Friday, March 10th
BoilerUp89: Purdue survives Rutgers’ pressure defense to advance to the semifinals. Alone among the advancing teams today, Purdue did not have a single player eclipse 35 minutes. Edey played the most minutes at 33 and scored 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Mason Gillis was the star of the game for the Boilermakers however with 20 points and 9 rebounds on a 7 of 8 shooting performance.
Rutgers’ starters actually outscored Purdue’s. But a combination of foul trouble brought on by their physical style of defending and lack of bench production saw their upset attempt come up short.
Ohio State Buckeyes 68, Michigan State Spartans 58
BoilerUp89: What a shooting performance by the Buckeyes as they go 10/19 from three. This is a team playing with a lot of confidence right now. Four of the Buckeyes starters went for 35+ minutes led by Sean McNeil’s 39 minutes. Only Isaac Likekele played more than 6 minutes off the bench.
Michigan State’s shooting was a bit of a clunker as they went just 38.2% from the field and less than 20% from three.
Penn State Nittany Lions 67, Northwestern Wildcats 65 (OT)
BoilerUp89: Penn State outlasted Northwestern in overtime in front of a raucous Chicago fanbase and now appear to be firmly in the tournament field. Funk, Lundy, and Pickett combined for 45 points in a cumulative 119 minutes.
Boo Buie was an inefficient 6 of 17 and was the best performer of the Northwestern guards. Chase Audige went 3 of 14 while Ty Berry was just 1 of 10 from the field.
misdreavus79: If Illinois didn’t do it two days ago, this one certainly did. The Lions are now 7-6 in Quad 1 wins (as Maryland hangs on for dear life at No. 30), and could get another if they win a third one in as many days.
BoilerUp89: Like most of their fellow advancing teams, Indiana has decided to run with their starters regardless of the number of minutes they have to play. That got them the win against Maryland, but you have to wonder if that strategy will leave their stars with anything left in the tank if they can make it to the tournament championship. Jalen Hood-Schifino had 19 points while playing the full 40 minutes. Trayce Jackson-Davis had 24 points and 9 rebounds in 39 minutes.
For Maryland, Four of Maryland’s starters scored in double figures, but they shot just 32.3% from the field and that doomed their chances of pulling off the upset.
Saturday, March 11th
#51 Ohio State Buckeyes v. #6 Purdue Boilermakers, Noon, CBS
BoilerUp89: Ohio State will be playing their 4th game in 4 days. Can they still hit shots on tired legs? Are they a team of destiny? Guess we will find out.
Purdue is the fresher and healthier of the two teams, but Ohio State has a lot more to play for and if they repeat their 3 point shooting prowess of their quarterfinal game they can beat anyone. The Boilermakers swept the season series.
#47 Penn State Nittany Lions v. #30 Indiana Hoosiers, 2:30 pm, CBS
BoilerUp89: Jalen Pickett v. Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino. Penn State won the only meeting of these two teams this season way back on January 11. For Indiana that was the third loss in a row as they were struggling to find themselves following injuries to two starters. Penn State attempted more three pointers than two in that game but it was a winning strategy as they were 18 of 31 from behind the arc.
misdreavus79: This Indiana team is not the same team that got embarrassed at Bryce Jordan. One could argue that this Penn State team isn’t the same either, but I don’t see how a team playing its third game, and being only moderate with its bread and butter, the three point line, in the tournament, is going to outlast one of the hottest teams in the conference down the stretch. Fortunately for Penn State, their tournament bid is secured.
Bubble relevant games from elsewhere the nation
Running out of bubble teams still in action. Outside of the B1G’s Penn State, there is only really Utah State left (unless you want to count super long shot Vanderbilt) and Utah State has probably done enough to move away from the cutline. Florida Atlantic hasn’t given up their ability to make the CUSA a 1 bid conference yet. The Mountain West won’t see a bid thief thanks to San Diego State. This is all good news for a team like Rutgers that probably has just a couple of teams between them and being out of the field.
Utah State Aggies 72, Boise State Broncos 62
Florida Atlantic Owls 68, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 65
San Diego State Aztecs 64, San Jose State Spartans 49
Today’s bubble teams in actions:
Utah State Aggies v. San Diego State Aztecs - 5 pm CBS
Remaining potential bid thieves in action:
Houston Cougars v. Cincinnati Bearcats (AAC semis) - 2 pm ESPN2
Memphis Tigers v. Tulane Green Wave (AAC semis) - 4:30 pm ESPN2
Florida Atlantic Owls v. UAB Blazers (CUSA finals) - 7:30 pm CBSSN