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Off Tackle Bracketology Roundup, Basketball Open Threads: January 17th

How ‘bout dem Nits?

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Nebraska
Thinking about those runzas
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

Purdue Boilermakers 87, Indiana Hoosiers 66

BoilerUp89: Purdue played a pretty perfect first half to take a 22 point lead into the half. Indiana came out firing on all cylinders for the first five minutes after the break to cut the lead to just 9. The Boilermakers held steady from there and slowly pushed the lead back up towards 20. The result is the largest Purdue victory in Bloomington since 1934’s 47-13 win.

Zach Edey had a 33 point, 14 rebound night to pass Jajuan Johnson and tie Carsen Edwards on the Purdue all-time scoring list. Fletcher Loyer and Lance Jones had most of the rest of Purdue’s points as Braden Smith had an off shooting night (2 of 14 from the floor) but Smith found a way to still contribute with 9 assists and 6 rebounds. For the Hoosiers, foul trouble limited minutes for Mgbako and Ware in the first half. Them sitting greatly contributed to Purdue building a huge lead as Ware’s defense was needed to slow down Edey a little bit and Mgbako’s offense was needed by a Hoosiers squad that struggled to score outside of Trey Galloway’s 17 points.

Penn State Nittany Lions 87, Wisconsin Badgers 83

BoilerUp89: Penn State pulls off the upset by shooting 40% from three (much better than their season average of 29.9% coming into the night). The real story is that the Nittany Lions turned the ball over just 5 times. Taking care of the basketball is a great way to keep yourself in the game.

Kanye Clary, Ace Baldwin Jr., and Nick Kern Jr. combined for 62 points and while Wisconsin’s offense plays a faster pace this season, their defense wasn’t prepared for Penn State to rush up the court and attack before they were set.

Previews

#48 Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-4, 3-3) at #98 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-7, 1-4) (-2.5), 6 pm, BTN

BoilerUp89: Dear Fred Hoiberg, win a conference road game or two if you want to go dancing. With all due respect to the house of horrors that is the RAC, this is probably the easiest opportunity remaining.

#91 Maryland Terrapins (11-6, 3-3) at #52 Northwestern Wildcats (12-4, 3-2) (-3.5), 8 pm, BTN

BoilerUp89: Maryland is coming off a big road victory over Illinois and will look to keep momentum rolling against Northwestern. The Terrapins have a very good interior defense, but that probably plays into a Wildcats offense that is shooting 37% from three.

MNW: No no, I think Maryland should spend all their time making sure they shut down Matt Nicholson and Luc Hungér instead—make that your top priority, Turtlebros.

I am legitimately curious to see how the ‘Cats deal with Julian Reese inside, because they have the size to stop him and will throw double-teams at him from odd angles—can the Terps’ big man distribute effectively from the post?

Otherwise, like BoilerUp noted, if the ‘Cats have their stroke from deep, they can exploit a Maryland team that shoots it poorly from deep and allows opponents to make at a 34% clip. (And now that I’ve said that, Northwestern will shoot 4/31 from deep and Jamie Kaiser will score 21 on 5/8 three-point shooting.)

Other Basketball That MNW Thinks You Should Watch Tonight

  • The Australian Open. It’s not basketball, but...it’s better? My eyes are on #11 Casper Ruud taking on Aussie Max Purcell [7pm, ESPN+] and #13 Grigor Dimitrov against Aussie headcase Thanasi Kokkinakis [11pm, ESPN2] on the men’s side, and #1 Iga Swiatek of Poland beating mercurial Danielle Collins [7pm, ESPN2] and Sloane Stephens against #14 Daria Kasatkina [8pm, ESPN2] on the women’s side.
  • #18 Creighton at #1 UConn (-6.5, O/U 144.5): Just good, clean Big East brawling. [6pm, FS1]
  • UMass at Loyola (-2.5, O/U 147.5): Loyola is...back? The Ramblers have rediscovered the lockdown defense that made them a high-quality team under Porter Moser, while the Minutemen push the pace with an efficient offense. The Gentile Center is usually rockin’, and this one shouldn’t be an exception. [6pm, CBSSN]
  • Youngstown State at Oakland (-3.5, O/U 153.5): Horizon League frontrunners in action! Actually—did you know Green Bay is also 6-2 in Horizon play? Since firing Bo Ryan’s son and bottoming out at 3-29 in 2022-23 the Phoenix have...risen...under Sundance Wicks (!!!), a Northern State legend whose only other head coaching job was D-II Missouri Western. But enough about him: the Penguins are out for revenge after losing 88-81 to the Golden Grizz just a month ago. Both teams roll a deep bench; should be fun. [6pm, ESPN+]
  • Tulane at UAB (-2.5, O/U 164.5): I mean, there are gonna be points. Both run, both fill the cup efficiently. Shut up and enjoy it. [7pm, ESPN+]
  • Nevada at San Diego State (-6.5, O/U 140.5): OK so. If you can stomach Steve Alford, watching a resurgent Nevada take on the grapple-ball of Brian Dutcher’s Aztecs will be something special. Also, Aztecs forward Jaedon LeDee doesn’t look like he should be as coordinated as he is, but it works. Good FT shooter, too. Both teams are coming off Mountain West Conference losses and desperately need to avoid a slide off to the bubble. I’d take the under. [10pm, CBSSN]

B1G Bracketology

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...perhaps.