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Off Tackle Open Threads: December 22nd Basketball

A Christmas Eve Eve Eve Treat

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Rutgers
Mom said I’m getting the Nintendo for Christmas!
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Ohio State Buckeyes 78, New Orleans Privateers 36

MaximumSam: Hmm. Chris Holtmann was out with the flu, and the Buckeyes held an opponent to its lowest point total since 2015.

I’m not sure how to feel here

Purdue Boilermakers 100, Jacksonville Dolphins 57

BoilerUp89: This was a nice early birthday gift for yours truly. Will Berg, Purdue’s 7’2” redshirt freshman center, now has 26 points in 26 minutes of play this season.

Michigan State Spartans 99, Stony Brook Seawolves 55

Penn State Nittany Lions 72, Le Moyne Dolphins 55

Minnesota Golden Gophers 80, Ball State Cardinals 63

Indiana Hoosiers 83, North Alabama Lions 66

BoilerUp89: Indiana made 12 three pointers. They had not done that since 2020 when they beat ... North Alabama. Tough luck for the Lions. Malik Reneau went 4 for 4 behind the arc which is a really promising sign.



#292 Chicago State Cougars (7-9) at #29 Wisconsin Badgers (8-3) (-22.5), 7 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: The newest members of the B1G have won four in a row since beating Northwestern. Hey, did you know Chicago State beat Northwestern? It’s a fact, it’s a thing that actually happened. Remember, an opinion is saying that Chicago State is the best team in Chicago, while a fact is saying that Chicago State defeated Northwestern 75-73.

Maybe they are both facts, I really can’t remember the rules on that. Anyways, Torvik says Wisconsin is better than all of Chicago, 78-56.

BoilerUp89: Chicago State hasn’t just won four games in a row. They’ve won four games in a row for the first time since 2009!

#19 Illinois Fighting Illini (8-2) (-6.5) at #81 Missouri Tigers (7-4), 8 pm, FS1

MaximumSam: Some late Friday nigh Christmas basketball, we get the annual matchup between Illinois and Mizzou. They are led by the well traveled guard Sean East, who is shooting 60% from three while leading in points and assists. They also feature Old Friend and Hoosier Tamar Bates, who is shooting 52% from three (man, that kind of shooting might help Indiana...anyways).

Mizzou just barely beat Minnesota earlier this year and are coming off of two losses to Kansas and Seton Hall. They don’t rebound or get to the line, but they can shoot, so the Illini better move their feet. Torvik goes Illinois, 77-70.

BoilerUp89: Braggin’ Rights time. Our Illini writers assure us this will be a loss, but the Illini are quietly one of the better teams in college basketball while Mizzou has had more struggles than successes this season.

#97 Maryland Terrapins (7-4) (+3.5) at #74 UCLA Bruins (5-5), 8 pm, ESPN2

MaximumSam: Here are two teams that need a win. Maryland is 0-4 when away from home, and haven’t exactly looked great at home, despite being 7-0. They visit a beleaguered UCLA squad who lost four games against good teams and a fifth against Cal State Northridge, which started sounding alarm bells. They are a young team that have become peak-Mick Cronin and will try to stuff every Maryland player into a trash can and maybe score a few points along the way. Torvik goes Bruins, 65-60.

BoilerUp89: This was supposed to be the premier game on the Maryland non-conference slate. Instead its a game between two teams desperate for a victory and trying to get some positive momentum heading into conference play. UCLA will play defense, the question is whether they can score enough.