Wednesday, March 8th
Ohio State Buckeyes 65, Wisconsin Badgers 57
BoilerUp89: Well, that’s one way to not have to worry about the bubble the next four days. Bruce* Thornton is pissed that nobody voted for him as freshman of the year and scored 15 points while playing 38 minutes.
The difference in this game though was shooting. The Badgers could not do it. 34.4% from the field, just 18.2% from three, and a paltry 61.1% from the free throw line. Wisconsin got 15 offensive rebounds and still lost because they could not score.
*I originally wrote this as Brice. I blame Holtmann for recruiting two guys with similar sounding names.
MaximumSam: “Brice Thornton?” The Unholy mashup of Bruce Thornton and Brice Sensabaugh who will unleash the Rapture onto the B1G? The Prince who was Promised? The Red and Green Power Rangers? OSU will ride this mutant to the dark heart of the B1G. Go Bucks.
BoilerUp89: The last second three by Keisei Tominaga went off the rim and the Gophers have started their attempt to become the first P6 team with a 16 seed with a win. Tough loss for the Cornhuskers and NIT spots are filling up in a hurry as 7 conference 1 seeds have already lost.
MaximumSam: Break up the Gophers.
Thursday, March 9th
#40 Rutgers Scarlet Knights v. #45 Michigan Wolverines, 11 am, BTN
BoilerUp89: Loser goes to the NIT. Winner gets to play Purdue. Rutgers has really struggled since Mag went down to injury. They just played Michigan at home two weeks ago and lost by 13.
MaximumSam: Bracketology has Rutgers in the last four in and Michigan the fifth team out. Rutgers has been on the struggle bus for a while now, while Michigan has just been playing better. I expect elbows. Bog Men Hunter Dickinson and Cliff Omoruyi should get after it underneath the basket. The question is whether Rutgers defense can cobble something together to stop Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin.
misdreavus79: Take the under.
#59 Ohio State Buckeyes v. #39 Iowa Hawkeyes, 1:30 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Ohio State appears to have figured things out again late in the season. Iowa has been a see-saw lately alternating between being really good and not good (sometimes in the same game). The Buckeyes will have to do a better job of preventing offense rebounds for their opponent. Wisconsin is really bad at that but got tons of second chance opportunities. You can’t give Iowa that many chances to score.
MaximumSam: The Bucks have found their shot again and neither team plays defense. Run, young men, run.
misdreavus79: Take the over.
#51 Penn State Nittany Lions v. #46 Illinois Fighting Illini, 5:30 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Thump says you can’t beat a team three times in the same season, but that might just be wishful thinking since PSU swept Illinois in the regular season. The Nittany Lions shot 50 and 42.9% from three in those two games so the Illini should stay focused on their perimeter defense if they want to flip the script.
misdreavus79: You can’t beat a team three times a row, but somehow Wisconsin has won 70 straight against Penn State.
#211 Minnesota Gophers v. #28 Maryland Terrapins, 8 pm, BTN
BoilerUp89: Does Maryland’s road woes include neutral site games? They did beat Miami FL and St. Louis on a neutral court back in November, but they also won a road game in November (Louisville, but still) so that might just been early in the season success. The Terrapins have won just one game away from home since the calendar turned to December: at Minnesota.
Bubble relevant games from elsewhere the nation
North Carolina Tarheels 85, Boston College Eagles 61
Today’s bubble teams in actions:
Pittsburgh Panthers v. Duke Blue Devils - 1:30 pm ESPN2
West Virginia Mountaineers v. Kansas Jayhawks - 2 pm ESPN
Nevada Wolf Pack v. San Jose State Spartans - 4:30 pm CBSSN
North Carolina Tarheels v. Virginia Cavaliers - 6 pm ESPN
Oklahoma State Cowboys v. Texas Longhorns - 6 pm ESPN2
Boise State Broncos v. UNLV Rebels - 8 pm CBSSN
Utah State Aggies v. New Mexico Lobos - 10:30 pm CBSSN
Arizona State Sun Devils v. USC Trojans - 10:30 pm ESPN
Today’s bid thief opportunities:
Florida Atlantic Owls v. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers - 5:30 pm ESPN+