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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 24th Basketball

Illinois Fight Club

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Nebraska
hot potato hot potato
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports


Wisconsin Badgers 61, Minnesota Golden Gophers 59

BoilerUp89: The Gophers rode a hot shooting night from behind the three point arc, but despite holding a lead under a minute to go, faltered to give the Badgers the victory. The 5 of 13 from the charity stripe was all kinds of awful and everyone who attempted a freebie contributed to the problem.

Were the Badgers looking ahead on the schedule? Their next five are tricky - three road games and home games against Purdue and Michigan State. That’s not easy.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 83, Ohio State Buckeyes 69

BoilerUp89: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Nebrasketball played extremely well at home going for over 50% from deep once again. They truly are a different team in the PBA. Having a center like Rienk Mast that can step out and knock down three pointers does hurt either and Mast had the game of his career with a 34 point, 10 rebound, 4 assist night. The 6 of 8 from three for Rienk was extremely impressive.

For the Buckeyes, they need scoring contributions from both Gayle and Thornton. Gayle was limited to just 6 points in this game and the Buckeyes aren’t keeping up with a hot shooting team when that happens.

Purdue Boilermakers 99, Michigan Wolverines 67

BoilerUp89: Without Dug McDaniel, the Wolverines didn’t have the horses to keep up. Braden Smith had a double-double of the assists variety (11 points, 10 assists) and the Boilermakers got deep into the bench. Tarris Reed Jr. played some really solid defense on Zach Edey (and grabbed 10 rebounds to boot) but it cost him some fouls and he eventually fouled out after Will Berg came in the game late.

As time wound down, Matt Painter was shouting at the walk-ons and deep reserves to take the shot clock violation rather than risk the wrath of Juwan Howard if Purdue got into triple digits.


Maryland Terrapins (11-8, 3-5) at Iowa Hawkeyes (11-7, 3-4) (-5.5), 6 pm, BTN

BoilerUp89: Iowa’s offense vs. Maryland’s defense should be a fun watch, but the other side of the ball is where these teams are flawed and is just as likely to determine the outcome of the game.

Illinois Fighting Illini (14-4, 5-2) at Northwestern Wildcats (13-5, 4-3) (+3.5), 8 pm, BTN

BoilerUp89: The Illini handled Northwestern in the first meeting between these teams but the Wildcats (like most teams) are better at home. In a rivalry game, Northwestern will seek to feed off the crowd. I don’t imagine Terrence Shannon Jr. will get another standing ovation.

MNW: Yeah that’s...well, it’s not going to be good. Think how Gregg Doyle nearly called for the National Guard last year after what Northwestern students said to Mason Gillis, and...uh...yeah. Not gonna be pretty.

Nebraska (and the rest of the Big Ten schedule) has pretty well exposed that Northwestern is struggling with its interior defense and its rotations against a team that can move the ball well, particularly using their post players to get the ‘Cats out of sorts. Illinois poses a particualrly brutal matchup—Northwestern can’t match the height of the Illini, who can spread the floor efficiently and also use pasty fuckers like Markus Kracklepopski to bully Ty Berry.

Northwestern needs a cold shooting night from the Illini, a little Welsh-Ryan ugliness, and a lot of continued hot play from Brooks Barnhizer. I don’t see it.