Thursday, February 9th
Northwestern Wildcats 69, Ohio State Buckeyes 63
BoilerUp89: Boo Buie scored 19 to lead the Wildcats and Northwestern avoided a collapse late in the game to hold on for the victory.
Meanwhile, Holtmann is starting to get hostile questions about his coaching decisions from the local media. Likely NBA first round pick Brice Sensabaugh has come off the bench in the last two games for the Buckeyes and his shooting have taken a big dip in those two games. He was just 1 of 8 in this one and finished with 4 points in only 16 minutes.
Chris Holtmann responds to a series of questions about Brice Sensabaugh’s reduced role in the OSU rotation/recent shooting struggles: pic.twitter.com/8baCKykpUj— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) February 10, 2023
MaximumSam: That’s Bruce Hooley with the questions, who used to be part of the Cleveland and then Columbus media and now spends his time preaching about how to follow Jesus by voting for Republicans. That said, Buckeye fans are starting to pay attention to the team as it is near March, and losing every game is causing lots of grumbles.
It’s a tough spot for Holtmann, who is trying lots of different things to get the team going, including bringing Sensabaugh off the bench. The Buckeyes did show a bit more commitment to playing basketball as opposed to standing around watching each other, but not enough to actually win a game.
Purdue Boilermakers 87, Iowa Hawkeyes 73
BoilerUp89: Purdue built a 17 point lead at the half which isn’t exactly the magic number for Purdue against Iowa. Iowa came out in the second half making everything and their press gave Purdue some issues, but the Boilermakers shooting was able to keep Iowa from getting any closer than 6. Iowa scored 52 points in the 2nd half, but only cut the lead by 3 during that half.
Iowa decided Zach Edey wasn’t going to beat them and he had a quiet night with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Edey did find other ways to affect the game by getting 4 assists and 5 blocks. Braden Smith scored a career high 24 points on 8 of 10 shooting (4 of 5 from three) and a perfect 4 of 4 from the free throw line. Five Boilermakers finished in double digits scoring.
Kris Murray put on a show and seemed to be single handedly keeping Iowa within striking distance during their second half run. He had 24 points for the game.
Saturday, February 10th
#56 Penn State Nittany Lions (14-10, 5-8) at #40 Maryland Terrapins (16-8, 7-6), 11 am, BTN
BoilerUp89: The first of two matchups between these teams, this one is a must win for Penn State as they’ve dropped three in a row to fall to 5-8 in B1G play and seriously damage any at-large hopes.
Maryland scores a lot of their points in the paint and Penn State lacks a rim protector. We’ve talked repeatedly about Maryland’s road woes and issues facing teams with dominant post players. Neither of those are issues in this game.
#18 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (16-8, 8-5) at #34 Illinois Fighting Illini (16-7, 7-5), 1 pm, FS1
BoilerUp89: Illinois got the week off as Minnesota postponed their game midweek, so they’ve had 7 days to stew in their 2 point road loss to Iowa. The Illini can be a bit turnover prone (9.1% of their possessions end in turnovers) and Rutgers is a defense that lives off of generating turnovers. Otherwise this game might just come down to shot selection or who is making their perimeter shots. Neither team is good at threes (31.7% for Illinois, 32.2% for Rutgers), but only Rutgers knows it and works to get good shots closer to the rim.
MaximumSam: Rutgers is up to 2nd in defensive efficiency on Torvik, and now they visit the wildly fun Illini. As mentioned by BoilerUp89, they are terrible at threes (288th in the country) but love shooting them (45th in the country). Sledding will be tough against the interior of Rutgers defense, so we could see Illinois miss 30 deep shots. Bricklayers of America, get your cards ready for this one. Torvik goes Illini, 66-65.
#73 Wisconsin Badgers (14-9, 6-7) at #121 Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-14, 4-10), 3 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Wisconsin’s tournament hopes stayed alive with an overtime escape against Penn State earlier this week and now they have a chance to get back to .500 in B1G play prior to three straight home games. Nebraska got blitzed by Michigan, but normally their defense is better than that. I’d expect a classic Wisconsin grind of a game, but either team has what it takes to get the win.
#25 Indiana Hoosiers (17-7, 8-5) at #54 Michigan Wolverines (14-10, 8-5), 5 pm, ESPN
BoilerUp89: Indiana and Michigan will face each other twice this season. Michigan is an enigma. They sit at 8-5, but their overall record would indicate they aren’t that good. Is Juwan getting things rolling late in the season once again or have they just been able to beat up on the bottom of the conference?
Indiana has beaten the top two opposing centers in the Big Ten in their last two games. They now face the third guy in Hunter Dickinson, but this time on the road. Dickinson also has a perimeter game that Edey and Omoruyi lack so he may be able to pull TJD away from the rim and open up the paint for Michigan’s guards and wings.
MaximumSam: Could be a banger. Michigan has won three straight and we get the Dickinson/TJD battle on the inside. Kobe Bufkin has fully emerged, giving Michigan two options on the wing. They are still bound by freshman Dug McDaniel at the point, who has been up and down. Could also be a battle of ill-advised freshman shots between McDaniel and Jalen Hood-Schifino. Torvik goes Wolverines, 75-74.