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Big Ten Basketball: Thursday Open Thread

The Flagship Returns; All Hail Northwestern

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Northwestern
Verhoeven goddammit he’s on your team!
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, February 23rd

Maryland Terrapins 88, Minnesota Gophers 70

BoilerUp89: Minnesota kept it close early before Maryland remembered they were at home and not on the road.

Wisconsin Badgers 64, Iowa Hawkeyes 52

MaximumSam: Iowa went 3/28 from three, after going 3/24 from three against Northwestern. Shooting 8.7% from deep is not a great recipe for success. The Frannings will continue until shooting improves.

BoilerUp89: Wisconsin gets a very important win and keeps hope alive. Iowa is in a major shooting slump. Both teams now need 2/3 to be in a secure position to make the tournament.

misdreavus79: Dammit Iowa you’re supposed to make your way to Quad 1 category, not slip to Quad 3!

Thursday, February 24th

#54 Penn State Nittany Lions (16-11, 7-9) at #72 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-16, 3-13), 5:30 pm, FS1

MaximumSam: Ohio State finally shut Zed Key down for the season after watching him struggle to lift his arm above his head for much of the year. They’ve replaced him with a combo of Felix Okpara and Gene Brown, who should find easier going against Penn State than they did Purdue. Penn State is listed as one of the first eight out on Bracketology, and losing here might be all she wrote, so they should be inspired. Torvik goes Buckeyes, 74-72.

BoilerUp89: Big game for PSU and it comes on the road against a struggling Buckeyes squad. OSU came out well against Purdue to open the game but once they fell behind by 10 they rolled over. Can Jalen Pickett carry the Nittany Lions to the good side of the bubble?

misdreavus79: 20 is the magic number, so theoretically they could lose this game and still make the tournament. But my preference would be to not test that theory, as Northwestern still looms. Not having Zed Key for the game means the Lions will go against an inexperienced big for once, which may be an easier task than what has been par for the course all season. Ohio State may be starting four true freshmen on this game, so it’ll be up to Penn State to use its experience to overcome Ohio State’s talent.

#53 Michigan Wolverines (15-12, 9-7) at #26 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (17-10, 9-7), 7:30 pm, FS1

MaximumSam: Bracketology projects Rutgers as a 9 seed and Michigan as a nonexistent seed. Rutgers lost three straight before scraping a one point victory at Wisconsin, while Michigan lost two before finally getting a quality win over Michigan State. Once again, we find two teams in search of a win. Torvik goes Rutgers, 70—64.

BoilerUp89: Are there any B1G teams not on the bubble? Rutgers is trying to limp over the finish line and Michigan is trying to play catchup. Dickinson v. Omoruyi should be fun to watch, but the guards will decide this game. Neither sides guards have been consistent all year.

misdreavus79: Nothing Michigan does in the next couple of weeks will be enough to get them out of Quad 3 territory, so the best outcome would be for Rutgers to win so they remain a Quad 1 game on Sunday.

#34 Northwestern Wildcats (20-7, 11-5) at #40 Illinois Fighting Illini (18-9, 9-7), 8 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: It’s money time for the Wildcats. One game back of Purdue, they’ve got a rough stretch in front of them with three road games in their last four. It starts tonight with the Illini, who are still listing Terrence Shannon, Jr. as day to day with a concussion. The Cats stifled Illinois in the first game and got 21 from Chase Audige. Torvik still goes Illinois, 70-67.

BoilerUp89: Northwestern has already tied the program record for most conference wins in a season. They are seeking their first conference title since the 1930s. Lot of program defining stuff going on in Evanston these days but after three straight home wins Northwestern goes on the road. To their "rival". None of NU's remaining games are easy, but this will likely be the most antagonistic crowd.

misdreavus79: Likewise, nothing Northwestern does in the next couple of weeks keeps them out of Quad 1 territory, so go Illinois!