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Big Ten Basketball: Sunday Open Thread

The Amazing Race to Second Place

Syndication: The Herald-Times
That’s all ball!
Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Saturday, March 4th

Michigan State Spartans 84, Ohio State Buckeyes 78

MaximumSam: One of those games where Sparty got a lead but could never quite break away, and OSU could never quite tie it up. Both teams looked pretty good and shot the ball well, but MSU’s backcourt combing for 38 points and 13 assists was too much for the Bucks to overcome. The Spartans now sit in Judgment of everyone else - they will finish ahead of everyone with nine losses. Six teams have eight losses, and they all play today. Enough lose, and MSU can jump into the double bye.

Sunday, March 5th

#29 Maryland Terrapins (20-10, 11-8) at #48 Penn State Nittany Lions (18-12, 9-10), 11 am, BTN

MaximumSam: Penn State is the last team in per Bracketology, and now they welcome in the Bizzarro Terps, who have yet to beat a top 200 team on the road. They get their last chance today before hoping their home performances are the more apt predictor for the tournaments, where they are currently an 8 seed. Torvik goes Nits, 70-68.

misdreavus79: The door has been opening, then closing, then opening again, then closing again, etc., for the past month and a half. The door is open again. Now all Penn State needs to do is literally what every team not named Minnesota did. Let’s see if the Lions are up to the task, with one final opportunity in the regular season to make a case for the tournament.

#42 Illinois Fighting Illini (20-10, 11-8) at #6 Purdue Boilermakers (25-5, 14-5), 11:30 am, FOX

MaximumSam: The first meeting of the season between these two goes in the last game. The Illini are in the mix for a double bye but clearly get the toughest game to earn it. Purdue is in the mix for a 1 seed. They are currently a 2 seed in the South via Bracketology, so a strong finish to the season may be necessary to jump back up. Torvik says they get it, 74-64.

#107 Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-15, 8-11) at #35 Iowa Hawkeyes (19-11, 11-8), 1 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Another game, another team trying to get on the double by line. Iowa needs to hold off the Huskers, a team that beat them earlier in the season. Iowa is currently on the 7 line in the East via Bracketology (look, everything is via Backetology so I’ll stop saying it). Nebraska just wants to finish north of the .500 line. Torvik goes Hawkeyes, 82-72.

#43 Michigan Wolverines (17-13, 11-8) at #31 Indiana Hoosiers (20-10, 11-8), 3:30 pm, CBS

MaximumSam: The two second place teams that play each other, and yet are in two very different places. The Hoosiers are on the 4 line in the Midwest, while Michigan is the 5th team out. Xavier Johnson will not play, after several weeks of flirting with a return, he announced he is done for the season. Indiana won the first game by a single point, and given the stakes we could see a fun one. Torvik goes Hoosiers, 76-71.

#40 Northwestern Wildcats (20-10, 11-8) at #34 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-12, 10-9), 6:30 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Two teams trending down - Northwestern has lost three straight while Rutgers has lost five of seven including losing to Minnesota. Bracketology has the Wildcats on the 7 line in the Midwest, while Rutgers is an 11 seed in the East. That means Rutgers probably needs this game a lot more than the Wildcats. Will the ghosts of the RAC rise up? Torvik says yes, 63-60.

#67 Wisconsin Badgers (16-13, 8-11) at #228 Minnesota Gophers (8-20, 2-16), 6:30 pm, FS1

MaximumSam: Hey, a game not involving a second place team. Wisconsin is in the Bubble Zone, currently one of the last four in. Losing to Minnesota would probably put a pretty big fork in them, so you know the job, Gophs.