Tuesday, January 31st
MaximumSam: Welcome back Terps! After some time away spiritually they have returned to push around a hot Hoosier team. It was a case of the vet stuffing the rook into the trash can, as Jahmir Young dropped 20 while Jalen Hood-Schifino dropped just 3 on 1-14 from the field. Might as well give him a swirlie, too.
BoilerUp89: JHS shot abysmally, Maryland did a great job of switching defensive looks to confuse the Hoosiers, and the Terps picked up a big home win.
MaximumSam: This game was not the complete butt kicking the score indicates - Nebraska was ahead in the second half and the lead didn’t get to double digits for the Illini until very late. Still, another win for Illinois, this time powered by four guys in double digits. T-Ranketology projects them as a 6 seed, and they currently hold second place in the conference by a half game.
BoilerUp89: Nebraska led with something like 12 minutes to go. From there on out they scored just 6 points. Not an ideal strategy.
Thumpasaurus: Illinois finished 5 for 29 from beyond the arc. I sure hope nobody realizes that we’re going to fire off 25+ threes even when you don’t guard the lane and we can’t make any of them, because this team against a pack zone would be repulsive.
On the other hand, they closed out the game by taking threes away from the opponent, which they do more effectively than almost anyone in the country. Open threes weren’t there and Nebraska couldn’t abuse the Illini in the post like Indiana could, so things got rough for the Huskers right at the end.
Weird team, man. Weird team.
MaximumSam: I’m sorry, Northwestern faithful. Back to the mushy middle for you. But that’s better than the soggy bottom.
BoilerUp89: Iowa’s ball movement on offense was fantastic and as much as I like to mock their defense they did a good job in this one of getting Northwestern to settle for long 2 point jump shots.
Wednesday, February 1st
#37 Penn State Nittany Lions (14-7, 5-5) at #6 Purdue Boilermakers (21-1, 10-1), 5:30 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: The Nits travel to Purdue for the matchup of Gigantor against the Oompa Loompas. Purdue won the first game pretty convincingly, 76-63. Zach Edey dropped 30 and Purdue’s freshmen backcourt went 7/13 from three. Not going to get very far when Purdue makes shots and Edey get his too. If I was Penn State, I’d just put a guard on Edey and tell him to fall down every time he moves towards the basket. Let’s test that flop rule. In any event, Torvik goes Purdue 72-62.
BoilerUp89: Im expecting Penn State to attack Purdue much like they did Michigan just a few days ago. For Purdue, this is the definition of a trap game - sandwiched in between their two big basketball rivalries. As Indiana showed last night, trap games are dangerous.
Thumpasaurus: Penn State, if you want me to take you seriously, beat Purdue tonight.
Worked for rugster hopps
#202 Minnesota Gophers (7-13, 1-9) at #16 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14-7, 6-4), 7:30 pm, BTN
MaximumSam: Can I just ignore the Gophers? Will OTE throw me in the ocean if I do? The Gophs were mildly competitive against Indiana and Michigan, but then got dumped by Northwestern. Rutgers needs a win to keep afloat in what looks to be tiebreaker central in the conference. There are nine teams with four or five losses, so dropping one to Minnesota would be less than ideal.
BoilerUp89: The Gophers have hockey. Rutgers will try to maintain pace with the Illini.