going 0 of 13 from three in the second half but more of those threes were contested than in the first half when Gonzaga knocked down 6 threes. Edey had 25 points to go along with 14 rebounds and 3 blocks. Braden Smith may have had a more impressively stat line with 13 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 4 rebounds.
BoilerUp89: I said Wisconsin would have an advantage in the paint and on the glass and they certainly did. Steven Crowl had 15 points to lead the Badgers and Wisconsin dominated the glass with 48 rebounds to Virginia’s 21. Adding insult to injury, Wisconsin also made their open threes against Virginia’s pack line defense by shooting 8 of 18 from three. Virginia was ranked 24th in the country entering last night and this game wasn’t in doubt late in the second half. Part of the benefit of playing a challenging non-conference schedule like Wisconsin is that they can lose some games (Tennessee, Providence) but still be able to pick up some resume boosting wins.
#311 UMBC Retrievers at #56 Maryland Terrapins (-20.5), 6 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: Maryland is 1-3 and needs any sort of win. The Retrievers probably aren’t beating a 1 seed this year, but they did almost beat Louisville to tip off their season and have generally punched a bit above expectations. If punching above expectations means a win for them here, Kevin Willard will have to hit up witness protection. Torvik says Terps, 83-62.
BoilerUp89: If Maryland loses this one, it might be time to give Mark Turgeon a call. Maryland is off to a disappointing start, but let’s not pretend like UMBC is anywhere near as good as Davidson, UAB, or Villanova. This should be a bounce back game for the Turtles. UMBC will get up and down the floor (2nd fastest tempo this season) and does actually shoot the three ball fairly well at 36% though so Maryland can’t look past them.
#1 Purdue Boilermakers (-3) v. #6 Tennessee Volunteers, 7 pm, ESPN
BoilerUp89: I watched part of the Tennessee-Syracuse game while working yesterday afternoon and didn’t think that the Volunteers played their best ball. They took too many ill advised shots and there were times I didn’t understand what they were trying to accomplish on offense. That said, they are a long, athletic roster that is going to pressure Purdue’s guards. This will be a true test to see if Purdue has fixed some of the issues that plagued them at times last year.
If Purdue can manage the pressure of the Volunteers’ guards and get Zach Edey the ball, he could have himself a game. Tennessee is thin in the front court. On the other side of the ball Purdue will need to find a way to limit Dalton Knecht. Knecht is a heck of a player with the ability to create and score at any time.
#344 Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions at #100 Minnesota Golden Gophers (-16.5), 8 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: Minny is a blown 20 point lead against Mizzou away from being undefeated. Though Mizzou just lost to Jackson State, so still uncertain where in the basketball universe they will land (besides mediocre to bad). Dawson Garcia has not been bad, though, and is capable of pushing this team to some unexpected wins. Also, I figured out the hyphen goes between Arkansas and Pine and not Pine and Bluff. I’m gonna need to read up on why that is. Torvik says Minny, 87-66.
BoilerUp89: The hyphen goes between Arkansas and Pine Bluff because it is part of the the University of Arkansas system. It’s a branch campus located in Pine Bluff. Much like Arkansas - Little Rock. The Golden Lions have the second worst defense in the country per KenPom. If Minnesota only scored 87 points, I’d honestly be a little surprised.
Purdue or Tennessee?
This poll is closed
A state that volunteered for a war America lost to the British
Elsewhere in the World
Hi, MNW here. How are you?
There are other basketball tournaments as well, and the reason this article dropped so early today was to give you an open thread to talk about any college hoops happening across the world. So here you go!
A few recommendations:
Duh. As BoilerUp mentioned above, just because Purdue’s being happy doesn’t mean you can’t watch others be miserable. Here are some ways to do that!
- Syracuse Orange vs. #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs [1:30pm, ESPN2]
- UCLA Bruins vs. Chaminade Silver Swords [4pm, ESPN2]
- #4 Kansas Jayhawks vs. Marquette Golden Eagles [9:30pm, ESPN]
Cancun Challenge — Riviera Division
Head down to the finest ballroom in all of Mexico, apparently, and enjoy some mid-major hoop! There are a couple good games on in this tournament’s higher-profile division:
- #22 James Madison Dukes vs. Southern Illinois Salukis [5pm, CBSSN]
- Fresno State Bulldogs vs. New Mexico State Aggies [7:30pm, CBSSN]
The biggest problem here is that most of these minor outlying tournaments use FloHoops for their streaming service. You are a busy person and don’t have time to pay for more streaming services than you already have, so you’ll miss the Gulf Coast Showcase, Ball Dawgs Classic, Cayman Islands Classic, and Sunshine Slam.
The Fort Myers Tip-Off, though—featuring the wisconsin-Virginia donnybrook discussed above—also has a lower division that features...three teams? I’m not sure what the deal is there, but it means that UNC Wilmington, Murray State, and Appalachian State are playing a round-robin over three days. The Seahawks knocked off the Racers yesterday afternoon, 83-81, and run it back today against the Mountaineers at 11am (check out this free feed from their hosts, Florida Southwestern College).
Have Flo? I’d recommend New Mexico-Toledo tonight at 10:15pm from Henderson, Nevada, in the Ball Dawgs Classic.
And for the rest of us?
Hey, there are a few games that could be intriguing:
- Binghamton Bearcats at Sacred Heart Pioneers [10:30am, NEC Front Row (free)] — KP #237 at KP #245. Nice and gross.
- Western Illinois Leathernecks at Valparaiso Beacons [7pm, ESPN+] — #318 in Kenpom at #333, which I believe is the worst-rated basketball game that’s actually watchable today, just barely beating out #315 Eastern Michigan at #309 Detroit Mercy [6pm, ESPN+] and #338 Army at #303 Albany [6pm, ESPN+].
And, finally, for the night owls:
- Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors [12:30am, ESPN+].
Here’s your open thread. Go nuts.