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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 28th Basketball

Purdue v. Baked Ziti

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Purdue
The guy was an interior decorator. He killed 16 Czechoslovakians.
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports


Maryland Terrapins 73, Nebraska Cornhuskers 51

MaximumSam: Look at Maryland, throwing Nebraska into an outhouse and rolling them down a hill. A balanced effort, too, as Jahmir Young only had 12 points. The Terps are in a hole when it comes to the tourney, but they are clearly getting their legs and will be a tough out down the stretch.

Illinois Fighting Illini 70, Indiana Hoosiers 62

MaximumSam: This one was nip and tuck until the end. Surprising, as the Hoosiers were without Kel’El Ware and made a grand total of zero three pointers. Still, Xavier Johnson was again looking rough, and went 2-7 from the free throw line, including two very rough misses at the end of the game. For the Illini, they looked unusually janky, and Terrence Shannon was rough from the field. But he went 8-10 from the line and that was the difference.

Iowa Hawkeyes 88, Michigan Wolverines 78

MaximumSam: Who needs defense? Not these teams. Payton Sandfort dropped 26 on 6/8 shooting from three. Might want to guard that guy.

Northwestern Wildcats 83, Ohio State Buckeyes 58

MaximumSam: Welcome to the Big Ten, where Michigan and Ohio State are the worst teams in the conference.

For the second year in a row, Ohio State has descended into being Completely Butt. I’m not sure why that is happening, but Ross Bjork’s first big decision may be coming sooner rather than later. I was a fan of Holtmann’s ability to assemble a random assortment of players into a good team. Not a fan of his ability to assemble a collection of good players into a used vacuum cleaner.

MNW: That was...unexpected.

Northwestern got one of the things that, even in their non-conference slate, was all too rare: a blowout win. Overnight the 'Cats jumped from 56 to 47 in Kenpom, 69 to 61 in NET, and 57 to 41(!!!) in Torvik. If you're one of those fools who believes it's The Year, that was a damn oasis. And man, did it look like OSU gave up. Oof.

In terms of the play? Brooks Barnhizer appears to have fully recovered from whatever hand injury nagged him in the early months; at one point last night they showed he was shooting 50% from deep for the month of January. For a team like Northwestern that likes the long ball, that's huge.

Boo Buie was nails again, dropping 19 after a slow start and before fouling out: he is now third all-time in Northwestern scoring, passing Billy McKinney and likely to topple John Shurna before the conference slate is up. We're watching one of the best ever to do it in purple.

But it was Barnhizer and the youth movement that gave me the most hope for the 'Cats: Nick Martinelli's slopball netted 12, Quebecois center Luc Hungér added 11 including a nice three stroke, and Life After Boo is crystallizing.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 83, Penn State Nittany Lions 74

MaximumSam: Hey, Wisconsin couldn’t win at Penn State. Ben Johnson might want to put that note in his performance review.


#2 Purdue Boilermakers (18-2, 7-2) at #106 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-8, 2-5), Noon, FOX

BoilerUp89: My campaign to ban New Jersey from participating in Division 1 sports has apparently gone nowhere. Rutgers has the defense to hang with Purdue if they can make some shots. Easier said that done considering Rutgers season long shooting numbers, but they’ve gotten hot behind the arc before this season (12 of 24 against Seton Hall). I'll also note that Rutgers has just one home loss this season.

Other Games of Note

  • North Texas at #22 Florida Atlantic (-9.5, O/U 133.5): The Owls are one of the best offensive teams in the country, but there isn’t a game the Mean Green can’t drag into the mud. They play the second-slowest pace in college hoops under Grant MacCausland and have some of the best defense to boot. Both have one loss in the American alongside Charlotte and South Florida; this one’s a must to stay in the race. [12pm, ESPN2]
  • Northern Kentucky at Youngstown State (-6.5, O/U 148.5): The Horizon is quietly competent this year, with Green Bay enjoying a real renaissance, Oakland back up and running, and both the Penguins and Norse just behind them. [12:30pm, ESPN+]
  • Quinnipiac at Fairfield (-1.5, O/U 157.5): We’ve got a total approaching 160, and it’s not because this is good basketball—both the Bobcats and Stags push the pace, and who the fuck knows from there. [1pm, ESPN+]
  • #19 Memphis (-4.5, O/U 157.5) at UAB: Not in the mood for Taylor Watch? Best of the rest here in the AAC, with Memphis trying to hold onto its ranking/tourney status after a two-game skid and the Blazers trying to fight their way into the conversation. The Tigers’ David Jones is an absolute force. [4pm, ESPN2]
  • Nevada at #25 New Mexico (-8.5, O/U 153.5): Two disgraced ex-B1G coaches? OK, one disgraced ex-B1G coach and Richard Pitino. What a world we live in. This one’s the last gasp for the evening, and it should be an up-and-down, shotmaking doozy. [9pm, FS1]