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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 14th Basketball

A Spartan on Your Sunday?

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Illinois
Izzo putting in his little person
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

Wisconsin Badgers 71, Northwestern Wildcats 63

MaximumSam: The Cats gave Wisconsin all they wanted, and this was nip and tuck all game. It was tied at 63 with less than three minutes to go, and then Northwestern couldn’t get another bucket. Max Klesmit has suddenly turned into a superstar - he had 24 to lead all scorers to follow his 18 against OSU. All Hail Klesmit.

Purdue Boilermakers 95, Penn State Nittany Lions 78

MaximumSam: Is this really a game we need to discuss? The Ace Baldwin Steal Count landed at 5, well short of the 24 he needed for them to win but still impressive.

Previews

#96 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-6, 1-3) at #13 Michigan State Spartans (9-7, 1-4) (-10.5), 11 am, BTN

MaximumSam: Rutgers is channeling the spirit of Brian Ferentz with their fourth rated defense and 290th rated offense. Unfortunately, the wins haven’t followed, and now they head on the road to face a Sparty team that needs a win. Torvik projects MSU to go 20-11 and 12-8 in the conference. Not a ton of wiggle room there and so games like this become must wins. Torvik says Sparty, 70-58.

#111 Maryland Terrapins (10-6, 2-3) at #10 Illinois Fighting Illini (12-3, 3-1) (-9.5), 1 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Brad Underwood’s Collection of Spare Parts is really working. Their two point defense is second in the land, and it turns out just playing five wings makes life difficult for opponents. Not sure what to make of Maryland anymore - there is no reason they should be straight up bad. Many teams would kill for a core of Young, Reese, and Scott. Can they put together something today? Probably not. Torvik goes Illini, 77-62.