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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 2nd Basketball

The Big Ten Slog Starts Slogging Tonight

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at DePaul
Meet Mr. Ball, Northwestern’s newest star
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 59, Stonehill 58

MaximumSam: Not ideal to get a lucky 1 point win over one of the worst teams in the country. Stonehill only had one Division 1 win, over Army, and only had one of their 12 losses within single digits. So, woof. Rutgers has fallen to 92nd on Torvik, which is behind Minnesota.

Michigan State Spartans 87, Indiana State Sycamores 75

MaximumSam: Good win over a very game Sycamore squad. Sparty was down five in the second half but went on a solid run led by Jaden Akin’s defense. All of their vets played well - the only surprise is how long it took for them to do that.

BoilerUp89: Indiana State is the real deal. Even though I'll be rooting for Bradley during Arch Madness, I wouldn't say no to seeing the Sycamores punch their ticket to the dance.

Ohio State Buckeyes 78, West Virginia Mountaineers 75 (OT)

MaximumSam: Yet another great game, and a duel between Roddy Gayle (32 points) and RaeQuan Battle (24 points). Cleveland is about two hours from Columbus and three from Morgantown, which made two loud boisterous fan bases. While I generally hate neutral site games, I’ll make an exception if they want to do this every year.

Previews

#2 Purdue Boilermakers (12-1, 1-1) at #99 Maryland Terrapins (9-4, 1-1) (+5.5), 6 pm, Peacock

MaximumSam: After seeing what his teammates have come up with, Jahmir Young has decided to just be Maryland’s offense. Not the worst idea in the world. I would say Home Terps should scare the Boilermakers, but Maryland beat UCLA on the road and nearly lost to Nicholls State at home, so I don’t know what to believe in anymore.

Torvik likes this one a lot wider than the spread, and goes Purdue, 76-64.

BoilerUp89: Purdue has lost 4 of their last 5 at Maryland if my memory serves. No students for this one, but you gotta believe the fans will be riled up for #1. Purdue has yet to win a road game so far this season.

#70 Iowa Hawkeyes (8-5, 0-2) at #26 Wisconsin Badgers (9-3, 1-0) (-5.5), 6 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Is Iowa just kind of crap this year? Their three point shooting has been very middling and their defense still stinks. Ben “Crikey!” Krikke has been their best player, though not sure that’s what they want. They head to the Kohl Center to face the Badgers, who have played exactly one game within single digits (a win over SMU).

Torvik goes Wiscy, 84-74, another value if you favor Stat Wonks over Vegas.

BoilerUp89: Iowa is discount Wisconsin. None of the defense, worse shooting, and an offense that works best thru post players that do better against undersized opponents. At the Kohl Center, this one feels like an uphill battle for the Hawkeyes.

#53 Northwestern Wildcats (10-2, 1-0) at #18 Illinois Fighting Illini (10-2, 1-0) (-5.5), 8 pm, BTN

MNW: Oh right, this.

Well, I guess if there was a time the ‘Cats could catch the Illini in Assembly West, it’d be amid the current Terrence Shannon-related (un)certainty with the lineup. That feels gross to say or think, and so I guess we’ll just have to see which Northwestern team shows up: the one that sleep-walked (slept-walked?) through a good stretch of its non-con, or the one that pummeled Arizona State and upset Purdue.

MaximumSam: Sleepwalking to 10-2 and a win over Purdue? I’d like to be that productive in my sleep. You wake up, having already made breakfast and ironed your clothes. The only downside is maybe you missed the toilet (Chicago State). Torvik goes Illini, 73-65.

BoilerUp89: Northwestern is apparently fully capable of beating or losing to anyone. No idea what to make of the Illini without Shannon. They beat FDU pretty easily but if anything that just tells me Illinois isn't 1 seed worthy. This is the most intriguing game of the night and can go just about any way.