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BASKETBALL TONIGHT: Big Ten 2023-24 Season Tip-Off Predictions and Open Thread

Season starts today!

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The college basketball season is finally here, and the Big Ten tips off tonight!

Previews and Projections:

In case you blinked or didn’t log in to this website in the last hour, we’ve got our FULL final projected order of finish right here. Is it Purdue’s conference to lose? Does at least one of our writers have Michigan State or Indiana winning the conference? And what of Maryland?

In case you missed it, you can find your team specific previews here:

Today’s Schedule

All rankings using Torvik. All times Central despite the protestations of your writers. [ed. note: not all our writers] Full lines and totals can be found in the spreadsheet at the bottom of the article.

#157 Samford Bulldogs at #1 Purdue Boilermakers, 5:30 pm, BTN

Purdue kicks off their redemption/revenge tour with Samford And Sons, who tied for first in the Southern Conference last year. They lost their two leading scorers but do return forward Jermaine Marshall, who led them in rebounds and averaged 13 points a game. They also have a seven footer to combat Zach Edey in Baylor transfer Zach Loveday. Also, their head coach is named Bucky. What’s not to love? Torvik goes Purdue, 82-62.

BoilerUp89: Samford is expected to once again compete for the Southern championship. Bucky McMillan enters his 4th season as the head coach of Samford after winning the SoCon coach of the year the past two seasons. Zach Loveday isn’t just some 7 footer, he was a top 100 recruit and the #2 player in Ohio.

Despite that, Samford plans to have 5’7” Dallas Graziani tip off. Go watch the follow up videos in addition to the one I’ve embedded below.

#337 Delaware State Hornets at #160 Penn State Nittany Lions, 6 pm

The Nits welcome in what has been one of the worst teams in basketball in Delaware State. They went 6-23 last year and 4-10 in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference. Is there Totally-Eastern Conference? Anyways, the Hornets do return guard Martez Robinson, who led the team in points, rebounds, and steals. Better guard him. Torvik goes PSU, 80-65.

BoilerUp89: Delaware State did not win a game against Division 1 competition until January 23 last year.

#136 Princeton Tigers at #52 Rutgers, 6 pm, Peacock

BoilerUp89 may hate your schedule Rutgers, but you do have a live body in reigning Sweet Sixteen member Princeton. The Tigers lost a couple key guys from last year’s team, including new Northwestern Wildcat Ryan Langborg. They do return guard Matt Allocco, who shoots 40% from three. Rutgers had better try throwing him through a window. Torvik goes Scarlet Knights, 70-64.

BoilerUp89: This is the game to watch tonight if your team isn’t playing. It’s an in-state rivalry, and our best chance at an upset tonight as Princeton is decent.

MNW: I would take the under in this one, as it’ll be a lot of Rutgers attacking the Tigers on the three-point line. Can Princeton scheme their way around the Pikemen? Dunno and doubt it, but Mitch Henderson will have tooled the Princeton offense to make it interesting.

#263 Oakland Golden Grizzlies at #40 Ohio State Buckeyes, 6 pm

The Buckeyes attempt to exorcise the ghosts of last year by welcoming in a team from Michigan. Oakland’s best returning player is wing Trey Townsend, who is a solid scorer and rebounder. They also have Old Friend Rocket Watts. Remember him? He was like the next big things at Michigan State, only to hit the road. He went to Mississippi State, where he didn’t do much, before heading to Oakland last year. He was quite dreadful for them last year, let’s hope he doesn’t remember how to play. Torvik goes OSU, 83-63.

BoilerUp89: Everyone likes Oakland head coach Greg Kampe. It’s early in the season and the Buckeyes are presumably still gelling with all the new faces, but they should be able to out-talent Oakland here.

#306 Eastern Illinois Panthers at #28 Illinois Fighting Illini, 7 pm

The Illini get a sacrificial lamb in Eastern Illinois. They were horrid last season, and not much is expected this season. They do have a point guard named Tiger, so that has to be worth a few points. Torvik says Illini, 88-63.

BoilerUp89: EIU may be bad, but they were bad last year and claimed a scalp from Iowa. Illinois should be careful to not overlook them after beating Kansas in the preseason.

MNW: I just want to thank you for reminding me that Eastern Illinois beat Iowa last year. MAN that was funny.

#178 Arkansas State Red Wolves at #31 Wisconsin Badgers, 7 pm

The Red Wolves weren’t any good last year going 6-12 in the Sun Belt, but they do return a lot of experience. They do play a couple point guards in Caleb Fields and Terrance Ford Jr., so Wisconsin better get those elbows ready. They play extremely slow - their temp was 345th last year, two ticks behind Wisconsin. We could have a football score. Torvik goes Wiscy, 74-60.

#336 Lindenwood Lions at #45 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 7 pm

Welcome to the Wood. Originally the Lindenwood School for Girls, I imagine they at some point changed their policy to allow boys. That includes forward Keenon Cole, who can rebound and score from outside. This is only their second year in Division 1, the first resulted in finishing 345th in the land. Probably no where to go but up. Torvik goes Nebraska, 86-61.

BoilerUp89: Nebraska has had a bunch of guys out to injury during their exhibitions. They could be short handed in this one, but should still be able to beat Lindenwood regardless.

#329 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at #121 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 7 pm

Minnesota needs all the wins they can get, and they get a willing conspirator in Bethune-Cookman. Coached by Reggie Theus, they finished 12-20 last season and then lost a ton of guys. Dangerman is probably point guard Zion Harmon, who who some good shooting last season and led them in points. Torvik says Gophs, 83-66.

#255 Binghampton Bearcats at #36 Northwestern Wildcats, 7 pm

The Bearcats are in their third year under coach Levell Sanders, and they hope to go from bad to mostly bad. To that end, they do return a pair of senior guards in Armon Harried and Dan Petcash. Petcash in particular is a sharpshooter, hitting 57/41/85 splits. Better guard him, Cats. Torvik goes Northwestern, 79-60.

BoilerUp89: The old PTI special. Was this game scheduled specifically for them? Is it not televised?

MNW: They filmed live from Welsh-Ryan last year when they played this game...I’m wondering if they’ll do it again. (PTI’s still on the air, right?)

I’d like to see Barnhizer come out and really put his stamp on this one early. Other than that....just don’t fuck it up, guys.

#101 James Madison Dukes at #7 Michigan State Spartans, 7:30 pm, BTN

Sparty gets the toughest opponent of the evening, at least by Torvik’s standards. The Dukes finished 12-6 in the Sun Belt and 22-11 overall, which included a five point loss to Virginia. They play fast (35th in tempo) and they get to the line, so this might be an entertaining game. They also return a bunch of guys, including leading scorer Terrence Edwards Jr., and welcome in transfer T.J. Bickerstaff, son of Bernie Bickerstaff. A true Bickerstaff empire. Torvik goes Sparty, 80-66.

BoilerUp89: James Madison is a good team (the Sun Belt coaches have picked them to win the conference) and could give Michigan State a scare. However, with MSU having already played Tennessee (and lost), they should be plenty motivated and prepared here. If JMU pulls off the upset it going to take something special from Terrence Edwards Jr., but he is capable of doing so.

Full Basketball Schedule

Here’s your open thread. Have a great night of basketball.


Opening night, the B1G goes

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    (15 votes)
  • 37%
    9-1, everyone points and laughs
    (30 votes)
  • 43%
    8-2, everybody panic!
    (35 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now