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Off Tackle Open Threads: December 16th Basketball

An epic day of basketballdom

NCAA Basketball: Hall of Fame Series-Toronto-Alabama at Purdue
SO WHAT IF I CAN’T GROW A FULL BEARD I HAVE A CONDITION
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

Maryland Terrapins 105, Alcorn State 65

Minnesota Golden Gophers 101, IUPUI 65

BoilerUp89: No Dawson Garcia, no Braeden Carrington, no problem. Elijah Hawkins had 17 assists to set the Gophers program record and Minnesota blew out Indiana University*. I still don’t think Ben Johnson is a good basketball coach, but the Gophers aren’t awful this year. They will win some games in a down conference.

*Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Chicago State Cougars 75, #25 Northwestern Wildcats 73

Voters looking to rank Northwestern

BoilerUp89: MNW warned us. Unfortunately, that was his last article as a Big Ten fan. Due to the rules in place for this week’s games, Northwestern is hereby kicked out of the conference. You will be missed, but not forgotten Wildcats. Good luck getting your first home win as a ranked team since the Eisenhower administration while you are a Division 1 Independent. The good news is that you will get to play other Independent schools like checks notes Chicago State*.

*Chicago State is joining the Northeast Conference in the future

Wisconsin Badgers 75, Jacksonville State 60

Previews

#110 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets v. #119 Penn State Nittany Lions (-2.5), 11 am, BTN

MaximumSam: Are you in New York City and interested in two sub-100 teams facing off? Boy have I got a game for you. Damon Stoudamire’s Rambling Wreck come in with mixed results so far - they’ve lost to UMass-Lowell and got housed by Cincinnati, but they also have a nice win over Duke. That’s somewhat similar to PSU, who have been mostly uninspiring until they beat Ohio State. They have a bunch of wing shaped players and the Nits should watch Florida transfer Kowacie Reeves Jr., who is shooting 40% from deep. Torvik goes Jackets, 74-73.

#6 Kansas Jayhawks at #59 Indiana Hoosiers (+7.5), 11:30 am, CBS

IT IS BACK AND IT IS GLORIOUS

BoilerUp89: Hunter Dickinson has never been terribly interested in playing defense but he should be able to challenge Kel’el Ware and that’s been an issue in Indiana’s losses this season. Kansas shares the ball really well, leading to good looks that they’ve been making at a high clip. As a team they’ve been effective in slowing down their opponents. They aren’t unbeatable but it will take a good three point shooting game from Indiana to do so. Considering the Hoosiers has only made more than 4 threes in one game this year and will be without Xavier Johnson again, I’m not holding my breath.

#352 Long Island University Sharks at #69 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (-25.5), 12 pm

Long Island v Miami Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

MaximumSam: There are teams that are part of one of the best days of basketball of the year and then there is Rutgers. Torvik goes Knights, 80-57.

BoilerUp89: Mawot Mag returned last game for Rutgers and it sure would be nice to know how much his presence improves their team. We won’t get that from this game.

#14 Baylor Bears at #23 Michigan State Spartans (+2.5), 1 pm, FOX

MaximumSam: Sparty is 4-5 and now brings in Baylor, who are undefeated and sport wins over Florida and Auburn. They haven’t been the defensive whizbang of their championship year, but they are filling the nets - they are tops in the country in three point percentage and pretty good at everything else related to scoring points. Five star freshman Ka’Kobe Walter is leads in scoring, but everyone shoots threes. Of their starters, the lowest percentage shooter is shooting 39% from three. That’s better than everyone on MSU’s roster except for for Tre Holloman. Move your feet, Sparty. Torvik goes Baylor, 72-71.

BoilerUp89: Baylor’s three point defense has been unsustainably good - they are allowing a lot of open looks that teams are just missing. Some regression to the mean there and with Sparty’s own three point shooting could result in a victory for Michigan State. The game being played in Detroit should benefit the Spartans in their second to last opportunity to collect a signature non-conference victory.

Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Wolverines (-23.5), 1:30 pm, BTN

Hey still applies

BoilerUp89: The fighting Emus try to avenge last year’s loss to Michigan. That seems unlikely even with all the issues surrounding the Michigan basketball culture right now. Oh, is that Juwan Howard coming to confront me?

Juwan Howard: God ****ing d**** Boiler you don’t talk about my program my boy is sweet and nice and my team is good and defense is a ****ing **** conspiracy!

#25 Ohio State Buckeyes (-2.5) v. #46 UCLA Bruins, 2 pm, CBS

MaximumSam: The Buckeyes are coming off a loss to Penn State, one that is making the locals restless. Now they head to Atlanta to battle UCLA, who have fully morphed into a Mick Cronin team - they can’t shoot straight, but will try to stuff you into a locker. They’ve been competitive but have lost against every good team they’ve faced - might be a Mendoza line for Ohio State. Torvik goes Buckeyes, 68-66.

BoilerUp89: UCLA’s losses are all pretty understandable. A two point loss to Marquette, a four point defeat to Gonzaga, and a 9 point road loss to Villanova. Shooting has been a problem, but they’ve been good about everything else. UCLA is allowing teams to shoot a ton of three pointers - which should benefit an Ohio State team that knocking down long range shots above 40%.

#3 Arizona Wildcats v. #1 Purdue Boilermakers (+1.5), 3:30 pm, Peacock

BoilerUp89: #1 Arizona travels into Indianapolis to face off against #3 Purdue. These two programs also have the two longest active non-conference winning streaks. I know I’m often pessimistic about Purdue’s chances in big games, but if you were designing a team to beat Purdue it would probably look a lot like Arizona. The Wildcats have size everywhere, athletes that could overwhelm Purdue’s guards, shooting, and on top of that they play at an extremely fast pace. They also aren’t going to be crushed on the boards - an area Purdue often uses to gain an advantage. The only thing Arizona is missing is they aren’t from New Jersey.

MaximumSam: Or Chicago!

#298 Florida A&M Rattlers at #71 Iowa Hawkeyes (-21.5), 3:30, BTN

MaximumSam: Iowa just needs a win. Any win.

#56 Northwestern Wildcats (-9.5) at #217 Depaul Blue Demons, 4:30, FS1

BoilerUp89: The battle for second? third? fourth? best team in Chicago commences. Will Northwestern bounce back from an ugly loss that gave 95% of Division 1 a transitive loss to Chicago State? DePaul may be 2-7 but they have some momentum as they are coming off a convincing win against basketball powerhouse Louisville.

You Want More?

#114 LSU Tigers at #38 Texas Longhorns (-7.5), 11 am, ESPN2

#21 Texas A&M Aggies v. #2 Houston Cougars (-7.5), 1:30 pm, ESPN2

#22 Clemson Tigers at #41 Memphis Tigers (-2.5), 2 pm, ESPN+

#15 North Carolina Tar Heels v. #19 Kentucky Wildcats (+1.5), 4:30 pm, CBS

#7 Alabama Crimson Tide at #5 Creighton Bluejays (-7.5), 7 pm, FOX

#60 NC State Wolfpack v. #10 Tennessee Volunteers (-9.5), 9 pm, ESPN2