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Off Tackle Open Threads: December 29th Basketball

Some New Year’s Hors d’oeuvres

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
I think this is one of the teams we are playing tonight
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images


Maryland Terrapins 75, Coppin State Eagles 53

BoilerUp89: Coppin State falls to 1-13 on the year. There is a reason we didn’t preview this game.


#285 Rider Broncs (3-9) at #111 Penn State Nittany Lions (6-6) (-13.5), 1 pm

BoilerUp89: We’ve previously seen Rider lose to Nebraska by 14 and Maryland by 27. They remain one of the worst shooting teams in Division 1.

misdreavus79: Yet, the last time Rider went to the Bryce Jordan Center, if my memory serves me well, they beat Penn State. So, you know...

Also can someone explain to me why they’re the Broncs and not the Broncos?

MNW: I once watched Rider lose to Drake in the Knapp Center. That’s all I can offer you here.

#218 Kennesaw State Owls (9-4) at #85 Indiana Hoosiers (9-3) (-12.5), 5 pm

BoilerUp89: This isn’t the Kennesaw State team that made the NCAA tournament last year. The old coach is now at South Florida along with a bunch of last year’s players. This season’s team plays super fast and doesn’t secure defensive rebounds. That’s not the best strategy against Indiana.

#223 Eastern Kentucky Colonels (4-8) at #2 Purdue Boilermakers (11-1) (-29.5), 6 pm, BTN

BoilerUp89: Purdue tries to complete a third straight undefeated non-conference regular season slate. The tallest player in the Colonels’ typical rotation is 6’7”, but 6’8” Montavious Myrick will likely get more minutes than usual tonight.

#171 Northern Illinois Huskies (6-5) at #71 Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) (-16.5), 6 pm

BoilerUp89: Iowa looks to follow up last year’s December loss to Eastern Illinois with a loss this year to Northern Illinois. The Huskies already lost to Northwestern and Northern Iowa. NIU’s starters are named Coit, Nutter, Gebrewhit, Amos, and Niederhauser. Top notch recruiting right there. The Huskies will not turnover Iowa’s offense all that often.

MNW: Gebrewhit’s a good Ethiopian last name right there. And remembering the Oriental Orthodox Church exists also helps me remember the word “autocephalous” exists.

The Huskies actually led Northwestern at halftime because Xavier Amos couldn’t miss—and then Northwestern won by 22. If I were betting, this is one of those games where Ben Krikke feasts for the Hawkeyes.

#134 McNeese State Cowboys (10-2) at #54 Michigan Wolverines (6-6) (-9.5), 6 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: McNeese rates high enough to at put a little scare in the Wolverines, and have a nice win early over VCU. Still, four of their ten wins are over non-Division 1 squads, including one over the College of Biblical Studies. TCU transfer Shahada Wells runs the point and has been sensational, averaging 18.5 on 57/41/67 splits. They are 5th in the country in three point percentage, but don’t take a ton of them - interesting problem for a rough Michigan defense. Torvik goes Michigan, 80-68.

BoilerUp89: You can squint and see how this becomes a game and that’s rare this time of year. McNeese will likely have to take more threes than they usually do though.

MNW: We’re all just gonna gloss right over the College of Biblical Studies, huh?

#246 Maine Black Bears (8-6) at #86 Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-3) (-14.5), 6 pm, Peacock

BoilerUp89: All hail to our old gold and black! The Gophers will try to complete their non-conference without a single bad loss. As much as we’ve talked about Ben Johnson’s lack of coaching skills, they haven’t hurt the conference so far this season. Please clap.

MNW: Shoutout to Never Made the Tournament Club members Maine! They are turning it around under new HC and Mainer Chris Markwood, who’s trying to undo the damage of the Richard Barron Era. Barron, by the way, became one of the few NCAA coaches to jump from women’s to men’s, which he did in 2018, moving from the Maine women’s job to the Maine men’s job after a brief medical leave for a craniotomy.

He then went 21-76 (12-42) as the Black Bears’ men’s head coach.

Markwood’s a Maine alumnus, so good luck to him.

#333 South Carolina State Bulldogs (4-10) at #51 Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-2) (-24.5), 6:30 pm

BoilerUp89: I already wrote the Nebraska mid-season check-in article, so I don’t want any surprises that require me to have to significantly rewrite that. Rienk Mast is out with an injury.

#240 Jackson State Tigers (4-8) at #49 Northwestern Wildcats (9-2), 7 pm, Peacock

BoilerUp89: Jackson State did beat Missouri and Northwestern lost to Chicago State, so perhaps this one gets interesting? Probably not. Those types of losses don’t often happen twice in one month.


#339 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (6-7) at #13 Illinois Fighting Illini (9-2) (-17.5), 8 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Well then. At the top of the season this game was fun due to the Ghosts of Purdue’s Past. Now it’s a lot less fun due to Terrence Shannon’s arrest for rape and subsequent suspension from the team. Shannon has been far and away Illinois’ best player, and by the stats the Illini had been the B1G’s second best team.

What they are now is a very open question, though Fairleigh Dickinson probably won’t offer up much resistance. Probably. Torvik goes Illini, 103-68.

BoilerUp89: eye twitches